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848 San Pablo Ave
Pinole, CA, 94564
United States

Amy Lin 2018

 
 
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CRANBERRY X GLOBAL DENTAL RELIEF

"For many of these kids, the care that we provided might be the only dental care they’ve had in their lives and through their bravery they showed us just how much they appreciated the care we were providing. Seeing this gave me motivation like never before to do the best that I could to provide them with care that would ease them of their pain and save their teeth."

- Amy Lin 2018


Student Profile

 

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xxxxxxx 2018

559 exams, 228 cleanings, 707 fillings, and 342 extractions later, I sit here in my air-conditioned house still not quite able to grasp all that we had accomplished just a few days earlier. Equally shocking to me are all the things I have learned on this trip, how much I have grown, and how many incredible people I now have the pleasure of calling friends.

Thinking back to my first day in Siem Reap, I was immediately hit by a never-ending wave of intense heat that was relieved upon entering the air-conditioned immigration building.

However, as it turned out, our clinic that we worked six full days in had no such luxury. As the first day of clinic arrived, I started out quite nervous about assisting chairside due to the fact that I had never done such work before. Having only ever been the one sitting in the dental chair receiving the treatments, I wasn’t sure how much help I would be working as an assistant.

However, I quickly learned the process of reading charts, doing amalgam fillings, doing extractions, and teaching the kids oral hygiene. As the kids came and sat down on our dental chair, I quickly forgot about the heat and became focused on the work and only ever really stopping during breaks and the occasional power outage.

Not being able to speak Khmer, communication with the children was something I worried about. I remembered that when I was little, I wanted to know what each dental tool was going to be used for in order to calm my nerves but with the language barrier I wasn’t sure what I could do to calm the children down. I was surprised to find that most kids, although nervous, never cried or caused us any trouble. I was in absolute awe of their bravery and trust in us and the work we did. Occasionally, a scared or nervous child would squeeze my hand tightly and I would find myself squeezing back with the same ferocity. For many of these kids, the care that we provided might be the only dental care they’ve had in their lives and through their bravery they showed us just how much they appreciated the care we were providing. Seeing this gave me motivation like never before to do the best that I could to provide them with care that would ease them of their pain and save their teeth that they would hopefully get to keep for the rest of their lives. I was only satisfied when at end of each day the large plastic bottle for used needles next to our chair became full and gloves became hard to put on because of all the sweat on our hands.

Of course, all of this was not possible without the amazing team I was a part of. Through ten short days, we quickly went from complete strangers to close friends. Being part of a team full of so many people with diverse backgrounds who are all connected to dentistry in some way has made me see the many different paths in dentistry and has helped me meet many mentors and peers. I am so grateful to have been able to be part of such an amazing experience thanks to Global Dental Relief and Cranberry that not only taught me many technical skills in dentistry, but also showed me dentistry’s capacity to help others and bring people together.



 

Not being able to speak Khmer, communication with the children was something I worried about. I remembered that when I was little, I wanted to know what each dental tool was going to be used for in order to calm my nerves but with the language barrier I wasn’t sure what I could do to calm the children down. I was surprised to find that most kids, although nervous, never cried or caused us any trouble. I was in absolute awe of their bravery and trust in us and the work we did. Occasionally, a scared or nervous child would squeeze my hand tightly and I would find myself squeezing back with the same ferocity. For many of these kids, the care that we provided might be the only dental care they’ve had in their lives and through their bravery they showed us just how much they appreciated the care we were providing. Seeing this gave me motivation like never before to do the best that I could to provide them with care that would ease them of their pain and save their teeth that they would hopefully get to keep for the rest of their lives. I was only satisfied when at end of each day the large plastic bottle for used needles next to our chair became full and gloves became hard to put on because of all the sweat on our hands.

Of course, all of this was not possible without the amazing team I was a part of. Through ten short days, we quickly went from complete strangers to close friends. Being part of a team full of so many people with diverse backgrounds who are all connected to dentistry in some way has made me see the many different paths in dentistry and has helped me meet many mentors and peers. I am so grateful to have been able to be part of such an amazing experience thanks to Global Dental Relief and Cranberry that not only taught me many technical skills in dentistry, but also showed me dentistry’s capacity to help others and bring people together.