Our clinical experience at Entre Amigos has been both challenging and rewarding. Although our makeshift dental clinic was functional, the beach chairs, children’s chairs, and lack of dental light made the practice challenging. We are used to a comfortable, air conditioned setting where ergonomics are easily achieved. We were required to adapt to a new setting and often had to compromise our body positions. After “clinic boot camp” we came home to our hotel feeling exhausted and sore. This was all made worthwhile by the genuine appreciation shown by our clients. Clients with large amounts of tenacious deposit and deep periodontal pockets eagerly sat through long appointments without the use of local anesthesia. At home, we would not hesitate to provide local anesthesia to these types of "difficult" clients, however here in San Pancho without a dentist present, this is not an option. Clients were incredibly thankful and gracious; something we don’t always experience in Canada.
We learned that fundamentals such as rolling, and sharpening instruments throughout the debridement process are key to success especially when working on difficult clients in a short time frame. We were reminded of the importance of team work especially in a new and challenging setting. We were able to rely on each other while working in partners as well as the instructors and certified dental assistant faculty to achieve best results for each client. We were also reminded of the need to listen to our bodies by allowing time for breaks, drinking water, and stretching, so as not to exhaust ourselves.
Sadly our clinical experience in San Pancho has come to an end, but the skills we learned we will take forward into our clinical practice at home. We are so appreciative of the work put in by both Ada and her sister, Glades, as well as the community in San Pancho for providing such a warm welcome.