SRW Accomplishments

THE "NO CAVITY CLUB" IN SIQUATEPEQUE, HONDURAS

Amber with patientBy Anne Schacherl

From October 31 to November 8, 2014, the dental team from Main Street Dentists in Verona, WI, saw 145 patients at the clinic in Siquatepeque. This included all of the children who attend the local school, members of the teaching staff at the school, the clinic's head physician, foster parents, orphans, guards, extended families associated with the Honduras clinic, and children from two orphan group homes. In addition, the local school reached out to seven older children who attend a nearby school who had never seen a dentist. Our team saw and treated these children as well.

This year's team members included Drs. John and Kate Schacherl, dental hygienists Denise Jacobsen and Tanya Kudinenko, and dental assistants Brenda Maxwell and Jean Foley. On this mission, the team was assisted each day by Spanish language interpreters who are fifth grade students at the local school.

Over the past five years since the clinic was established, teams have traveled to provide care nearly every six months. At the beginning of this endeavor, it was Dr. Schacherl's goal to work with the school community to teach the value of good dental health and especially preventive dental care. Most of the children who were initially seen five years ago had never brushed their teeth, had never learned about the value of good dental health, and had never seen a dentist. Many children had rampant decay, mostly in baby teeth, and more than a few were experiencing chronic dental pain -- some so severe that their parents told stories of how the pain kept them from sleeping through the night.

This meant anesthesia and hours of work for the teams, together with pain and fear for the young patients. The results, five years later, have been nothing less than miraculous. We were most encouraged by the improved oral health and good brushing and flossing habits of the local school children. All are brushing after lunch each day at school with the help of their teachers, as well as at home with their families. On this mission, many children that we saw were accompanied by both mom and dad, which was an added bonus. We instructed numerous parents in proper dental care techniques and sent all family members home with new brushes and floss.

The biggest news was that nearly all of those children who braved four quadrant restorations in the past, many a recently as six months earlier, were cavity-free!

And then there's the clinic itself. Over the past several years, numerous improvements have been made to the dental clinic. The most recent was the new air conditioning, which was "asombroso" relief from the 90 degree heat and humidity. The two-room clinic now boasts four treatment chairs, and dedicated areas for radiography, medical records, sterilization. Plentiful storage cabinets have also been added, providing multiple supply stations. All of these additions are significant improvements from the two-chair, (noisy) indoor air compressor facility we used just five years ago.

It is a privilege to share our services with the people of Honduras. Each patient we see is so appreciative of the care they receive. With each trip, we see improvement, and that is most gratifying. Our long-term goals are to train local Honduran dentists to use the clinic for the benefit of area patients, and to recruit other dentists, hygienists and assistants to join the missions. If you are interested in learning more about this humanitarian work, either as a participant or to make a donation, contact Dr. Schacherl at john.schacherl@gmail.com.



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E-mail: mdowl@tds.net   •   Phone: (608) 445-8503
2405 Industrial Drive, Madison, WI 53713

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