Jambo


Maasai Molar Mission is to provide safe, quality dental care for the Maasai and surrounding community, Develop and sustain culturally appropriate dental programs for the regions schools, Work with the community health services to improve health outcomes and Collaborate with other organisations to ensure unity and growth 


August 2nd 2018 saw our band of merry dental professionals meet at Dubai airport laden down with boxes and cases full of dental provisions and 270 sanitary packs called angel wings from Rags to Riches to help stop period poverty. Our destination Aitong the Mara the home of the Nilotic ethnic group known as the Maasai.

We eventually arrived after a long flight and a 5 hour bus ride on African roads better known as an african massage!

Aitong has a community health clinic but resources are limited and there is not a dental clinic usually the Doctor will perform emergency treatments.

We set up make shift clinical areas and a sterilisation unit using the two slow cookers we took with us. Luckily we had electricity from an oil generator.

Teeth are a very important part of Maasai culture.
Historically the canine teeth and the two central lower teeth due to perceived illness prevention. We experienced many people asking for teeth to be removed for cultural reasons rather than necessity which caused interesting discussion between clinicians.

For 5 days we worked until we lost the light. Our team work system worked incredibly well using everyone to their competence, allowing us to see and treat as many people as we could.

We were able to connect with over 500 Children whom reside at Aitong school to avoid the perilous journey walking across the Mara, they each received dental health lessons and toothbrush & toothpaste thanks to our sponsors.

The end result:

  • 77 dental extractions 
  • 19 dental fillings 
  • 26 cleanings 
  • 81 child dental screenings 
  • 270 re-usable sanitary kits distributed 
  • dozens of oral health lessons 
  • 2000 toothbrushes and toothpaste distributed

Asante sana

I would like to thank Simi for being fabulous and looking after us in every way, the staff at Enaitoti Hotel who kept us comfortable and well fed, my fellow volunteers especially Rachel and Hilary for doing a grand job for facilitating the trip – You Rock- but the biggest thank you to the Maasai for the warm welcome into their community and trusting us with their mouths.

We gave our time, dental education and treatment but I believe we gained so much more. I am reminded of how lucky and privileged we are to have clean water, plenty of food, electricity and good sanitation but do we appreciate it?

Africa never disappoints with colour, sounds, and endless smiles not too mention the bonus of the seeing the migration of the animals to Tanzania.

Hakuna Matata

5 TopTips to prevent tooth decay

We all know that sugar contributes to dental decay. Did you know that there are hidden sugars in many foods and you may be unknowingly contributing to cavities in your t      well as other health issues?

 

  • Limit snack attacks to 2 a day
  • Swap to sugar substitute
  • Drink water not fizzy drinks
  • Brush twice a day for 2 minutes with Fluoride toothpaste especially before bed
  • Do not rinse with water after brushing – leave that fluoride in!

 

Have you been diagnosed periodontitis?

 

Periodontitis is a gum disease which is a chronic inflammation caused by oral bacteria which are always present in saliva. The bacteria attach to the tooth surface around the gum margin and form dental plaque. This is the sticky white substance which can be scraped away with a fingernail. If the plaque is not removed effectively every day it can harden into tartar (calculus). The bacteria will cause the gums to inflame

You may have experienced symptoms of bleeding during tooth cleaning or eating, redness and swelling of the gums, discomfort and bad breath.

If the progress of gum inflammation is not treated, the supporting structures of the teeth, including the surrounding bone, are destroyed. The teeth eventually loosen and are lost, or require extraction. Other problems patients may experience include painful abscesses, drifting of the teeth which may interfere with eating, and unsightly lengthening of the teeth with exposure of the roots, as a result of gum recession.

It is now understood that untreated periodontal disease can have effects on general health; for example, it poses an increased risk for complications during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia, premature birth and low birth weight) and an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

What are the risk factors for periodontitis?

There are a number of factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis and make it more likely to progress. Well-known risk factors include stress, some systemic diseases such as diabetes, and – most importantly – smoking.

Smoking and periodontitis

  • Smokers are significantly more likely to develop periodontitis than non-smokers.
  • Gum treatments (such as gum/ bone grafts and implants) are less successful in smokers than non-smokers due to poorer healing.
  • Periodontitis progresses much faster, with more rapid tooth loss, in smokers.
  • Of cases of periodontitis which does not respond to treatment, about 90% are in smokers.

How is periodontitis treated?

Successful periodontal treatment requires your full co-operation in regard to  daily oral hygiene practices and attendance at regular follow-up appointments.

With careful assessment and treatment, it is usually possible to completely halt the progress of periodontitis. The key to success is to eliminate the bacterial plaque which is triggering the disease process and to establish excellent oral hygiene practices.

  • Oral hygiene instruction and advice
    The aim of the oral hygiene phase of treatment is to reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and therefore reduce the level of inflammation. Your dental practitioner will first explain the causes of your periodontitis and explain exactly how to keep your teeth and gums clean. You will be given individual advice on how to use the various cleaning aids most effectively; for example, the most appropriate tooth brushing technique and the correct use of dental floss and interdental brushes.
  • Professional cleaning
    All soft deposits will be removed from accessible areas of the teeth and the teeth polished and treated with fluoride. Depending on the improvement seen in plaque control and gum health, further instruction and cleaning may be carried out in subsequent visits. The next step would be for your practitioner to remove all bacterial deposits and tartar from the root surfaces and gingival pockets.
  • Antibiotic therapy
    In some cases, with or without microbiological evaluation, antibiotics are prescribed to deal with active or persistent gum infections, which have not responded to oral hygiene measures.
  • Reassessment
    After several weeks, your dentist or periodontist will make a full assessment of your gums to check the progress of your treatment. A special instrument called a periodontal probe is used to record the depth of any periodontal pockets and check for bleeding from the gums. If periodontal pockets are still present, further treatment options may be suggested, including surgical corrective therapy.
  • Corrective (surgical) treatment 
    Sometimes, a surgical procedure is carried out to clean away plaque bacteria and deposits that are under the gum within periodontal pockets and on the root surfaces at the furcations (where the roots diverge). These areas are inaccessible to brushes and floss and inflammation will persist in these sites as long as bacteria are allowed to colonize them. Under local anaesthesia, the gum is lifted away and the root surfaces are cleaned under direct vision to ensure that all bacteria are removed. Sometimes, it is possible to treat bone loss at the same time using a special regenerative treatment. At the end of the procedure, the gums are sutured back into place around the teeth.
  • Aftercare – supportive periodontal therapy
    The long-term success of periodontal treatment depends both on your own efforts with oral hygiene and those of the practice team who provide your regular care and ongoing assessment. After the first phase of treatment has been completed, your dentist will need to review the condition of your gums at regular intervals to check that the inflammation has been halted. The frequency of your
  • follow-up appointments will depend on the severity of disease and your individual risk of disease progression. Usually, follow-up visits are scheduled for every three to six months.

Regular follow-up appointments are vitally important to ensure that the disease process does not recur, causing further destruction of the gums and supporting bone. If there are signs of continuing disease, your dentist will be able to identify new or recurring sites of inflammation and treat them at an early stage. You will also be given advice on how to modify your oral hygiene practices to tackle the inflammation.

 (Phil Ower – Perio courses)

 

I Have Arrived In Sunny Dubai

All Change.

It has been a whirl wind couple months since I landed.   Dubai is an exciting cosmopolitan and multicultural city a far cry from the familiarity of Brighton  

I have joined Dr Yaya Tosun to be a part of his international team of  Turkish, Greek, Australian, Filipino, Bulgarian and Indian.  I am enjoying learning about new cultures and language not to mention food.  My colleagues and I are sharing and blending thoughts, education and ideas to create a clinic that  feels very unique and  I am very happy to be here. 

I am excited to be working with Dr Tosun a very experienced Orthodontist, a subject I have very little knowledge. Dr Tosun has shown me what can be achieved with good Orthodontics which I only thought could be done using restorative procedures.   I am very lucky to have a shiny new surgery with state of the art equipment.  It has been learning curve learning on how dental industry works here and realising the difference in product availability and purchasing.  I am happy to say I was able to  introduce my colleagues to my favorite brands  TePe and Philips Sonicare and Zoom whilst accommodating new popular oral care products.

Mt first month was navigating through the unfamiliarity of a new place and people, I was given the opportunity to present to our staff to answer the question ‘What is a  Dental Hygienist?’   Dental Hygienists are thin on the ground here so clinicians can be unfamiliar with our work.

Like Dubai, are patients are multicultural which makes for an interesting day.  ‘Adaptation’ is the  key word  to accommodate the cultural and language differences of each. 

I am now a member Emirates Dental Hygiene Club who are very active within Dubai.

On a another note I have connected with TriDubai to resume training.  I hope to get my bicycle over for some desert rides, sea swimming is much more pleasurable here, for me no need for a wet suit…well not yet anyway!

 

 

 

 

So far so good ….I’m busy making new friends and  memories.  Come over the sky is blue and the water is fine ….watch this space …..

 

 

 

 

My month with the Floating Doctors

My Adventure with the Floating Doctors 

The most amazing month in Panama

This is what Floating Doctors is all about. Our Goals Include:

  • Providing free acute and preventative health care services and delivering donated medical supplies to isolated areas.
  • Reducing child and maternal mortality through food safety/prenatal education, nutritional counseling and clean water solutions.
  • Studying and documenting local systems of health care delivery and identifying what progress have been made, what challenges remain, and what solutions exist to improve health care delivery worldwide.
  • Using the latest communications technologies to bring specialist medical knowledge to the developing world, and to share our experiences with the global community and promote cooperation in resolving world health care issues.

In order to provide care to our patients, our volunteers travel by plane, bus, and boat. They hike up mountains, wade through rivers, and sometimes they cross bridge paths leading into the jungle.  Visit us at www.floatingdoctors.com

 

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                               

 

 

 

Days where long, hot and humid but the sense of achievement I felt a the end of each day was immeasurable and completely unforgettable.

It was an honor and a privilege to be welcomed into the community of the Ngäbe people and be able to help improve their general, oral health and relieve them of discomfort by providing dental care in a clean and comfortable environment.

I had the pleasure living and working  with medical professionals from all over the world, learning all the time from each other and making new friends and fabulous memories.

We travelled everyday to different NgFloating Doctorsäbe communities by cayuco sometimes for hours with our captain ‘Mancha’ taking everything we needed from soap to ultrasound.  With the dental clinic fitted into a case and the chair on my back We journeyed via sea, river and jungle to reach our patients.   Clinic was set up  any where suitable to allow a little privacy, away from prying eyes and little fingers…not so easy at times.

My most important role was not only give toothbrush and toothpaste to everyone but to educate on diet.  Refined sugar is abundant in Panama, ‘sugar-free’ does not exist.  I found dental decay increased the younger the child.  I suppose you could say dental decay marked  wealth and progress?   Once again proving refined sugar especially those in carbonated drinks are life changing – causing pain and discomfort alongside other diseases.

Communication was interesting, luckily I have a knowledge of Spanish but I had to drop the Castilian Spanish vocabulary and accent.  The Ngäbe have their own language and often do not speak Spanish so the international language of signs and laughter was the only way.

 

Their smiles will stay with me forever.

Each week we visited Casa de Asilo (El Asilo de Ancianos) which is a state-run elderly home in Bocas Town (Isla Colón) to deliver health and dental care.   I was hesitant on my first tip as I have never liked elderly residential care homes and my mind ran wild thinking what this would be   like.  It was wonderful.  Residents where very well looked after by a handful of overworked underpaid caring staff.   I looked forward to my time with the residents of Asilo. Instead of dental care we would take a morning stroll, chat (the best way possible), laugh and dance with the the odd manicure thrown in for good measure. 

 

As they say in Bocas ‘Fair Winds’