Bringing "hope that heals" nations.
Subject: Dental health education (Services)
Dental personnel (Services)
Author: Newman, Carolyn C.
Pub Date: 03/01/2007
Publication: Name: The Dental Assistant Publisher: American Dental Assistants Association Audience: Academic; Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Science and technology Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2007 American Dental Assistants Association ISSN: 1088-3886
Issue: Date: March-April, 2007 Source Volume: 76 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 360 Services information
Product: Product Code: 8043800 Dental Auxiliaries NAICS Code: 62121 Offices of Dentists SIC Code: 8049 Offices of health practitioners, not elsewhere classified
Persons: Named Person: Newman, Carolyn
Geographic: Geographic Scope: South Africa Geographic Name: Pretoria, South Africa Geographic Code: 6SOUT South Africa
Accession Number: 162786027
Full Text: An opening note from the Chair:

There are many possible avenues when it comes to volunteerism. Some may choose to offer their services to a local dental clinic serving the underprivileged; others may visit schools and speak to the children about the importance of good oral hygiene. And yet others may travel to a foreign country on a dental mission to work with those less fortunate. We have many ADAA members who volunteer their time on a regular basis.

Carolyn Newman travels to foreign countries to fulfill her desire to serve. Her story is truly inspirational and should make us all proud to be dental assistants.

Kristy S. Borquez, CDA, RDAEF, FADAA Chair, ADAA Committee for Volunteerism

Tembisa Township, Pretoria, South Africa, was the worksite of a Healthcare Ministries (1) team from the United States of America on September 29 to October 9, 2006. The population in this poor, underserved community is one million inhabitants. I was a volunteer with a team of 24 experienced medical/dental volunteers who provided medical, dental, optical, HIV testing, counseling, medicines, health care teaching in the local community, and HIV hospice care health care.

My work assignment prior to leaving for South Africa was to design a children's dental health care, and community health evangelistic curriculum. The dental health teaching aides included a dental health puppet, posters, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, and pamphlets. Consideration was given to a population that may not have access to toothpaste or floss. A script was developed that included instruction, time for practice, and a humorous skit involving the dental puppet.

Upon arrival to Tembisa, each morning we traveled with the local missionary, pastor of the International Bethel Assembly of God Church, and an interpreter to do a 30-minute presentation to various elementary schools in the township. The languages spoken in Tembisa were English, Zulu, and Afrikaans. A portable sound system was set up for use for the interpreter and me.

The children ranged in ages from 5 to 13 years old. All the children lined up in the courtyard at each school for the dental presentations. Each group was instructed to remember to "Brush all the teeth you want to keep," the letter "O" for brushing, and the letter "C" for flossing. A dental puppet presentation was done to demonstrate brushing and flossing. An explanation was given to the children on the importance of brushing and flossing, how dental decay develops, and alternative use of dental health care oral health aides.

Two children from the audience were selected to practice the lessons presented. Each school group was allowed a question and answer session about the presentation. Scripture posters of John 3:16 and Matthew 19:14 were presented prior to the local pastor speaking with the children. The children were also invited to attend a Children's Crusade meeting in the afternoons.

Copies of Edward Elephant: Help Stop Aids booklet (2) were distributed to the teachers for handouts for the appropriate aged children. Each principal of the school received a Crest poster (3) with information included on "How to Brush and Floss," the major challenges of dental health care, and an instruction sheet on how to handle dental emergencies. The principals expressed appreciation for the teaching aides because no health care teaching aides were available for the school curriculum.

A total of 3,000 children attended the schools' presentations along with teachers of each class.

After the morning school visits, I continued teaching oral dental health care on-site at the medical/dental clinic to adults and children. I also took blood pressure on the adult patients in the clinical waiting rooms, assisted in the pharmacy and placed dental sealants.

Both the adults and children enjoyed the entertainment by Mojo (4) and received samples of toothpaste and floss after the teaching sessions. Clinical statistics for the five-day, on-site clinic included a total of 1,806 patients seen with a total of 3,000 children receiving the school dental oral health instruction.

Donations of dental health care items were furnished by Healthcare Ministries, dental sealant material by Ultradent, (5) portable slow speed handpiece was on loan from World Dental Relief, Inc., (6) 3M ESPE Dental Company (7) donated a portable curing light, and Insight Media (8) donated a video teaching aide. Various members of Durham-Orange Dental Assistants Society, Piedmont Dental Assistant Society, and Blue Ridge Dental Assistant Society, and all local components of the North Carolina Dental Assistants Association, donated toothbrushes, floss, teaching pamphlets and Crest posters. Funding for cost of the trip was provided by dental friends, family, and a church class.

By Carolyn C. Newman, CDA, BS


(1.) "Hope That Heals"

(2.) Light for the Lost

(3.) Crest Dental Care

(4.) Paragon International, Zoo Animal Teaching Aides

(5.) Ultradent

(6.) World Dental Relief, Inc.

(7.) 3M ESPE

(8.) Insight Media

Carolyn c. Newman, CDA, BS, member of the ADAA Special Committee on Volunteerism, is a Program Manager with the Curriculum in Applied and Materials Sciences, at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and assistant to Chairman Sean Washburn, Ph.D. She has served as a past ADAA Fourth District Trustee, Past President of the North Carolina Dental Assistants Association, and Durham-Orange Dental Assistants Society. She has volunteer experience in Peru, Jamaica, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and South Africa. Carolyn has published articles on dental volunteerism and has guest speaker presentation experience at national, state, and local dental meetings. She is available upon request for professional seminars.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.