Amazon Promise’s Oral Health Program
Amazon Promise is thankful to Dr. Bob Fulton for helping to develop a Oral Health program to complement the organization’s medical work in Peru. Amazon Promise believes medical care alone is not sufficient for delivering effective, sustainable health care. Poor oral health is ubiquitous in the region, and it leads to infection and a level of pain and suffering that must be addressed if we are to facilitate genuine quality of life improvements for the people there. Additionally, the connection between oral health and general systemic health is well known, so consequently, Amazon Promise is dedicated to providing care and treatment from both the medical and dental professions, and we highly encourage interested dentists and qualified dental students to join us.
An Invitation to Volunteer Dentists
I have been a practicing dentist in the United States for over 30 years. If you’re serious about undertaking an Amazon Promise expedition into the remote jungles of Peru, know this; you are about to experience one of the most rewarding dental and personal experiences you will ever have in your life. There is a huge need for dental services in the Upper Amazon Basin, especially among the river people, whose lives are becoming more and more affected by the “developed” world. The people of this region consume much sugar, obtained from candy, soda, and/or the sugar cane they grow themselves, and as a result dental disease is rampant throughout the area.
This trip is not a holiday to the South of France. You will work very hard. No, actually, you’ll work very, very hard, and be paid only with the pure, honest, undying gratitude of these wonderful people. Please don’t think for one minute that you’re going to help the “poor” people in the jungle. These people are the true vanishing children of the earth, with their own culture and values, and you will come back a completely changed person with regard to the way you look at yourself, your own life, and your own culture – they have so very much to teach us. You will also work within a very close proximity of a shaman chanting a healing ritual……. We work with the culture, not at the culture.
Using portable generators, compressors, collapsible dental chairs and a unique collapsible hand piece delivery system, we are equipped to provide for all types of dental needs ranging from exodontic oral surgery to state of the art high speed operative dentistry for complex restorations.
Since we are remote and visit only one village per day we do not provide prosthetic denture service, however, when our permanent clinic is up and running in the Belen section of Iquitos, we hope to offer a more complete dental service, which will provide prosthetic restoration and replacement of teeth.
See our dental units in action in a remote village, as well as other videos of AP clinics.
As you plan your trip, you may want to get your dentistry school or local supply houses to donate anesthetic, surgical sponges, antibiotics, etc. Anything that has a shelf life.
We look forward to you joining us on an upcoming Promise Medical Expedition!
By Dr. Robert L Fulton, MA, DDS, FADI
Dr. Bob is the recipient of the American Dental Association’s Meritorious Service Award for International Dentistry and is a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International. He has a full-time practice in Ohio and is Director of Dentistry for Amazon Promise.