Rye Smiles for Life
10614 Warwick Avenue, Ste A, Fairfax, VA 22030
Over Labor Day weekend, while my kids were getting ready to go back to school, I was on a dental training mission to the Dominican Republic. I was part of a group of about 30 dentists organized by Dr. Arun Garg of Implant Seminars. To date dentists associated with Implant Seminars have provided more than $1.5 million in gratis health care. Over three days, we treated hundreds of patients who waited for hours for the free care.
I arrived late Thursday night after flying to Miami for a connecting flight to Santo Domingo. I had just enough time for a good night of sleep before meeting my transportation to the Universidad to begin work Friday morning. We began at 8:30, and worked through 9 pm.
On arriving at the facility, we saw prospective patients waiting to be screened for treatment. Patients were selected in advance based on financial need, and clinical exams including a panoramic radiograph completed before treatment.
After meeting other members of the team, we jumped right in. We initiated implant procedures, placing implants for those that could not afford the procedures without assistance. In many cases, preliminary bone work was necessary before implants could be placed. I began work with a dentist from New Jersey. We performed a maxillary sinus lifts, bone augmentation, and placed implants. One of our patients, a forty one year old female, had no posterior teeth. She received sinus lifts and bone augmentation so that in six months she will be ready for implants.
I lost track, as most of us did, of how many patients we actually saw, how many implants we placed, and how many procedures we performed. I was keenly aware, however, of the feeling one gets when one donates his time, talents and training to a population in need. I am grateful for the unparalleled training I received on this trip as well as the smiling, appreciative faces I encountered along the way.
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