Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dental clinic @ the Hospital

The following are images are from the last two days at the San Francisco Regional Hospital where a two chair dental unit is available for the public. Currently, there are two 'field dentists' who are here during the weekdays and one dentist who works in the weekends. The field dentists are new graduates, and are sent to different hospitals around the country to do a year's worth of 'social work' and dentistry before they begin private practice, continue with further schooling, or other things. They were most helpful to us and stayed around in the very cramped dental area to observe, to assist, and to collaborate. 
In preparation to receiving clients on our first day, Glades found a palm branch to sweep off some of the debris laying on floor by the front door.

Very cramped quarters for three dental hygienists. We had to create a makeshift dental chair with office chairs for the third person. It was the best that we can do.

Another view of our layout.

The door on the left leads to the hospital back hallway and the door to the right of it,  leads to the outside where patients wait for their turn.

Our interpreter/helper, Rio helping shine a light on Krista's client.

This dental light emits a strange light that shines on the client's entire face.

This dental cart does not work and as you can see, it is very old.

Sam and Krista briefly worked together on a patient who has severely periodontally-involved dentition, and also has cancer and very compromised health history. Very interesting for all of us.

Shannon gathering health history data in Spanish. ;-)

One of Shannon's clients on the first day who provided excellent learning for her, particularly with debridement and health history issues.

A happy patient who brought all of us homemade crocheted purses as gifts. One other patient later stopped by the clinic to drop off a bag full of fresh fruits!

An area near one of the dental units, featuring Dentsply ultrasonic and Devilbliss Portable Suction.

My Mexico office/patio. Breakfast of hot cereal and soy milk before work.

A good view of one of the dental units. The stool is supporting the ultrasonic unit. We did not use the spitoon (don't think it works that well). The dental chair has to be manually reclined. Sam diligently sharpening her instruments before seating her first patient of the second day.

Krista gets the "office chair" today as her unit. She is sharpening and still smiling!

Just completed two of the three clients this morning, Bola and Regina.

Lunch of quesadilla and pork tacos at a nearby taqueria by the hospital.

Sam and Marcelino. He has never had dental hygiene treatment before. We were very happy to see him and he was most appreciative and patient and interested in what we were doing. We were only able to complete a couple of sextants this afternoon but we had an opening two days later. He seemed eager to return. Cross our fingers!

It was stand-up dentistry for the entire day for this "unit".

We consulted with Dr. Paul  (Pa-ool) on Krista's patient who presented with severely mobile teeth, exudate, and abscess on the maxillary anteriors. He suggested that he take an x-ray of the area. The x-ray machine was at least 30 years old. He held the film in place while he took the x-ray. There was not a lead apron to be found. Shannon and her client left the room for a brief moment while he took the x-rays. He manually developed it. The film showed that the roots were encased with calculus and was barely supported by bone. We talked about splinting the two teeth together but there were no materials available to do the work. In the end, debridement/curretage with LA was the best treatment that we can offer.

More pictures to come of our remaining days at the hospital.


  1. Good old days in dental clinics, either private or in hospitals, leave so much memories that help develop one's personality and professionalism.

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  9. Pictures shared by you are really creating more phobia in my mind for visiting a dentist. But will have to this week. As my sister already took an appointment for me at dentist Manhattan Beach for braces. I want to see my teeth in good shape but the procedure I heard is really tough to undergo. Fingers crossed! Let's hope for the best.