2010 Jamaica Dental Mission
The 2010 Jamaica Dental Mission was a success due to the dedication and diligence of seventy-three dental, pharmacy, and non-dental volunteers. The volunteers, including many SIU School of Dental Medicine students and faculty members, worked simultaneously at three clinics: Kew Park All Age School in Westmoreland, and Flankers Health Center and Cambridge Health Center in St. James. For eleven years, the Jamaica Dental Mission trip has promoted service to the underserved children and adults of Jamaica.
One of the goals of the Eleventh Annual Jamaica Dental Mission was to perform more fillings on children. Consequently, the Flankers Health Center was equipped to accommodate fillings for the first time in 11 years. Also, the number of fillings performed at the Cambridge Health Center this year increased from number of fillings performed in 2009 when the filling program was started. Members of the dental mission were excited that we were able to fill teeth at all three clinics, because there is a tremendous need to save decayed teeth in children and adults.
In total, over 1,300 patients were examined and treated by dental professionals. Over 800 adults and over 500 children received dental care. Treatment procedures included preventive and restorative care—cleanings, fillings, and extractions, among other procedures. Many of the children received fluoride treatments and dental sealants. In addition, each patient received a toothbrush and tooth paste along with information on maintaining good oral health.
“There was a large turn-out of patients at all three clinics, and we worked long hours to ensure that everyone was seen and that everyone received quality dental care,” said Dr. Dwight McLeod, Chair of the Department of Applied Dental Medicine at the SIU School of Dental Medicine and the organizer of the annual dental mission. Dr. McLeod grew up in Montego Bay.
Dr. McLeod expressed his sincere appreciation to all the volunteers “for embracing the humanitarian cause of giving and sharing.” He acknowledged the support of the Savanna La Mar Rotary Club and the Montego Bay East Rotary Club. He also cited individual and corporate sponsorship as vital to the success of the annual Jamaica Dental Mission.
Photo Caption 1: 2010 Jamaica Dental Mission Volunteers