This morning’s clinic had its lighter moments, such as 8-year-old Arlinton and 7-year-old Jessy. Both returned from having extractions yesterday to have their teeth polished. Jessy giggled throughout the polishing process, and Karen had to laugh at the way Arlinton swaggered out of the room when he was done, as if to say, “There’s nothing to this dentist stuff.”
More often, however, there is much pain and trauma.
We arrived this morning to see 12 patients of all ages from Santa Clara. I believe some of them had never seen a dentist, and most did not appear to be familiar with a toothbrush.
It was sad to see such a cute little 5-year-old with such a bad set of teeth. Even her mother could not bear to watch her teeth being pulled as she comforted the child.
The toughest case of the morning, however, was that of Maria. This 22-year-old teaches at the White Dove School, where we met her last Friday. After enduring 3 composite filings, she held up through 2 difficult molar extractions, both of which were broken below the gum line to start with, and decayed down into the roots, requiring extensive oral surgery.
I didn’t get many pictures of this lovely but tough young lady, as I was holding her hand for at least 2 of the 3 hours she was in the chair. Some were kidding her about going back to the classroom this afternoon, but I told her she could take the rest of the day off!
The afternoon session was just as busy, mostly with the AP kids, but I was otherwise occupied.