All Posts

Providing Free Dental Care in Mexico to the Uninsured

By: Rutu Shah 

University of Pacific Dental Student 


Enseñada, Mexico is best known as a cruise ship destination for travelers from around the world. What most tourists don’t see, however, is the other side of Enseñada. This side is the one locals experience everyday – it is more humble and simple. The fact of the matter is, much of the local population faces many socioeconomic barriers to accessing the healthcare they need – this holds especially true for dental care. That’s why UC San Diego’s Flying Samaritans and University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry’s students joined forces to provide aid to the underserved population of Enseñada. 

The most recent mission trip to Enseñada took place in late January of 2019, where students from UCSD and UOP alike worked collaboratively to do procedures such as cleanings, fillings, extractions and root canals under the supervision of practicing general dentists and oral surgeons from UOP. Patients of all ages were triaged and treated, and given tips on how to improve their oral healthcare by adopting simple steps at home. In just 18 hours of clinic time, 140 procedures were completed.

Despite all the students’ diverse backgrounds, everyone finished the trip feeling humbled and so fortunate for the opportunity to see and treat each and every patient. Not only was it a great way to do hands-on dentistry for the students, but, more importantly, it was a way to alleviate the pain and suffering of so many local citizens of Enseñada who would otherwise not have had access to dental care.

DSC00833-1

Rutu Shah
Rutu Shah
University of Pacific Dental Student

Related Posts

12 Minutes to Pain Relief and Cosmetic Nirvana

Dr. Brian Gray – Washington, DC

Composite Applications for Our Pediatric Patients

By Carla Cohn DMD There are so many excellent composite resin materials to choose from in the dental market today that it can be overwhelming to know which to use, and when. Many of the composite resin materials come with features that are compelling. Bioactivity, bulk fill, sonic fills, ultra-polishable, low shrinkage, self leveling, nano hybrid, specialized aesthetic shading systems, universal use, the list of attributes available goes on and on. Ultimately, we want the very best for our patients and their restorations. At the same time, it is inconceivable that we carry the inventory in our practice of each material that has a distinct attribute. A simple and unique solution is OMNICHROMA, a resin restorative material manufactured by Tokuyama Dental America. OMNICHROMA combines a number of excellent properties such as excellent esthetic properties due to uniform sized 260 nm supra-nano spherical SiO2-ZrO2 filler particles. These fillers result in unprecedented color matching, extremely high polishability, and color stability. Physical-mechanical properties due to the types of fillers and high fill content of 79% weight/68% volume give the material high wear resistance, high compressive strength, and exceptional handling. As the name implies OMNI = all, or universally + CHROMA = a quality of color combining hue and saturation (Merriam Webster Dictionary). OMNICHROMA is a universal shade that blends and reflects allowing us to be able to use this one OMNICHROMA composite shade for a multitude of different tooth shades. Little patients have little patience. When treating children, simplicity and durability of materials is key to successful restorations. The less time spent in a child’s mouth, the better. Although primary dentition is transitional, the occlusal forces, bruxing, and wear and tear are substantial in a short period of time. Intracoronal restorative materials for primary teeth must deliver reliable physical and mechanical properties in order to have successful long-lasting restorations. In my experience, highly filled composite resin combined with excellent isolation and technique yield reliable restorations. Case study #1  4-year-old boy presented with early childhood caries. I completed full mouth rehabilitation under general anesthetic consisting of full coverage crowns, intra-coronal composite restorations, and extractions. The focus and feature in this case study is a simple intra-coronal restoration on primary tooth H / 63. Pre-operative photos showing caries and a shade guide for reference. Teeth were prepared using a high-speed Pana-Max (NSK) with a #556 carbide bur ensuring an adequate undercut in preparation to incorporate some mechanical retention. Figures 1 - 2. Enamel was etched using phosphoric acid etch and Bond Force (Tokuyama Dental America) as adhesive in a selective etch technique and light cured. In this case, due to some remaining dark dentin, OMNICHROMA BLOCKER (Tokuyama Dental America) was used and light cured. Figure 3. OMNICHROMA (Tokuyama Dental America) was placed in bulk (2mm), as the lesion was minimal in depth and light cured. Figures 4 - 5. Resulting restoration shade blended beautifully providing a functional and aesthetic result. Figure 6.

Providing Free Dental Care in Mexico to the Uninsured

By: Rutu Shah