Friday, November 9, 2007

Pulling Teeth


There is a group of three dentists from Portland, Oregon who have set up a free dental clinic at the local Assembly of God church. This group has been putting in long hours this past week giving much needed dental care to over 300 villagers. They have my admiration and are planning to return in about nine months with their families and equipment. Until then they have to work with only manual dental tools. The three procedures they perform are: 1) showing people how to brush and floss, 2) clean and scrape plaque, and 3) pull teeth.

As I watched them pull teeth from pretty young girls, I could feel both their admiration about their Samoan patients who never complained, never showed pain, and accepted their fate. You can see their desire to teach dental hygiene and the destructive effects of sugared drinks. Their gallant efforts to bring relief to some is against the immense backdrop of poverty which limits getting a toothbrush or floss and seeking care until the only remedy left is pulling teeth.
Scenes from a Samoan Dental Clinic

1 comment:

Teri said...

Geez, I really hope they at least had Novocaine for the teeth extractions. Otherwise it would have to be very painful. Another one of the many things we take for granted in our American lives.