Before starting my family, I decided to go on a Christian dental mission to Haiti. It was a sad, hard, challenging yet, wonderful experience.
The people were terrific and very appreciative. Some of them had walked for days to get to the clinic. Most of them had never been to a dentist and didn’t know anything about home care. A few of the patients that had brushed their teeth at home, stated that they used a stick or, sticks with husks and dirt to clean their teeth.
We were very limited to dental equipment. The patients sat upright in a plastic lawn chair. The chair was sitting on top of 4 cement blocks and covered with a black trash bag. The trash bags were changed after every patient.
Most treatment was cleaning, educating, pulling teeth and giving antibiotics. I was often charged with numbing and pulling teeth while I was there. In Haiti, they speak Creole. I learned a lot of the language while I was there but, worked on dental terms prior to going on the trip. This was necessary in order to be able to communicate with them and aide in figuring out what they needed or, if they had pain.
We had translators present at all times to ensure the patients were taken care of, as well as for our safety. Haiti’s top religious belief when I was there was voodoo. They would make fires and set up the dolls around the clinics compound.
It was an incredible experience that left me feeling extremely fortunate for the access to care that we have here in the United States.
~Blog post by Jenna, Dental Hygienist with Team Dorosti Dental