Dental Companies Help Iraqi Children Smile

On October 26th 2003, 17 members of the Dental Treatment Teams from the 561st Medical Company (DS) and the 502nd Dental Company (AS) participated in a twelfth mission with TASK FORCE NEIGHBORHOOD, providing limited dental treatment to citizens of the village of Abu Fadouse located near Balad, Iraq. Treatment was rendered in a classroom of the local school. According to Lt. Col. Jamie Houston, Commander of the 502nd Dental Company, both Sunni and Shia Muslim leaders of the village met with the Schoolmaster and discussed issues about working together for the community including the dental care to be provided by the TASK FORCE.

Houston stated the teams provided dental screening to 279 patients. Additionally the Teams performed restorations and extractions for carious non-restorable teeth. Eight classrooms of approximately 40 children each were given flossing, brushing and oral hygiene instructions by Houston and Spc. Antonio Tolbert in conjunction with an interpreter.

Although there was an unexpectedly large patient turn out and high demand for dental treatment the teams were able to provide screening to all the children from the school. Houston stated that although the team was unable to provide treatment to all the children; they did make entries for students needing to been seen on a follow-up basis. The team members worked non-stop all day in an effort to ensure all the children were seen. The villagers provided a home cooked lunch of kofte, rice and pita bread for the entire TASK FORCE. A future dental mission is being considered for Abu Fadouse.


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Iraqi child getting a dental checkup