The group left Canada on November 19, and returned December 6, enabling them to have 10 days of the clinic in operation. During this time, approx. 650 restorations (fillings) were done, and just under 300 extractions. On top of this were the preventative efforts of dental hygiene instruction, fluoride, cleanings, and resin tooth sealants. Most of the children were seeing a dentist for the first time. The group learned an appreciation for their clinic environment in Pincher Creek with its equipment, supplies, and air conditioning. In Siquijor, there were just fold-up wooden dental chairs, only head mounted lights, and of course no air conditioning. The temperatures were fairly consistent every day; with highs of 30 to 33 degrees, but the weather report says that it felt like 40 to 42 degrees with the humidity. The Pincher Creek team found the children to be delightful. They study English in school, so there can be some communication, especially with the older children.
Brenda Goasdoue, Dr. Steed, Susan Aker, and Aline Wenisch in Siquijor
The people were grateful for the dental team’s efforts, and the group felt that they were able to make a significant difference for the children they treated. The sponsors just pay for dental equipment and supplies, so the Pincher Creek office paid their own way for travel, accommodation, and meals; but it was a very worthwhile investment in helping those who have, according to the World Health Organization, one of the highest cavity rates in the world. There are only about three dentists on this remote island of approx. 110,000 people; and most of the children’s families that were seen could not afford treatment anyways. Siquijor Island is a beautiful place with sandy beaches and warm water, but the Pincher Creek dental team returned with a greater appreciation for what we have here in Alberta.