Three Thousand New Smiles

In all of Togo, there are only eighteen dentists serving 6 million people. As a result, during the 2012 Togo campaign, a massive number of people were treated by the Mercy Ships’ dental team in their tempory clinic in downtown Lomé.

Dental team leader Sieh Moore, developed a screening procedure to ensure the most dramatic cases were given priority.

To ensure fair access to appointments, dental team leader Sieh Moore, developed a screening procedure to ensure the most dramatic cases were given priority. The remaining apointments were then allocated randomally, ensuring fairness and preventing people from lining up with the sole intention of selling their good spot in the line.

The volunteer dental professionals examined over 3,500 patients, and completed almost 8,400 procedures.

They extracted about 7,500 teeth, relieving much pain and suffering. Around 800 cavities were filled, and 454 procedures for dentures or replacements were performed. Dental cleanings were provided to 324 patients. After receiving treatment, patients were given free dental higene items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.

After receiving treatment, patients are given free dental higene items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.

All dental patients, plus over 800 primary and secondary school students, received basic oral health education.

The clinic’s waiting area doubled as the oral health education classroom. While patients waited for treatment, Comfort Yeboah explained the basics of dental hygiene.

Day-workers (local people hired by Mercy Ships) who were assigned to support the dental team received eight weeks of training as dental assistants, instrument sterilizers or oral health educators.