Oral Health Group

A week on a mobile dental clinic

April 7, 2015
by Kahaliah Richards

For a week this past March we were fortunate enough to participate in an outreach mission to Honduras. The mission was lead by pediatrician Dr F. Gorodzinsky and pediatric dentist Dr. C. Friedman, and included pediatric residents, registered nurses and pediatric dentists; this was the first of fifteen years that dental students participated.  This has been the most eye-opening experience of our careers as dental students thus far. 2015 incl Honduras Mission 613

Together with the local oral health team, we created a pilot program whereby supervised tooth brushing will be implemented in primary schools. The “PUFA” oral health evaluative system, which identifies infection, was introduced to the public health team and was accepted with enthusiasm to help determine baseline and outcome impacts of any intervention.

P- pulp involvement

U- ulceration

F- fistula

A- abscess

2015 incl Honduras Mission 669This system is best used in countries where decay rates are extremely high (90-99%). In such situations, assigning DMFT values alone would not be appropriate and a more advanced description of the stage of infection is needed.
IMG_4246Research shows that supervised toothbrushing pro grams are one of the most effective ways to reduce caries rates. In high risk areas, such as rural Honduras, resources are scarce and a toothbrushing program can be a cost-effective way to reduce infection. For this reason, we decided, with the local dentists, to initiate a study in hopes of demonstrating how supervised toothbrushing can help reduce the prevalence of tooth decay.

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To find our more about this successful mission to honduras, please visit: https://hondurasmission2014.wordpress.com/author/hondurasmission2014/

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