Friday, May 20, 2011

Our remaining days at the dental clinic in San Francisco, Nayarit...

Approximately 40 hours later, we finished our commitment at the hospital dental clinic at the San Francisco Regional Hospital. The following images are of our last two days there. I was privileged to meet the director of the hospital on the 3rd day in interesting circumstances. He walked over to the dental clinic looking for the two resident dentists. He said, "there's been an accident and I'd like them to have a look." When he couldn't find them, he suggested that I come with him. With no hesitation, I went but my heart raced with anticipation. What was I to find in the emergency ward? As we rounded the corner and walked another 50 feet to a cordoned off area,  I see at least 7 emergency personnel over a hospital bed trying to subdue the accident victim. As I walked closer to the bed, I noticed blood on the floor and the sound of a man who was in obvious pain. He already had a neckbrace placed on him, showed visible signs of  broken arms, broken legs, swollen lips, and face. As I looked over the man, I was prepared to be asked about broken teeth, possibly avulsed teeth but instead the hospital director moved the man's teeth forward and his entire maxillo facial bones moved and collapsed. I was looking at a man with a fractured skull and there was not much I can do. I looked at the doctors and raised my shoulders to clearly send this message..."sorry, guys this is out of my scope of practice." The doctor extended his arm to give me a handshake, and sent me on my way. I was of no use to them. I felt helpless. Later that day, I was told that he was sent to a Tepic hospital (2 hours north of SF) to get more appropriate care.

The beginning of another day.

Dr. Pa-ul and Shannon discussing patient's caries status.

Krista's turn to do 'stand-up dentistry'

The loupes were used and appreciated, even in this ergonomically challenging conditions.

Two office chairs = 1 dental chair

The operator chair was wobbly and not adjustable. Shannon making do while accessing sextant 6.

The only dental x-ray unit in the hospital...circa 1970's?

Dentsply Ultrasonic....DeVilBliss Portable Evacuation Unit

One of our patient's way of saving his back! ;-(

Marcelino and the women of Camosun! He came back for a second appointment so that Sam can complete his treatment!

Shannon showing Celia how to floss. She was most keen.

Ada and Shannon working together. The clock was ticking and it was getting close to 6pm....way past our scheduled closing time.

Nice technique, Sam. 

Getting close to the end of the day on our last day at the hospital...with two severe periodontally-involved patients still to complete, we weren't going anywhere fast. 

Shannon starting to clean-up while Krista was busy-ly working away.

A great relationship was formed between Celia and Shannon. Big hugs were exchanged by all after treatment was completed. Celia was most happy to have been anesthesized for the procedure. 

We had just enough time to catch the sunset after our 7pm closing time at the hospital. While sitting on the beach, one of our patients came over to gift us with handmade necklaces for all the ladies and a bracelet for me. Very sweet.

Giving thanks to Jinaro.

Awww...he's putting it on for me.

Luigi, a local surfer indulged us with this photo.

High-fivin' ....

The waves were particularly high that evening. This is San Pancho @ post sunset.


  1. You took a lot of patients that day, and you were able to help a lot of people. Also, you had a good time at the beach with your clients after clinic hours. That day certainly turned out well for you.

  2. Wow, I salute all the dentists, especially those strive to serve people in the direst of situations. Good thing you enjoyed your last hours at the clinic, even after a tiring day. :D

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