A group of volunteer dental assistants and dentists are at Holy Cross Anglican Primary School and are the first of two groups scheduled to visit the school over the next two weeks. The group of eight includes three local residents and five visitors from Minnesota, USA. Heading the expedition is Dr. Paul Roggow and his wife Linda.
According to the Roggows, they have teamed up with expatriates and dentist Dr. Mark Johnson and two dental assistants Bonnie Musbach and Norma Chin. The group has been divided into three groups, two tending to the dental needs of the children at the school’s dental clinic facility and the third group helping with teaching. “We are conducting everything that can be done in a normal dental clinic. We are doing restorative work such as filling and scaling, cleanings, flossing and even extractions if we really have to,” said Dr.Roggow. “Our main goal however, is to teach the kids how to homecare for their teeth. We are showing them how to save and take good care of their teeth.”Joining the Roggows on the expedition arehygienist Joan Johnson, dental assistant Rick Bigaouette and his wife, teacher Julie Bigaouette.
According to local Dental Assistant Bonnie Musbach who has been working with various groups of dental volunteers on the island, all the students at Holy Cross Anglican School have a dental record which makes their work even better. “We keep track of the dental records of all the students here.
We are seeing about 25 to 30 children per day and so we expect that for the next two weeks, we will see at least 300 children,” she said.The dental consultation at Holy Cross Anglican School is free of cost, and while they are working at a specific school, the clinics are open for all school children on the island. Once the child has been cared for by the team of dentists, they each receive a bag of goodies including dental floss, toothbrush and tooth-paste, plus they get to select a small gift.
Roggow said that this is the fifth year they have been coming to Belize through the partnership of Dr Johnson who owns the local beachside hotel, Conch Shell Inn. The Minnesota dental volunteers are expected to contribute one week of their two weeks stay on Ambergris Caye and a second group from North Carolina, USA is scheduled to take over on the second week of the clinic.Click here
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