On June 26th, 2018, a Doctors Without Borders team launched its fifth tour in Brazil, offering dental aid for indigenous people in the Amazon region who ordinarily have no access to dentists. Dentsply Sirona supports the team of dentists, doctors and medical students by providing material, manpower and equipment, including CEREC, which enables dental professionals to provide patients with restorations in a single visit.
Once every year since 2014, a team of 120 volunteers from Brazil, among them doctors, general and specialist dentists, and medical students, has gone to areas of the country where indigenous people of the Amazon region live. Under the patronage of the NGO Doutores sem fronteiras (DSF), they provide dental and medical aid there.
On June 26, volunteers headed to the region surrounding the Guapore River, including indigenous communities and Baixo Madeira. The first part of the tour will be by boat with medical equipment. Dentsply Sirona provides CEREC AC units and milling machines as well as CEREC Speedfire sintering furnaces, CEREC blocks, adhesive cements, filling material, and endodontic motors and files.
“Our idea is to support an important social issue, such as dental aid for indigenous people in the Amazon region, with highly developed technology,” says Fabiana Schleder Ruiz, Dentsply Sirona Marketing Manager for CEREC in Europe, Canada and Latin America. “The expedition will benefit from having technology that functions reliably under a variety of working conditions and can contribute to helping the people there safely and quickly.”
Private commitment and technological investment
The initiative to organize dental aid in the Amazon region, the first such initiative of its kind, was started by dentist Dr. Caio Machado in a Cuñia Lake Reserve in 2014. Dr. Machado established DSF as a non-governmental organization (NGO) because of the lack of support from local governments. This year’s aid campaign will reach 30 different indigenous peoples and several communities in the state of Rondônia over a 35-day period.
2017 marked the first year that Dentsply Sirona took part in this effort. Marketing Director Erikson Mignon and CAD/CAM Product Manager Marilia Lima, both from Brazil, ensured that CEREC equipment was available and could be used by dentists in the various communities such as Paiter Surui, Urueu-Wau-Wau, Cinta-Larga, Amondawa, and Aikanã.
Dr. Machado noted this commitment demonstrates that the company embraces its social responsibility. “We are very pleased to have a competent partner in Dentsply Sirona,” he acknowledged during the expedition in Brazil. “The modern technology from Dentsply Sirona enables first-class treatments in the most remote regions on earth like in the middle of Amazonia. We can treat people on site with high quality, durable restorations.”
Last year, the team completed approximately 1,100 treatments. This year, the number of treatments is expected to grow to 1,500, using endodontic, implant and restorative treatments with CEREC. The need is great: when people do not know how to take care of their teeth because they do not have access to toothbrushes or toothpaste, not to mention dentists, the result often leads to periodontitis and, ultimately, tooth loss. The inhabitants really appreciate the help. They speak in respectful tones of CEREC as “the machine that makes teeth.”
Support from charitable institutions
The Doctors Without Borders aid campaign depends on the dedication of those who work in the field and pay their own costs as well as those institutions, such as the Indian National Foundation, the Indigenous Health Secretary, and the Kaninde Association, that support organizations such as DSF with their contributions.
Thanks to the contributions from these organizations, the personal efforts of many volunteers, and the support from Dentsply Sirona in the form of equipment, material, and manpower – around 10 representatives of the company accompany the expedition – the people here will get exactly the help they so urgently need. Dentsply Sirona is proud to contribute to this initiative and assume its social responsibility in this way.
Learn more about DSF (Doutores sem Fronteiras) at www.dsf.org.br