Performed Multiple Advance Implant Surgeries
May 26-28, 2016, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Fundación Dr. Garg, the world’s leading dental implant training facility and free-of-charge clinic, embarked on a missionary trip to the Dominican Republic. The trip continues the organization’s rich history of providing much-needed dental services to patients who can ill afford specialized treatment. The latest outing included a group of over 30 dentists who treated some 300 patients with a variety of maxillofacial needs. Dr. Khurrum Ashraf personally performed multiple advance implant procedures in three days of surgery.
The clinic, founded by Dr. Arun K. Garg, a 25-plus-year dental educator and national lecturer, was launched with two goals in mind: provide private-sector support to the Dominican Republic’s healthcare system, and educate the next generation of dentists on the intricacies of dental implants and related subspecialties. By working with actual patients in clinical settings, doctors acquire on-the-job training impossible to replicate in classrooms alone.
“Speaking strictly from a volume perspective, there really is no other program like this in the world today,” said Dr. Garg in remarks concluding the third day of surgery. “This weekend alone, our doctors placed nearly 600 implants and treated around 300 patients. The days are long, but exhilarating, fostering an atmosphere of collaboration and team spirit that helps all students meet the challenges at hand. I could not ask for a better group of talented individuals. I commend Dr. Ashraf for his dedication and effort on this recent trip.”
Fundación Dr. Garg, (whose parent company is the International Dental Implant Association, a networking organization for doctors who have taken Dr. Garg’s continuing education courses), sends up to three missionary trips to the DR per month. Each trip includes approximately 30 doctors who work in pairs treating up to 30 patients. In addition to placing nearly 500 implants, doctors also completed sinus lifts, crestal sinus lifts and ridge splits. All of these procedures are dental implant requirements when patients lack sufficient bone and the need to support the implant is great. Sufficient bone is the difference between a successful outcome and a failed prosthesis.
Since opening to the general public in October 2014, the three-floor, 5,000 square foot facility can treat up to 300 patients a day in 26 donated dental chairs. The Dominican government reviews each patient’s profiles and their needs are assessed. Patients found unable to afford care are treated for free. Some of those patients leave the clinic with multiple dental implants, while others have rotten teeth removed and their third molars (wisdom teeth) extracted if they are a source of discomfort, or are negatively impacting bite formation.
In addition to supplying medical equipment and performing much-needed dental procedures including socket preservations, implants and sinus lifts, the IDIA-sponsored team helps local doctors gain new skills. That way, enhanced post-operative oral care reduces the likelihood of medical complications in the weeks between IDIA trips. The instruction also exposes Dominican Republic doctors to American-standard levels of care that they can implement in their own communities, extending Fundación Dr. Garg’s reach.
Thanks to these efforts patients are on the road to permanent tooth replacement, resulting in improved nutrition and superior self-esteem. In a country where tourism dominates economic growth – $16 billion in tourism dollars have been added to the nation’s economy in the last three years – the hospitality industry offers an important gateway out of poverty. These positions require individuals with friendly dispositions whose happy, healthy smiles instill a sense of warmth and welcome to international visitors.
“On behalf of my entire organization, from the directors of the clinic, to our world-class dentists like Dr. Ashraf and to our appreciative patients, none of this success would be possible without all of you,” Dr. Garg added. “You are what makes Fundación Dr. Garg possible and you are the people who are making a difference, revolutionizing developing nation care. Two thousand and sixteen is off to a great start!”