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Healthy teeth and bright smiles for Uganda
A team of Winnipeg dentists are heading to Uganda on a mission to tackle dental health one cavity at a time.
On July 5, the team, which includes St. James dentist Paresh Shah, and St. James orthodontist Tim Dumore, will head to Kampala as part of the Mondetta Charity Foundation’s Uganda Dental Clinic Mission.
There, they’re expected to see up to 1,400 children in the community of Kamwokya — where the MCF supports the local primary school — providing fillings and teeth cleanings, and even pulling some out.
"In Canada, dental care is expensive for sure, but most people are able to get the care they need," said Dumore, who lives in Headingley.
"I went to school, and worked hard, but I realize I got a good position in life and want to do something to help out."
The group has spent two years planning the trip, collecting supplies and dental equipment, to set up "a fairly full-functioning clinic," Dumore said.
But because the dentists have to see 1,400 children in the matter of a week, they won’t have the luxury of time to deal with dental problems that may arise after they leave.
"All of our treatments will have to be definitive treatments. We’ll have to either fill it or pull it out. We can’t do any orthodontics or anything like that," said Dumore, who’s been practicing for 21 years.
"It’ll be busy. We’ll do as much as we can to do as many as we can with the time that we have."
Also making the trip will be Tuxedo dentists Carla Cohn and Anastasia Cholakis, as well as Ken Shek of Academy Dental Group.
Some dentists will be bringing their families and children, who will be helping out, Dumore noted.
Megan Hart, a dental assistant who works with Dumore, said she’s nervous but excited about the upcoming trip.
She is eager to experience a more hands-on role when she gets to Uganda, including training the dentists’ families in how to help out and prepare for dental procedures.
"I’ll be doing more than I would traditionally do in a traditional office," said Hart, a St. James resident who has been working as a dental assistant for three years.
"I’ll get to diagnosis things more than I would here."
When the dentists leave, the equipment that was shipped over will stay, Dumore said, adding the team will be hopefully get into classrooms to teach kids about oral health
Dumore hopes that may leave a legacy and encourage other dentists from the city, or across the country, to visit the school in coming years.
"Hopefully we can talk to other dentists around Winnipeg or anywhere around the world, really, and they can go in the future and make it a clinic that can be attended anytime," he said.
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(1 of 10 articles for this week)06/14/2013 1:00 AM 0