Bringing Dental Services to Nearly 2000 People in Need in Ethiopia

Posted on October 9, 2013

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking their dedication for service to Ethiopia, five Smile Generation-trusted dentists and eleven Pacific Dental Services team members recently returned from a trip to serve the dental care needs of the people of The Tigray Region in Ethiopia. During the weeklong trip, the team provided critical oral care to residents who otherwise have no access to dental services.

While in the region of Tigray, The Smile Generation dental care team collaborated with dentists and dental students at the Ayder Referral Hospital. Ayder Referral Hospital is a teaching hospital for the College of Health Services, Mekelle University.  Together, the dentists were able to serve nearly 2000 patients, providing treatments that included extractions, fillings and hygiene. The patients served included adults and their children, members of the military and border patrol, and children from the local school for the blind.

The Smile Generation dental care team that traveled to Ethiopia included three general practitioners, one oral surgeon, and one pediatric dentist.  The doctors on the trip included Dr. Walter Jefferson, Sierra Lakes Dental Group and Orthodontics; Dr. Kenneth Burson, Falcon Park Dental Group; Dr. Tanisha Jackson and registered dental assistant Nichole Juarez, Redlands Dental Group and Orthodontics; oral surgeon, Dr. Kouros Izadi; and pediatric dentist Dr. Eric Ellis, Every Kid's Dentist.  Smile Generation-trusted offices were also represented by Barbara Vartanian, operations manager, San Clemente Dental Group and Orthodontics.  

Pacific Dental Services team members who joined the Smile Generation-trusted dentists in serving were Stephen Thorne, president, founder and CEO; Joe Feldsien, senior vice president of professional partnerships; Tom von Sydow, vice president of specialties; Matt Hall, director of marketing; Judy Forsythe, director of educational development; We Serve Manager Kyle Guerin; Mark Laramore, director of strategic business development/surgical services; Mario Mariscal, CAD/CAM support manager; and Keith Sloan, construction superintendent.

"It is truly rewarding to make a difference in someone's life," said Dr. Eric Ellis, Every Kid's Dentist. "I believe that it is my duty to give back, and I am very fortunate to be in a position to do so, and the smiles on the patients' faces as they left the clinic were priceless." 

Henry Schein Cares provided supplies and dental equipment, such as sterilizers and Nomad portable x-ray units, to the University to be used for treatments and as part of the continuing education for the Mekelle University dental students. The Smile Generation team will continue to partner with Mekelle University and Relief Society of Tigray (REST) to provide equipment, supplies and training to help improve oral healthcare in the region.  Procter and Gamble Crest Oral B provided toothbrushes and toothpaste to give to the local patients.

As part of the outreach trip, the members of the Smile Generation team were able to visit two villages in various stages of clean water projects. The clean water projects are the result of the partnership between Smile Generation and charity: water.  For every CEREC CAD/CAM completed in a Smile Generation-trusted office, a donation is made to charity: water. Charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

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