On Wednesday I had the opportunity to visit the Dental Clinic, my first day and its' last day. My friend Ben was also there for his minor job as assistant Dental Sterilizer. I was able to come because the Dental Team Coordinator, Sieh, had promised me that he would work out a day that I could come. So at 7:30am sharp I met the Dental Team in Midships for their devotions and met the people I did not know. Around 8:15 or so we headed out to the Land Rovers and left for the clinic. Once there, we met the nine dayworkers and had devotions with the entire team. Then Ben started sterilizing with Rosemary, and everyone headed down to the 2nd floor to start work. Joyce and Abdulai worked admissions and the two dentists, dental hygienist, dental assistants, and dayworkers prepped for the patients. I was told that they did not have a job for me, but that I was free to observe. Which after about 3-4 hours of observing and lunch, turned into assisting. Joan, one of the dentists, asked if I wanted to take over Devo's job of assisting. Why not? So I took charge of the suction tube and was able to see even better.
Most of the work was pulling teeth. Some teeth (the more rotten ones) came out really easily, but there were the stubborn few that had to be sectioned. Once the tooth came out and the hole was cleaned, cow tendon was packed inside, the gum was sutured if necessary, the patient was given pain meds, explanations on how to take care of their mouth and sent on their way. A patient came in who had serious infection in both jaws and needed to have a lot of teeth removed. I pulled out 5 of his teeth. It was like pulling a nail out of wood, but the pus that came out after the tooth was gross. I was so thankful for the dental care that I have received back home.
After the last patient, the clinic was partially dismantled and packed up. The rest of the packing will be completed next week. I had fun while helping with Devo, Mawu, and Dodji. Devo had taught them a hand slapping game and paper, rock, scissors so we were playing that off and on. We had a lot of fun!
|Rosemary is the Dental Team Sterilizer, basically she works in the hot and sweaty part of the clinic|
|Devo, Mawu, and Joan|