DENTAL

Mission Statement

In 2001, a group of dental professionals and volunteers accompanied Rev. Matt Foley to return to the Mexican villages he served for six years, to foster and promote among the children and their families improved health through the administration of medical and dental services.

 

El Niño Rey dental services will provide the best possible dental care and promote the oral well being to the people of Quelchultenango, Mexico and surrounding communities. Our group of warming, caring volunteers and dental professionals will provide dental services and education in an effort to stop the cycle of poor oral health.

El Niño Rey will enrich, educate, stimulate and advocate optimum oral health through:

  • Demonstrations of proper flossing and brushing techniques

  • Visual presentations consisting of photographs of patients with past dental problems will help identify common oral health issues to relate to existing patients.

  • Additional forms of intervention will include pamphlets, coloring books, and dental supplies (toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss)

Dental Mission Services

Following the cancelation of three dental mission trips due to COVID and airline complications, the dental mission trips resumed in February 2022. Our all volunteer team of dentists, hygienists, translators, clergy, and dental assistants traveled to Xochitlan, a village in the Sierra Madre Mountains in the State of Guerrero, to provide much needed dental care.  During the four day clinic, two hundred fifty-three patients from seventeen different villages received cleanings, extractions, and/or fillings.   

 

The graph on this page highlights the number of patients and the type of treatment received during our 2014 - 2022 mission trips.

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*In 2015, the mission trips were cancelled due to civil unrest.

Dental Mission Volunteers

El Niño Rey relies on volunteers to make possible our annual mission trips to provide dental and educational services to the people of Guerrero, Mexico. We welcome your interest. The guidelines below are used by the board in accepting volunteer applications. If you are interested in volunteering, we encourage you to read through the guidelines.

 

Mission Travel Expectations and Conditions

  • Days can be very hot and nights very cool - dressing in layers is highly recommended

  • Travel is on open trucks into the mountains on narrow dirt roads

  • Due to the dental treatments, bloody conditions exist

  • Clinic hours are long

  • Sleeping arrangements are on air mattresses and on open or enclosed environments

 

Volunteer Guidelines

  • The ideal number of participants for a mission is 15 to 16 including 4 dentists, 1 to 2 hygienists, 1 to 2 scholarship/education team members, plus volunteer helpers with 18 being the maximum depending on the number of dental service providers and expected number of villagers to be served. The scholarship/education team members can also be worked into this team as helpers in the clinic in addition to their outreach activities to the villages, schools, students, parents and the teachers they serve.

 

  • Adult volunteer members can participate on mission trips for 2 years in a row, and then would be asked to skip a year if interest from other individuals exceeds the number of volunteer spots available.

 

  • To achieve the goal of broader participation by dental providers and volunteer helpers, a goal of 1/3 of each team should consist of new participants. A balanced mix of male/female, some dental providers and volunteers with prior mission experience, and those with special skills (i.e. speaks Spanish) should be considered. In all cases, extenuating circumstances will also be considered in the selection process.

 

  • All participants will be required to complete necessary paperwork and have deposit money to the Trip Coordinator by the predetermined dates. Failure to comply with these requirements will allow the Trip Coordinator to remove that individual from he trip roster and insert someone else onto the trip roster.

 

  • Young adults wishing to participate on a trip must be out of high school, 18 years of age, accompanied by an adult (named sponsor), and are limited to one mission trip until they reach the age of 22 or have graduated from college. The maximum number of young adults per trip is 5. Applicants will be asked to express in writing their reasons for wanting to participate on the dental/education trip and may include any special skills they possess as part of the application.

 

  • Dentists, hygienists and any future medical personnel  will not be subject to the above limitations, except where the number of specialists wanting to attend exceeds the number of spots available. In that case, based on a first come first served and a desired mix of GPs and oral surgeons, the Trip Coordinator, chairman of the Dental Committee, and the President shall decide which dental service provider(s) will attend a specific trip.

 

  • The first starting point for selection to participate in the missions will be based on allowing former participants to be given the opportunity to attend again. Second in line will be given to parishioners from St. Norbert’s and St. Joseph in Libertyville and third, individuals outside of the two parishes. All will be subject to the above guidelines. Special skills for the mission’s goals can allow for special override consideration in the process.