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Where There Is No Dentist – Angola Day 5



What is your diagnosis? Even without formal dental training you will likely identify severe gingivitis, broken and missing teeth, and dental destruction with exposed root structures. This Angolan lady came for assist today complaining of pain throughout her mouth. No only is dental disease disfiguring and uncomfortable, it can also be life threatening. Most every year I watch a patient die from complications of dental abscesses. A simple tooth or gum infection progresses to abscess draining puss and then to sepsis (infection of the blood stream). Extremely few Angolan have access to a dentist – and as a result many die. In North America we have many dentists, but dental care and dental insurance are largely viewed as a luxury, rather than as essential health care. This is a deceitful misconception. Dental care is not simply cosmetic. It is lifesaving.

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