I was asked by a friend, who was joining a medical mission to Guatemala as a doctor, if I wanted to join. I went and my life was suddenly changed. I performed hundreds of extractions during this trip, and many hundreds more in subsequent missions. I was painfully, a witness and a protagonist of the crippling of a whole generation. Children would come to the clinic with 9, 10 totally destroyed teeth, a mouth in shambles, full of abscesses. They would leave without infection and relieved of their pain, but also, without their teeth.
In a conversation with my daughter, who has assisted me in some of these journeys, we found that our intervention was not without merit, but it certainly fell short of truly resolving the long term health problems of this community. A new generation of dental cripples is in the making.
It was then that the idea of mass scale prevention, an intervention that was inexpensive, simple and did not require patient compliance was born. We spoke about how the greatest expense in the US for placing sealants is the labor. By training local people to deliver this simple procedure, we could eliminate 80% of the cost. It is simple, it is effective and it works!
I now need help to take this functional model to the next level. To put together small, inexpensive, portable units that could be used to access children in schools, communities and remote areas. Perhaps to start a training center for the specialized dental delivery personnel.
– Dr Vinograd, DDS.