Tuesday 23 June 2015

Tag teaming in the clinic

Today Michelle, Susan and I worked in the clinic with Gloria, Bob, Jess and Seraphina, while Mum and Alicia were in the Van, which was stationed at the clinic, treating children from the Vila Central school. With only two rooms set up for dental treatment, and only one with a bracket tray, handpieces and suction, we set up a third room borrowed from the eye specialist team as a third examination room. So two rooms were for exams, extractions, oral hygiene instruction and fluoride treatment, while the other room was for general treatment. Word has definitely spread around the island about us and our free dental service, as this week we have been inundated with patients, some with appointments, others walk-ins, all requiring extensive treatment, and a large percentage having never seen a dentist. Many were patients we had screened at Freshwota park on Friday. We worked efficiently as a team to sift through the over-flowing waiting room, to get through the patients. Today between us, we did 89 extractions! 

Patients waiting to be seen before we have begun work

In the van, Mum and Alicia saw the children previously screened for requiring treatment at the Vila Central school for restorative treatment, extractions, oral hygiene instruction and fluoride. We have discovered during our time here, that the dental decay rate in children we have been screening, aged 3-7 years, is very high, with many needing extractions or extensive restorations. Consumption of sweets in this age group is high, including fruits, and brushing is not done as often as recommended, sometimes without toothpaste. A 3 year old patient I examined today, for example, had 6 decayed upper front baby teeth, due to a diet high in fruits, and no brushing because his mother said he does not like toothpaste. This is not that uncommon to child patients in Australia. We have been focusing on education in schools for children to understand the importance of brushing teeth, and a healthier diet. 

Mum and Alicia hard at work in the Van

The weather is Port Vila has cooled down, with heavy rain last night, and cool winds today. We are hoping for some sunnier days before we return to wintery Australia this Sunday! 

View of the road from our accommodation 



  1. Going for dental checkup/treatment seems so scary to me. I haven’t visited any dentist in last two years but now I’m having some problem in my wisdom tooth. So I have to find an experienced dentist Redondo Beach for its treatment. I wonder if you guys have any recommendations!

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