Bruce C. McArthur, DDS
6565 West Jewell Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80232
The clinic went pretty well today… one surprise was when the power went out in the whole town for a couple of hours. Good thing we had our generators! We got an extra one for this trip, since we heard the power was out a few days a couple of weeks ago! (Thanks Roger for your foresight here!)
We met one young man, maybe in his low twenties, who had a large abscess coming from one of his upper front teeth. It wasn’t really hurting him now, but it surely will soon, and the only options were to pull the tooth (a front tooth on a young man!) or wait for it to get horribly painful later and have a dentist in the city take it out then. If only we could do a root canal for him, we might be able to save that tooth! But we are not set up to do root canals here… or are we? Cherryl said she saw some root canal materials somewhere in our donated stuff. We had our digital x-ray unit, we found the needed files, improvised some sealant, and hand shaped a gutta percha point for the final filling material. We substituted some instruments and started to work! As we got started, someone asked how much longer we would be, and I said at least an hour. A little while later, she asked again – seems he was supposed to catch a bus for an 8 hour ride home… and it was leaving anytime now! They would hold the bus for a little while longer. It was about then that the power went out. But our computerized digital x-ray could run on batteries, and we kept on. Got him finished, and arranged a ride up the hill to the town center where he could get his bus. I haven’t found out if he made it.
Towards the close of the day, Dr Johnson had a very challenging extraction on a boy of about eleven. He was our last dental patient for the day, and Dr Johnson finished about 6pm. The boy and his mother had ridden a donkey for 14 hours to get here! They were obviously not able to go home then, so we fed them dinner and got them back to the town square where they could get a place for the night.
As usual, it was dark when we walked back up to town. The occasional car that would pass us would stir up so much dust it looked like fog in the street lights. I didn’t get a really good picture of that because it didn’t seem good to pull my camera out in the dust storm!
As I was in my hotel room typing this, I heard a band playing outside, getting louder and louder. Ran out front to see a marching band go by our hotel, up to the corner, turn, and march off. Turns out it was just a school’s marching band out practicing. At 8pm.
So pretty much just another normal day here in Cascas!