Milner, who carried two Dental Travel Packs with him on a recent dental mission to Costa Rica, says, “The pack was great. The supplies were essential to meeting the needs of the people in Costa Rica. We saved many teeth which otherwise would have been left too long and then have to be extracted.”
The DTPs were used in a mobile setting where portable dental units were set up in various churches in Costa Rica. The team that travelled with Milner was able to treat 223 patients over the two-week period.
Milner says that the main health concerns from a dental perspective are access to basic cleaning and restorative services. There are also patients who require emergency care to relieve pain and infection by extracting teeth that are extremely decayed.
One patient that came for care had severe decay on her upper front teeth near the gum line. Milner says that without the treatment she received, she would probably have let her teeth decay beyond the point of being restorable. “We fixed her up and saved those teeth,” he reports, “giving her a new confident smile.”
A smile was also restored to a middle-aged man who presented with severely worn central incisors. “We bonded composite filling material onto the teeth using products from the DTP to restore his teeth and his self-esteem.”
He goes on to say: “Our missions require the type of materials you provide in your packs, as the days of extracting teeth are gone. The people benefit mostly from having their teeth restored. The supplies you provided allowed us to do that.”