From Haiti

Temple University School of Dentistry has been traveling to the country of Haiti for the last 15 years, providing emergency dental work to individuals in need. Our trip this year was the first ever to have diagnostic x-rays at our treatment sites of the rural Haitian villages, thanks to the NOMAD portable handheld x-ray unit by Aribex.

Patients line up early in the morning and wait hours to be treated. In the course of a week, our outreach teams administer treatment for about 1,000 Haitians. This Temple Dental School outreach trip is often the only chance this community has to see a dentist and alleviate their dental pain and in some cases serious dental infections.

There is no electricity, no suction, no high speed handpiece, let alone x-ray equipment. In years past, surgical extractions were performed without knowing exactly what was underneath the gums and bone, which presented rather timely and difficult procedures.

During the trip this year, the NOMAD was used multiple times to aid in the visualization of angled roots, remaining root tips, and other pathology. The NOMAD was used to aid in diagnosis and treatment planning of teeth that were predicted as difficult extractions, and it was also used when an extraction became complicated and visualization of root tips became necessary. On any given day, the NOMAD was used on approximately fifteen patients.

Cory Johnston
Temple University School of Dentistry
Haiti Club Secretary

Photos from top: Volunteer dentist x-rays Haitian man (notice the small children observing through the balustrade). Another Haitian man gets her first-ever dental x-ray. A makeshift dental operatory under a tree.