All of us at the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group are committed to doing community service here at home, but sometimes we find a project worthy of taking our skills abroad. Earlier this year, Dr. Lecia Harmer did just that. She traveled to Belize City, Central America as a volunteer dentist for PROJECT SMILE. She found the project through the ADA (American Dental Association) website and it was her first time doing dentistry in another country.
For a period of one week, Dr. Lecia treated children for the St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church School, many of whom had never seen a dentist before. In addition to basic exams, they were offered cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings and extractions if needed.
“The smiles on the children’s faces made the whole trip worth it. Many of the children waited for hours just to be examined by the dentist,” said Dr. Harmer. “The children have great respect for the dentists involved with Project Smile. They were following us around giving hugs and trying to be in the pictures!”
More on Project Smile:
Project Smile began in 1992 as a cooperative effort between the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia and the Anglican Diocese of Belize, in Central America. We are a prevention oriented dental program for indigent children.
Every year various teams of volunteer dentists, along with auxiliary personnel, both trained and untrained, travel to Belize to St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church in Belize City. There we have a permanent 7-chair dental treatment facility in an unused classroom at St. Mary’s School. This is an urban school in a rundown area of the city.