Aspen Dental's Argentina Mission Trip
Recently, 10 dentists and dental hygienists flew into a remote village in Mendoza, Argentina for 9 days (29th June - 6th July) as part of Smiles for Argentina, an exploratory humanitarian outreach partnership with International Medical Relief (IMR). IMR provided the supplies and equipment, some of which was present at the government health centres.
The team from Aspen Dental, the largest and fastest-growing network of branded dental care providers in the U.S., conducted cleanings, extractions, fillings and other life-changing procedures for over 800 patients within staged clinic sites in government health centers – all within trash dump communities or squatter villages. In addition, they provided the children with the education and tools to continue proper mouth care.
It is difficult for these patients to get oral care because the pueblos or asentimientos the Aspen team visited in Mendoza are essentially squatter villages, and while there are government programs available for locals to receive at the very basic level dental check-ups, many of these individuals cannot afford the fees associated with the oftentimes extensive care that they need. Specific factors include: poverty, lack of education on prevention and care, an overall high mortality rate, high incidence of diseases and overall there is little to no access to dental care. By providing these patients with access to care and oral health education, they were able to provide a sense of hope, empowering them with knowledge around their dental health, and treating their urgent needs that affect their well-being and quality of life. This validates why Aspen Dental’s charitable giving arm continues to travel all over the world, supporting doctors and their teams on a quest to venture to places unseen and many times forgotten, to gift people a better smile.
• Director of Charitable Giving & Clinical Support, Dr. Anita O. Imadomwanyi – Chicago, IL
• Practice Owner, Dr. John Ihnen—Louisville, KY
• Practice Owner, Dr. Jean Mary Robert Marius—West Melbourne, FL
• Practice Owner, Dr. Vatsala Maheshwari—Forsyth, IL
• Partner, Dr. Kevin Acone—Williston, VT
• Associate, Dr. Renita Cox—Longview, TX
• Lead HYG Francis Vegerano – Eugene, OR
• Lead HYG Elena Cortes – Middletown, NY
• Lead DA Angelina Lopez Testini—Portage, MI
• DA Kelly Lee Baker—Kenosha, WI
There was a small medical team that comprised of an ophthalmologist, medical student, pharmacy student, pre-medical student.