I want to go back

Dentist from UK

dentist_volunteerWe have had many wonderful dental volunteers, one of whom, Dr. Paul Richards, has generously donated his time and skills eight times since 2004. This month he shares a bit about his experience with AHC with all of you.

“I have been volunteering at the dental clinic since July 2004. My first visit was for a period of 6 months. The magic of the hospital and the children have lured me back many times.

I remember my first day very well. The dental clinic is situated at the rear of the hospital. As I approached at 8 a.m., I was surprised to see the dental waiting area almost full with children, most were in pain. I joined the dental team and started work. As we treated the children, more children came, there seemed to be an inexhaustible stream of children with dental pain.

Acute dental pain is an overwhelming pain. Many of the children had been in pain for several days. At the clinic we are able to painlessly and quickly remove the offending tooth and the child leaves pain free, often with a smile and a “wai” for the dentist and nursing assistant.

This is a truly rewarding experience of which I never tire. Word quickly spread that we could restore front teeth with tooth colored fillings and many teenagers, keen to regain their beautiful smiles, attended.

At Banteay Chhoeur School

I enjoy the outreach visits to schools and health centers within 50 kilometers of the hospital. The children are given oral hygiene instruction and dietary advice and those in pain have their teeth extracted in another room. Children who require additional treatment are given appointments for the hospital clinic.

The dental clinic also joins the homecare team for visits to Prektoul, a floating village on The Tonle Sap Lake. Working on the lake in the early morning is a wonderful experience.

AHC is a teaching hospital and the dental clinic receives students for an introduction to dentistry, which involves small group tutorials and demonstrations in operative dentistry in the clinic.

The hospital and the dental clinic have changed considerably since my first visit. Every time I return to AHC, there are changes that impress me. It is refreshing to see this relentless drive to improve and to see and feel the enthusiasm of the hospital team, which is providing the children with first class medical care.”

Dr. Paul Richards
Dentist, England.

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