The beginning of the new year saw a DCF team preparing for our first international service trip of the year. The site was Roatan Island off the coast of Honduras working with a local healthcare organization called Clinic Esperanza. The team was made up of two private practice dentists, one helper, and seven D4 students; Lauren Duggar, McKenzie Long, Makenna Rakouska, Sydney Ellen, Catherine Flynn, Jessie Beasley, and Hannah Seaton.
A steady line of patients was seen each day of clinic. Lots of individuals received care for restorative needs, removal of painful teeth, and gross debridement removal of calculus. The youngest patients had SDF applied to asymptomatic carious deciduous teeth.
There are multiple win-win benefits to trips such as this. Lots of low income individuals are treated while students gain invaluable instruction and experience. By the end of the week the attending dentists observed a much greater confidence and technical proficiency on the part of the students. As their confidence grew, so did the speed and ease of their restorative care.
It’s a privilege for DCF to organize trips for CDM students such as this one. Our short term goal centers around service to those in need and instruction to the students on the team. However, the ultimate goal of DCF mission trips is to hopefully inspire a future generation of young dentists with a heart for volunteerism whether overseas or at home.