Our goal is to provide free dental care to the less privileged around the world. There are literally billions of people who have no access to dental care. Most are simply resigned to suffering. Dentists Without Borders. Org would like to change that situation. Our objective is to provide dental care to as many as we can.
Almost 100 per cent of the rural population and a vast majority of the poor population living in urban areas of underdeveloped nations have absolutely no dental care. This translates into billions of people. From our own experience and the experience of other volunteers who have been in the frontlines for many years, it is well recognized that there is urgent need for dental care in many regions of the world. Pain and suffering is common. In rural areas, where there is no dental care at all, infected teeth are extracted with the help of pliers or twine, without the luxury of local anaesthesia. There is no such thing as pain killers or freezing of tissue before extraction. It is always a case of extraction, surgery or extreme crisis situation.
A volunteer dentist who has been in the frontlines for almost 30 years has noted that “he has seen lines of people three blocks long waiting to receive dental care. These people are emergency cases and are in pain. Many who are unable to get in the doors of the clinic that day will stay in line all night to get in the next day.”
For one reason or another, dental care has been completely ignored in underdeveloped countries. There is no educational or prevention programs in place. Simple treatments such as application of sealant on the teeth of children and young adults will go a long way in delaying or preventing dental disease. Education and distribution of dental supplies such as toothbrushes and tooth paste at the village and street level will have a significant impact in improving the lives of a large number of people.
Our challenges are big but so are the rewards. We have a great opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of so many people. It is simply wonderful to see a face wrenched in pain turn into a smile after the treatment. You can see and feel a sense of appreciation and “thank you” in patient’s eyes. At the end of the day in the field you feel tired and yet so wonderful. Such experiences are unforgettable. No wonder, frontline warriors keep going back after the first experience. It is amazing that rewards can be so big with such little investment.
We are citizens of one world. Wherever we go, we are there to help. We must treat all with respect and dignity. Helping others is a privilege.