Written by Dr. Gerald Jeffry, our dentist:
Dentistry in Culasi. Be flexible, innovative and above all trust in the Lord and let Mother Mary guide your hands. This was my mantra.
Fifteen senior dental student were to show up for two days and we would perform cleanings and simple extractions for a community without a dentist for more than two years. At the last minute this was canceled by their dean In spite of the hard work of Matt Riley and Aileen Hayes. We had gathered surgical supplies, medications, hygiene instruments and about two thousand brushes and floss. We then decided to set up a dental rocking chair with rocks to hold it back and pillows to seat patients, children through adults.
Shop was set up for cleaning and minor extractions. After a few cases it became evident that major extractions would be the main procedure.
SUGAR, SUGAR and Coke seem to be in their mouths most of the time. A six year molar was lucky to last for six years. Flossing and tooth brushing was not commonly used. Most mouths had predominantly shells of teeth or roots of teeth covered with plaque colored black.
Patients were given instruction on the common foods to avoid and how teeth should be cared for. All received a brush and floss. Patients in pain or had retained baby teeth had them removed. About 35 were treated a day and 60 or so triaged and dismissed some of which were seen the next day.
The people are beautiful souls locked into poverty and traditions that leadss them into pain suffering and disease. HRIMM will continue to offer solutions and treatments to unlock their their infirmities while always treating them with dignity and love. GJJ