ITS NOT ABOUT THE STATISTICS
A 16 year old girl who doesn’t attend school but is the niece of one of the support staff of the Soksan International School. She comes from a very poor family in the village where they struggle to put meals on the table let alone understand the importance of dental health. Her Aunty approached Solar Smiles and asked if we could see her as she was in pain.
When she presented, her 4 front upper teeth were rotted to the gum line with only small black stumps showing. As you can imagine the rest of her mouth was in a similar condition. My Solar Smiles team ended up extracting 11 black stumps of permanent teeth in total, whilst filling as many others as we could and applying Fluoride to give the teeth she had left as much protection as possible.
This case breaks my heart, as I’m not sure that even with the help of a translator she fully understands that she will never have teeth across the front of her mouth for the rest of her life. This will impact not only how she will eat and speak but her ability to obtain a good job and kind and loving husband due to her personal appearance. It’s hard to imagine this ever happening to an Australian child.
With the help of 2 kind Rotarians and 1 Rotary Club, Solar Smiles through the use of our Cambodian Dentist Dr Boran Sueng was able to provide her with upper and lower ceramic bridges.
Once fitted her smiles was contagious and she was so grateful that people in a different country cared enough about her to give her this loving gift of a smile.
A middle aged woman had contracted HIV from her now deceased husband. She entered our clinic shuffling with her head hung low, shoulders rolled forward and not making eye contact with any of us.
Through the translator we found out that she had been in pain for quite a while with a severely broken down tooth and had been to two local dentists with enough money to pay for treatment but who had refused to treat her due to being ‘dirty’ from her condition.
My Solar Smiles team was able to perform the difficult surgical extraction of the badly broken down tooth and put some stitches in, all whilst treating her with the love, dignity and respect she deserved. Even after the difficult procedure, she jumped out the chair and wrapped her arms tightly around my Dentist and the Dental Assistant in gratitude of our help. As the team leader it brought me to tears.
For the following week we were in the village, she dropped into the clinic every few days again just to thank the team for helping her out.
Through Rotary Australia Community Services (RAWCS), Solar Smiles Dental Charity is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission ABN 37 739 341 003