CHICAGO, Nov. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In a life-changing joint effort, eight dentists, three dental hygienists, four dental assistants and two support team members from Aspen Dental-branded practices, the nation's largest and fastest-growing branded network of dental care providers, and Global Dental Relief journeyed to Antigua, Guatemala with a unified mission to deliver crucial dental care and oral health education to more than 740 local school children. The mission is part of a joint effort to provide opportunities for care to the people who live in some of the world's most impoverished countries and marks the first time an Aspen Dental team has traveled to Guatemala.
"It's an amazing blessing to have the ability to take care of others and alleviate their pain. There were multiple instances in which a child would sit in my chair, and I would have to fight back tears," said Dr. Reham El-Hennawey, an endodontist from the Tampa, FL area. "These trips make a huge difference because not only are we helping the underserved communities at that moment in time, but hopefully educating them to be able to care for themselves in the future."
During their eight days on the ground (Nov. 2-10), the Aspen Dental "Smiles for Guatemala" team from across the United States delivered nearly 1,500 dental procedures to the children of Antigua, many having never seen a dentist before, greatly impacting their overall health to date. The assembled team of volunteers performed 596 fillings, 126 scaling and root planning procedures, 195 extractions and 488 fluoride varnishes, ensuring that the children could resume their daily lives pain-free and on the road to better overall health. Each child also received education on proper oral care to ensure that future complications are avoided.
The experience wasn't just life-changing for the children who received care. It also changed the lives of the volunteers.
"I thought we were going to help change the lives of these kids, but what I didn't know was how much they'd change mine," said Dr. Savannah Reynolds, Aspen Dental practice owner in Greenville, SC.
Dental assistant, Tammy Coffey of Kentucky added, "You come here to change the lives of children but what you realize is it makes you want to change the entire world. This has inspired me to want to continue to help people everywhere."
Previous trips have included Haiti, Honduras, Tanzania and Nicaragua, to name a few.
"The Smiles for Guatemala team of volunteers truly represents the commitment that dentists and teams from across Aspen Dental have to changing lives through proper dental care," said Dr. Arwinder Judge, Chief Clinical Officer at Aspen Dental Management, Inc. "Dental care is integral to overall health and poor oral hygiene can lead to multiple other health issues including problems with diabetes and heart disease down the road. That's why it is so important for us to carry out relief missions in countries like Guatemala, where people need it the most. We are proud to be able to make a real impact on lives."
About Aspen Dental Aspen Dental-branded practices are committed to breaking down the barriers so that patients can get the care they need today. With nearly 700 offices in 38 states, Aspen Dental practices provide a wide range of general dentistry and denture-related services and offer patient-friendly programs and services, including convenient locations, onsite labs and extended hours. Together, Aspen Dental practices cared for more than 1.7 million patients in 2017. For additional information about Aspen Dental or to find an Aspen Dental office, please visit www.aspendental.com.
About Global Dental Relief Global Dental Relief (GDR) was founded in 2001 as the Himalayan Dental Relief Project by former Director of Colorado State Parks, Laurie Mathews, and dentist Andrew Holecek. While on sabbatical in Nepal, Laurie and Andrew recognized the desperate need for dental care in a country which, at the time, had 120 dentists for a population approaching 24 million. To date, through their combined efforts, more than 2,300 volunteers have provided over $30 million in donated care to more than 145,000 children. For more information on Global Dental Relief, please visit www.globaldentalrelief.org.
About Aspen Dental Management, Inc. With an innovative model that takes care of non-clinical business and administrative services so that providers are free to focus on patient care, the team at ADMI is driven by one overarching purpose: To care for the people who care for the patients. ADMI makes it easier for clinicians to have the careers they've always dreamed of, delivering care to their patients with the support of a team of experienced business professionals who are committed to making their practices a success. Support provided by ADMI includes services and recommendations related to finding the right locations, leasing, acquiring equipment, accounting and marketing.