Stories from the Islands
A BRAND NEW SMILE
Republic of Palau
A smile opens doors. It shows the kind of comfort and confidence that helps us create friendships and relationships. So, imagine how difficult it could be for a young person in Pohnpei struggling with tooth decay. You don’t smile; you don’t show your teeth. You feel self-conscious in public; social interaction is difficult and the constant pain in your mouth makes you feel sick all the time.
That’s why it was so incredible that our Dental Super Team brought an innovative new procedure to change lives and restore smiles. Dr. Dave Kanas (who you can see on the cover) returned to Pohnpei for his second trip with a technique to fabricate resin fixed bridges that could replace decayed teeth. The best part was that the procedure only took two days and was much more cost and time effective than traditional porcelain bridges. We called it the “Pohnpei Snap Bridge.”
Imagine coming in to the Canvasback clinic with decaying front teeth, unsure of what could be done other than removing them. Our smiling team would greet you and two days later, you’d leave with a beautiful smile of your own!
Even better, our team taught the local dentists how to make the “Pohnpei Snap Bridge” and left the materials for them to create 100s more!
But why stop there? Our teams wondered why tooth decay was so prevalent in young people, so they went to the heart of the problem and created a plan to work with Pohnpei Dental Services to provide preventive sealants for elementary students and address dental problem at a young age. In addition, we’re beginning dental clinics in remote villages so that no matter where people live, they have access to dental health.
We’re so proud of our volunteers and the smiles they left behind!
Article from Onboard 2019 in Review