San Gabriel is a small town in the foothills of the Southern Sierra Madre mountain range, which runs East/West thru Oaxaca. The town has less than 5,000 inhabitants and most of them are very needy, leading meager lives. For many, dentistry is beyond their reach, so a decision was made to move in for a week with portable dental equipment invented and designed by Gayle Cheatwood, DDS, FADI, along with medical, gynecological, and vision specialists with equipment to check eyes and glasses to distribute. Some of these people have been unable to read for years, and the look on their faces as they see the words again is heartwarming beyond imagination.
We provided consults, exams, restorations, SDF applications, and extractions, one even being from a left nostril of a bean shaped toy which had been lodged in the child's nose for 3 years! (Extraction with cotton pliers and no anesthetic!)
As I have mentioned in all of my reports of experiences in needier parts of the world, the experience is life changing and allows one to realign his/her sights on what in life is really important. It is an excellent cure for burnout, you may be aware.
I include pictures of the site, the equipment and a few of my seeing patients in the screening/anesthetic area with only a regular chair for patients.
Dr. Cheatwood's foundation is www.dentalvisionmission.org and is doing wonderful work in the world. His lightweight dental chairs and the pelican case operating units (which can be checked as luggage like a suitcase) can be purchased or rented from him or thru the Christian Dental Association (www.christiandental.org)
Ronald E. Fritz, DDS, MPH, FICD
Life Member, ADA, CDA, ICD, ACD, PFA, ADI