Los Angeles students take digital imaging equipment to a community that needs it most
According to the World Health Organization, Honduras has only two dentists per 10,000 people; the United States has eight times that number. To address this need for dental professionals, Carestream Dental recently loaned an RVG intraoral digital imaging system to members of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) Philanthropy Committee, comprised of University of California, Los Angeles dental students, for their 2014 dental mission trips to Guaimaca, Honduras.
Four fourth-year dental students; three third-year dental students; four predental students; and two UCLA faculty — one periodontist and one prosthodontist — traveled to Guaimaca, June 14- 26, 2014. The students will take the RVG sensor back to Guiamaca for two more dental mission trips in September.
“We first met these dedicated students at a student fair last fall and knew Carestream Dental could contribute to their work in Honduras,” Colby Ledbetter, regional director, Carestream Dental, said. “We were able to work out a loan of the equipment and now the students will be able to use the sensor for the rest of the year on each trip.”
Though the ASDA Philanthropy Committee has provided oral health instruction, cleanings, amalgam and composite restorations, and extractions to the community in Guaimaca since 2010, this year was the first time the dental students had an intraoral sensor available to them.
“Having the digital X-ray made a difference between ‘mission-level’ care and professional-level care, without spending more than an extra 10 minutes per patient for X-rays while they were waiting,” Shane Chou, co-chair of the ASDA Philanthropy Committee, said.
The sensor also aided in more accurate diagnoses, such as determining whether a simple extraction or restoration was necessary.
The RVG sensor features excellent image resolution, and the size 2 sensor, which Carestream Dental loaned to the dental students, is perfect for bitewing radiographs. Featuring rounded sensor corners and a rear-entry cable, the dental students were able to place the sensor quickly and easily, thus improving patient comfort.
“The biggest difference the digital sensor made was our ability to do endodontic procedures,” Chou said. “We did a total of four endodontic cases, all anterior teeth, because we could restore them.”
In total, the students conducted 250 procedures, providing $15,000 worth of dental work, during their week in Honduras.
“We’re always thrilled to hear how Carestream Dental equipment changes people’s lives,” Marc Gordon, general manager, U.S. equipment and software, Carestream Dental, said. “Not only are these students gaining valuable experience, they’re taking professional-level dental care to a community that would otherwise go without, and that’s what’s truly important.”
For more information about Carestream Dental’s RVG intraoral imaging systems, call (800) 944-6365 or visit www.carestreamdental.com.