via CAAI News Media
19th Mar 2010
A group of dental students have just returned from their mission to Cambodia where they helped 1,500 children to better oral health.
Dr Monika Suorn, of the Tooth Angel Project, put together the team for the mission to Cambodia where dental treatment is a luxury and the average five year old has 8-10 decayed teeth.
The project – supported by Grahame Gardner Ltd – saw the team travel to many of the country's provinces, treating 1,500 children across five orphanages, using rudimentary facilities and a mobile dental laboratory.
The students were from the University of Manchester and have since returned to their studies after the three-week trip.
Jennifer Archer, a final-year student in dentistry at the University of Manchester approached Grahame Gardner to ask for support.
She said: ‘Our Cambodian adventure was an eye opener for all involved, from the second day after arrival we got stuck into extractions, fillings, scaling and oral hygiene advice. It was obvious from the start that this was going to be a big challenge! Many of the children had never received dental care and there were a few tears on occasions but, generally, the children were amazing, despite the basic conditions.
‘We experienced all levels of decay during our three-week mission. The average five year old child in Cambodia has 8-10 decayed teeth and some had been experiencing extreme infections and pain. Despite our training to help younger children, sometimes all it took was a blown up glove or a game of football to put a smile on their faces.'
‘We were also able to impart oral hygiene advice and give out donated toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste to all the children during the evening. Not only was the elective project an amazing dental experience but also a fantastic insight into Cambodian culture. We were the first UK students to join the Cambodian Enfants d'Asie (ASPECA) dental mission and we hope that we have now established a successful link that will continue to provide dental care to the children of Cambodia for years to come.'
Jenni's fellow students included Matthew Bullock, Danny Adam, Alex Payne and Shahrzad Dasti.
Grahame Gardner Ltd provided cool scrub suits from their range for the team. In addition they also provided a number of patterned scrub suits for the team to take over with them to give to the permanent team operating in Cambodia.
The team from Manchester University carried out the work with a group of volunteers for Enfants d'asie, which supports more than 8,000 children in 50 centres located in South East Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines.
For more information on the project, click here.
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