eagleidahodental.com 151 N StiermanWay, Eagle, ID (208) 939-4111
TRIPS AND TREATS
Providing Aid in the Dominican Republic
Julie, Brenda, Dr. Thamason, Hanna, Kara
When I finished dental school, I took a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, which had a big impact on me. After getting off the plane in Santo Domingo, we boarded a bus that took us six hours into the country. We were working in remote villages, so we could only bring along a few tools and some anesthetic. As we drove further and further from the city, I grew increasingly excited at the prospect of providing dental care to people who would otherwise never receive it. After arriving, we built our base camp and prepared ourselves to work. The setup was, to put it mildly, rustic. There was a tree and a cow right next to us, but we made due with what we had. With flashlights affixed to our heads, we saw as many people as we could. Most of the work we did centered on pain relief, by which I mean we pulled a lot of teeth. A patient would tell us where it hurt, then we’d numb them and remove the problem tooth. Performing extraction after extraction reminded me of how lucky we are to have solid dental care here in America. Most of these residents were dealing with overwhelming tooth pain on a daily basis. It felt wonderful to provide what little help I could, and it’s an experience that will stick with me forever.
participating in a can drive to benefit local food pantries during the holiday season. We hope you’ll bring in some cans to contribute to our donation. We’ll be displaying them in the office as they pile
up, and we hope to have a nice pyramid by the end of the drive. If you bring in 5 cans, we’ll even be offering some discounts on treatment. Once I return from the Dominican Republic, my family will already be getting swept up in the Halloween frenzy. Avy, our 5-year-old, loves Halloween, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for a costume this year. Given that Halloween falls on a weekday, we might also have an office dress-up day to celebrate.
“With flashlights affixed to our heads, we saw as many people as we could. Most of the work we did centered on pain relief, by which I mean we pulled a lot of teeth.”
The reason I bring up this story is because I’ll be heading back to the Dominican Republic October 7–14 for another dental journey. This time around, I’ll be able to do some restorative work in addition to the emergency interventions. I’m not entirely sure what this trip has in store for me, but I can tell you that I couldn’t be looking forward to it more. Helping patients in need is one of the greatest joys of being a dentist, and this trip will no doubt be a chance to do that.
My bags aren’t quite packed yet, but I’m already making preparations for my trip.
Before I add another stamp to my passport, though, I want to wish everyone a wonderful Halloween. May your kids enjoy a night of costumes and candy. Well, maybe not too much candy.
– Dr. Chris Thomason
Of course, outreach isn’t just something you should do thousands of miles away. Throughout the holidays, Eagle Dental Care will be
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