Oral Health Group

Ayuda 2013

July 1, 2013
by Dr. Timothy Milligan, DDS and Melissa Milligan, DMD

This past April, Doctors Timothy and Melissa Milligan had the privilege of joining forces with AYUDA to provide dental care to an underprivileged population of a town that’s an hour outside of Antigua, Guatemala. AYUDA is the Spanish translation for “help” and that is exactly what this organization strives to do.

Founded 47 years ago by Dr. Harris Done, this group of students and supervising dentists is based out of Southern California. Students from all four years at the University of Southern California provide free dental care at a local dental clinic on portable chairs. At the end of the year, they are then selected to join the annual international trip. Thanks to a connection created by Dean Shuler, the new Dean at UBC Dentistry, there are two UBC students that are selected to join the group along with their professor, Dr. William Brymer. Melissa was one of the students chosen last year and the Canadian presence continued to flourish. William invited his brother, Dr. Peter Brymer, and Dr. Carolyn Poon Woo’s daughter, a student at USC, invited her.


In total, there were five Canadian doctors out of 15 this year. The clinic was set up in an outer courtyard of a local school, where we hung tarps to shield ourselves from the sun. We saw patients for four days and triaged the clinic into screening, radiology, anesthesia, oral surgery, and restorative. The main goal of the clinic was to treat as many children as possible and the number of caries was overwhelming. While the work was extremely rewarding, there was still a significant amount outstanding. Having been a part of such a well-run organization, we became inspired to bring something like this back to Canada. Discussions with Dean Haas have begun and we are excited at the prospect of getting students involved locally and globally to use their acquired skill set to help those less fortunate. OH

Dr. Timothy Milligan graduated from University of Toronto in 1974 and became very active in organized dentistry. He was active in many organizations including the West Toronto Dental Society, the Ontario Society of Preventive Dentistry, Toronto Academy of Dentistry, and Crown and Bridge Study Club. Dr. Milligan was also co-chair for Ski for Kids with Sick Kids Hospital and chair of the student liaison committee for the O.D.A.

Melissa Milligan graduated from University of British Colombia in 2012 and is currently studying in the post-graduate Orthodontics program at U of T.

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