Keith R. Brinkman serving with Mercy Ships. This is another way for me to communicate with you all what is happening. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos and entries.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

KRB Update - Dental

KRB Update #2184 – Dental

Keith R. Brinkman    26 January 2013

Serving as Dr. Denny's Translator in El Salvador

Greetings from the nation of Guinea, West Africa. While serving as a bookkeeper at the International Office in Texas back in 1991, I had the great opportunity to meet up with the Good Samaritan ship in Guyana in South America. I worked as a dental assistant with the dental team (with Dr. Bud and Dr. Denny) in Alboystown – it was an amazing experience. In later years with the Caribbean Mercy in Central America, I assisted with screenings – please see the photo with Dr. Denny in the nation of El Salvador, where I was serving as his translator.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you about the Dental Team with the Africa Mercy. Dental is an extension of the hospital department and part of Programs overall. They set up their clinic in a location ashore in town and provide screenings twice a week for up to 450 waiting patients. We have equipped our clinic with 8 dental chairs based on having 4 dentists and each dentist having two chairs – as one patient is being prepped the dentist is taking care of the other patients. Currently, we have three long term dentists which has been great for the team. We also have a dental chair for the dental hygienist.

Most of the people have not been to a dentist in their life, including one of my patients, Mamadou, that I visit regularly. He ended up needing five extractions and five fillings performed over two appointments by my Aussie friend, Dr. Toni.

Our Guinea Smiles Dental Team with their 4,000th Patient
To date since late August, over 5,300 patient encounters with those receiving over 20,500 procedures – over 400 to the dental hygienist and 500 dentures have been provided. All are provided with basic oral health education (to date over 4,000 patients) and the teams have gone into local schools to teach the children and their teachers. One of the chaplains shares with them about Mercy Ships and why we are here and are available to pray with anyone as they await to receive their treatment.

Sometimes the team head out for extreme dentistry as in the recent case to the Men and Women’s Prison here in Conakry – these are the same prisons that our Mercy Ministries teams visit on Saturday mornings. Our Dental Team treated all those with dental needs, 325 men, women and young people. Next month, the team will be going to the village of Ouéndé-Kénéma, outside of Guéckédou, a day and half drive from here. In addition to dental services for four days, we will be screening for facial tumors, cleft lip, cleft palate, and lipomas.

Please pray for our Guinea Smiles Dental Team for the rest of this field service as they care for the people of Guinea.

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