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Photo of dentists and staff from Sirona Dental on the University of Detroit Mercy mission trip

On March 15th a group consisting of 1 Oral Surgeon, 1 Orthodontist, 1 General Dentist, 1 Dental Hygienist, 25 Dental students and 3 Dental hygiene students from the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, MI traveled thousands of miles to the Dominican Republic for the UDM Mission Trip. During this trip they provided free dental care to more than 300 patients within a 4-day time period. Sirona was able to participate by donating Schick 33 sensors to assist the group in performing dental procedures ranging from general cleanings to oral surgeries.

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Mission volunteer with a happy patient 

Following the group’s return from the trip, we were able to sit down with volunteer James Singer, a third year dental student, and discuss the trip in further detail during a Q&A session.

Q: Was the use of Digital technology beneficial to this trip?

A: Absolutely, with the use of the digital radiographs and a wireless network we were able to take radiographs in one room and view them in the rooms where the patients were receiving treatment. This was extremely helpful for determining if a tooth was restorable or if it was deemed for extraction. The radiographs also helped to determine how difficult the extraction might be due to dilacerated roots or ankylosis among many other things.

Q: How do you think that your visits would have differed if you had used traditional film?

A: Using traditional films as opposed to digital radiographs would have slowed the patient screening process tremendously. By adding the process of developing films, we may have only been able to treat half of the patients that we treated if not less. In addition, using traditional film would have required us to make paper charts for all of our patients, where as with the digital radiographs we were able to store all of the radiographs on the computers brought with us.

Q: What was a highlight of this trip?

A: My favorite part of the trip was seeing the joy that our group was able to bring to that community. It was amazing to see how grateful the patients were after having a tooth extracted or just a simple cleaning.

Q: How do you feel the services you and your colleagues provided, positively effected the people of the Dominican?

A: The most important service that my colleagues and I provided to the people of the Dominican Republic was patient education. We provided every patient that we treated with a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. In addition to providing these items we showed proper brushing and flossing techniques along with the importance of good oral hygiene.

During their trip, the UDM mission group made a large philanthropic impact through their volunteerism and service. Sirona is proud to have been able to contribute to these efforts and help make a difference. “The mission trip as a whole was a huge success that would not have been possible without the use of the Schick 33 sensors.”

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