Drs. Craig Kinzer and Dwight Simpson from Jackson Creek Dental Group, along with their families, recently returned from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic where they performed general dentistry on over 700 kids in five days. “These folks cannot afford to go to dental offices for fillings so we treated a lot of acute trauma, did fillings, root canals therapies, extractions and cleanings,” stated Dr. Kinzer. “We were also joined by Dr. Jared Ruminson, DDS and Dr. Reginald Rice Jr., an ENT who performed a cleft palate surgery on a young boy while we were there.”
They went on the mission trip with a total of 55 people including their immediate families and members of their church, Placerville Seventh Day Adventist in Placerville. Part of this group included 33 junior high and high school students. While the dentists and some of the volunteers handled the dental clinic, others were building a church for the local people and conducting vacation bible school for 500+ children. They also spent time at a local orphanage run solely on donations. The group set up a recurring program to help run the orphanage, and the students spent the day with the orphaned kids bringing them clothes and toys and taking them to the park to play. To give you a feel for the area they were in, armed guards were hired to protect them when they went out to play in the park.
“This was such an emotional time for everyone,” said Dr. Simpson. “We all got extremely attached to these kids, and the dedication of the church to the community the night before we left was very rewarding for everyone who attended.”
The group was also aided by three local students who were bilingual, and the local dentist, Dr. Samuel Pena. A resident of the town let them use an unfinished house in the neighborhood to set up the dental clinic. Although they took their own portable dental units, chairs and generator with them, they struggled with consistent power outages, working in weather that was 95%humidity. All of the dental supplies that were needed were donated by United States dental supply companies.
For more information contact Jackson Creek Dental Group at (209) 223-2712.
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