International Educator - July/August 2014 - 41

JESSICA FOGG

Mount Ida College
dental hygiene
students taught
proper oral hygiene
instructions when
they visited an
elementary school
in Quito, Ecuador.
Students scored
the chidren's oral
hygiene index
by using a pink
disclosing solution.
The dye in the
solution turned
the plaque on
their teeth pink to
allow the children
to visually see
where they needed
to improve their
brushing. The
children loved the
whole process and
giggled at their
pink teeth.

Pediatric Dentistry Elizabeth Shick says a huge draw is
establishing a sustainable, ongoing program.
"We're moving away from the old dental mindset
where you go somewhere for a week or two, pull 300
teeth, and go home," she says. "That doesn't really help
solve overriding oral health issues."
In its place, she says, her school is working with a large
company in Guatemala to open a permanent dental clinic
in an area near large banana plantations, where workers
are impoverished and need regular care. Shick says the
community is made up of 30,000 people with no access
to dental or medical care.
"We'll make the first trip this summer," she says. "We
can do fillings and restorative work, keep electronic records, and go multiple times a year with dental students
and faculty members." She hopes to provide comprehensive dental care with a twist: also providing training
to local nurses. The medical side of the clinic, she says,
is already open and includes a birthing center that will
also offer midwife training from visiting physicians and
trained experts.
"We're planning to start with four trips per year, about
every three months, at least," she says. "It's a start. We're
hoping to go more often as time goes on, but that's how
we're starting." A planned needs assessment this June is
being followed by the inaugural student trip in July; that
trip will include eight fourth-year students and one faculty
member. Because there isn't funding for these trips, meaning students have to pay their own way, they're offered as
elective courses, which allows student loan funds to be

used. She hopes a quarter to half of the dental class will
eventually participate every year.
"One trip a year isn't what we were looking for," she
says. "We want something sustainable to provide consistent care for the people in that country. If you have a lot
of dental decay, which they do, not all of your needs can
be met once a year."
That's the feeling also of Rosie Bellert, dental hygiene
director at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline,
Washington, which sends dental hygienist students to Bolivia to both work on teeth and help train local residents to
be dental professionals. Working through Smiles Forever,
a nonprofit that works in that area, Bellert has been to the
country twice with students.
"We took students down there to help with teaching
and help with community service projects," she says. "Kids
there have abscesses, gingivitis, issues with their dental
tissues that deter healing in the whole body." They also
visit orphanages to clean teeth; many of the children have
never experienced that before. "We went to one village
and brought three oral surgeons and one dentist with us,"
she says. "Working with portable chairs, they saw 56 kids
between the ages of six and 18, and extracted 150 teeth
that were abscessed and needed to be extracted. The kids
just hung around-they wouldn't leave. They really wanted
those teeth that had been bothering them out, and they
knew the dentists wouldn't be back for six months or a year."
"Another issue in Bolivia is that there are no hygienists traditionally, so we're kind of pioneering that," she
says. "Training dentists on how to use hygienists is pretty
difficult. So we explained continuing education and explained how to use them to clean teeth, and helped get
them hired afterwards. After 10 or 12 years [since Smiles
Forever started working], we're starting to come to the
point where dentists know hygienists are well-trained and
can be trusted. They're starting to get hired more quickly
as dentists understand that they can increase production
by cleaning people's teeth."
Bellert's first trip to Bolivia in 2011 was a partnership
between Shoreline College and several other hygienist
programs in Washington. "It was kind of cool to have different schools represented on that trip," she says. They
stayed in a dorm-like building with a house mother and
immersed themselves in the culture, taking particular care
to eat local foods.
Students receive three credits for the trip, which is offered as an elective. Bellert has applied for funding for
a 2015 trip, and says she'd like to take nursing students
along with her hygienist students. "There's so much opportunity," she says.
J U LY + AU G . 1 4 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

41



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - July/August 2014

Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan: Overcoming Decades of Devastation
All Smiles
In Brief
Voices: Kakenya Ntaiya: Founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence
Education Abroad
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - In Brief
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 5
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 6
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 7
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 8
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 9
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 10
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 11
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 12
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 13
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 14
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 15
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 16
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 17
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Voices: Kakenya Ntaiya: Founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 19
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 20
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 21
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan: Overcoming Decades of Devastation
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 23
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 24
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 25
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 26
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 27
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 28
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 29
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 30
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 31
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 32
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 33
International Educator - July/August 2014 - All Smiles
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 35
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 36
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 37
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 38
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 39
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 40
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 41
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 42
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 43
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 44
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 45
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Education Abroad
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 47
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 48
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 49
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 50
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 51
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Forum
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 53
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 54
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 55
International Educator - July/August 2014 - In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover4
International Educator - July/August 2014 - SCover1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - SCover2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S4
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S5
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S6
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S7
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S8
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S9
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S10
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S11
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S12
International Educator - July/August 2014 - SCover3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - SCover4
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