Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Belize Mission Dental project back in San Pedro


A team of dental specialists and volunteers, mainly from the United States of America (USA), visited San Pedro Town to provide services to those needing them at no cost. The team of specialists, called the Belize Mission Project, visits every year, and this time, the group of dentists in San Pedro was joined by two islanders in the dentistry field.
The dental services were available from Tuesday, January 16th, to Friday, January 19th, at the San Pedro Lions Den on Barrier Reef Drive. The team included professionals stationed in other parts of the country focusing on other medical screenings such as hearing. In San Pedro, the American dentists were joined by islander and former Miss San Pedro 2022-2023 Faith Edgar and Jorge Mauricio Pleitez. Edgar is currently studying dentistry in the USA. Edgar told The Sun that such practical sessions are essential in this career, and it further introduces her to this field she has chosen.
Pleitez is a dentist looking to establish a clinic in San Pedro. Pleitez shared that he was exposed to dentistry from a very young age and pursued this career after high school. He studied in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, where he completed his studies and recently returned to the island as a dentist.
The team of dentists leading the Belize Mission Dental project explained that it is unusual for them to be in San Pedro in January. According to Dr. Tom Sentz, they usually come to Belize every year in October during the low tourism season when it is less busy. However, they could not travel to Belize last October. To not break the tradition of 30 years now, Sentz and other colleagues made the arrangements to travel to Belize again, but this time in January, to provide their anticipated dental services.
According to them, there was a steady flow of people visiting the Lions Den. The services they provided included fillings and extractions. Besides these services, an audiology team also came to the island. They attended to patients at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where they made evaluations and provided patients with hearing aids.
The free clinics left many island residents satisfied with the services. They thanked them for their efforts and generosity in providing services some cannot afford. The dentists advised people to care for themselves and brush their teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. They emphasized cleaning between the teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner. The team of dentists is to return in October this year.

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