Dental Report: June 21, 2014

Dentists: Dr. Megan Burns
Managers:  Alberto Jorge Espindola, Sonia Ventura
Volunteers: Julia Freidenberg, Patrick Anghel, Aries Lu, Andrew Mikhail, Valeria Lopez-Ramirez
X-ray Tech: Mathew Baldwin
Procedures: COE (x), BW (x), PA (x), Comp (x), Ext (x), Fluoride Varnish (x8), OHI (x)

Looking back at my first trip with Flying Sams and PDS, I am so impressed and honored to be a part of such a dedicated group. I was not sure what to expect at clinic in regards to materials, patients, or even doctors. I am genuinely touched by the tremendous efforts of anyone involved in the building of this clinic. The location was somewhere near Ensenada and was a little over 2 hours driving from the border. The building housed 5 rooms each dedicated to a specific field (pharmacy, medical, consultation, x-ray sterilization, and dental). It was busy in the waiting room by the time we got there, yet somehow the chaos was kept at bay with translators and various stations available for the patients to rotate through.

The day was long. It took roughly double to triple the time it normally would to examine and treat a patient. The prolonged time was due to wait time on x-ray film development and some sterilization hiccups. For instance, we are restricted to a manual autoclave. We had to clean our one periosteal which does not lend itself well to back to back extraction cases!

However, to expedite the procedures we would take x-rays on multiple kids (getting them in and out of the chair fairly quick) while waiting for them to develop.   We would also anesthetize one, then seat a different child in the chair, take x-rays, finish the previous child’s treatment etc.

Dr. Megan BurnsThis leads me to our next overview—all of the patients seen on Saturday were kids! We were SO EXTREMELY lucky to have Dr. Megan Burns as our pediatric dentist. I cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are for her services. Her infectious personality inspired all of us to keep working hard and diligently. She had quite the positive impact on the children as well with fun metaphors and calming techniques. Dr. Megan was extremely attentive and we learned one can observe a lot about a patient (specifically children) just by body language.

The whole day overall was pretty fluid.   We would set up trays and break down the chair with hustle! I was really proud of chairside assistants and x-ray technicians. Everyone knew their duty, instruments and procedures in a knowledgeable way. Everyone was exposed to both amalgam and composite fillings on children as well as extractions. The families and kids were so gracious for the care provided, giving us hugs and kisses—it was so sweet.

The only drawback was that absolutely no one spoke English! So all of us who aren’t proficient in Spanish did our best to find creative ways to interact with the kids (broken Spanglish included). We also had to end the day “early.” Our last two patients got x-rays taken with the hopes of treating them next visit.   Something with the pump or vacuum malfunctioned at the very end so no water or suction was available. Fortunately, neither of them were experiencing unbearable pain so they can wait for treatment until next time.

After clean-up we explored a fish market and ate the best authentic Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life. The whole trip was a worldly experience I would like to repeat as many times as I am able to! To put it simply: How was it? Answer: Simply amazing.

I would encourage any and all to come and help out. It is one of the most fulfilling days I’ve had at a clinic, truly. Thank you to Flying Sams for creating such a helpful and accessible treatment facility for those in need.


Julia Freidenberg

Needed Items

  • Pediatric Rubber Dam & Frame
  • Intermediate Bite Block
  • Molt
  • Curing Light Barriers
  • Small Wedges
  • Extra Short Needles
  • Sectional Matrix Bands (Kidney Bean)
  • Longer Trashcan

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