The Mission Of Dental Global Brigades And How It Changed My Life
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

The Mission Of Dental Global Brigades And How It Changed My Life

Who knew all it took for a life-altering experience was one trip to Panama?

46
The Mission Of Dental Global Brigades And How It Changed My Life

I get asked the question, "What made you want to become a dentist?" a lot whenever people ask me what I am majoring in. At first, this question is hard to answer because I always knew I wanted to become a dentist but I never really thought about why I wanted to become one. Until recently.

This past winter break, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to go on a dental global brigades trip to Panama for a week. Our goal was to guide and aid the local community of Veraguas with dental care in order to ensure that they would have sustainable health care from here on out. Although there is a bit of controversy regarding the "white savior complex", the brigades team and volunteers do everything they can to make sure that we are there for the right reasons. We are not heroes who are trying to save an underprivileged community; we are simply volunteers who want to spread the word about proper dental hygiene while helping people embrace their smiles with a healthier mouth.

Local dentists take out a few weeks from their regular routine jobs to provide dental care services (pro-bono) to the communities in the rural areas. This was truly inspiring to see because it made me realize how many people cannot afford proper dental care, even in our own hometowns. As I aspire to become a dentist, one of my goals will be to provide a similar benefit to those who need it because oral hygiene is more important thank we think. It helps people continue to eat their favorite foods as well as encourages people to show off their confidence and kindness with a flashy smile.

On my first day in Panama, I saw over a hundred local Panamanians lined up at the clinic, waiting for either an extraction or cavity filling. It is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing to see others getting the aid they need because they deserve it just as much as we do. However, the hope is that one day they won't be needing brigades to guide them anymore because they will be self-sustainable and get access to dental supplies/care easily and readily, themselves.

Thus, when people ask me why I want to become a dentist, the whole series of flashbacks from this trip come to my mind and remind me of how amazing the feeling is of helping people and societies as a whole is.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to shadow dentists, educate people on oral hygiene, take vitals, and even just get to meet new people of a different culture. It was so evident how grateful they were even though they spoke a different language, because the smiles on their faces showed it all.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Adulting

7 Ideas for Keeping Logins and Passwords Securely

The first line of defense against identity theft is passwords. Unfortunately, many of us fail to remember to use them. Almost 60% of baby boomers don't use secure passwords. And, according to a report by Norton, digital natives are more prone to having their accounts compromised.

13945
7 Ideas for Keeping Logins
https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-brown-hoodie-using-laptop-computer-5475747/

The first line of defense against identity theft is passwords. Unfortunately, many of us fail to remember to use them. Almost 60% of baby boomers don't use secure passwords. And, according to a report by Norton, digital natives are more prone to having their accounts compromised.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Ford Cars That We Love

There's a good chance we've all driven a Ford or spent a lot of time at Ford, but what are some of the best cars they've ever made?

41274
Ford Cars That We Love
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

There are arguably few bigger automakers than Ford. They are a company that shaped the auto industry as we know it today and with a solid reputation in the industry, our wide range of Ford leases has always been a popular choice among drivers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

28630
Prose: One Call
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/jail

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

87679
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

101850
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments