Mission Save A Smile
In 2016 Dr. Chelsea Jones had the privilege to travel to Panama on a dental mission tip with a non-profit organization called “Mission Save a Smile”. Each year a group of volunteers comprised of dentist, dental students, assistants and Spanish translators make the trip to provide dental treatment and oral health education to the indigenous Kuna tribe. Once in Panama the group takes a small plane to a remote island of San Blas, Achutupu to live for a week near the indigenous tribe spending most waking hours providing much needed dental care. The remote location of this tribe renders dental care by a practicing dentist almost impossible. Most of the patients seen were children with extensive decay due to the lack of proper nutrition and lack of education on oral hygiene. In addition to traditional dental treatment we did presentations and demonstrations on how to properly brush, floss and provided nutritional counseling. Prevention and education was the most important aspect of this trip to ensure that the community will be able to implement and pass down these practices for future generations. The trip was hard work but very rewarding we were able to provide fluoride to over 500 children and dental treatment to almost 200 children. If you would like to learn more about Mission Save a Smile or to donate, please visit missionsaveasmile.org.