How Our Outreach Began
Founder Dr Ken Stones; University of Manitoba School of Dentistry graduate, 1969
Practiced in White Rock, B.C. until 2014
“In 1994, I was asked if I would go to the Amazon basin in Brazil to do a dental mission trip. The experience was exciting, rewarding, humbling and life changing! Thereafter, I organized and participated in volunteer clinics as frequently as was affordable, about every 18 months.
In 2009, I organized the Semiahmoo Dental Outreach team to work in Vietnam. Since then, we have done two foreign trips per year, and plan to continue this outreach.
Many of the team members have been on multiple trips, and collectively we have treated thousands of people who had otherwise no prospect of receiving care”.
What We Do
We work cooperatively with host organizations to improve the dental health of those without access to basic dental care. We accomplish this through the cooperation of local dental care providers where they exist, and through the crucial support and assistance of local community members. Our approach is multi-level, focusing on both treatment and prevention.
We typically treat 500 to 700 children per clinic. All receive fluoride varnish treatment and oral health instruction. We provide immediate pain relief for those in need, and do as many restorations (fillings) as possible, several hundred per clinic.
We place a strong value on prevention. In our Philippine location on the island of Siquijor, the team of Kwantlen University nursing students does preventive presentations at school assemblies. These elementary school meetings are attended by the children’s parents as well. All 90 schools on Siquijor have been reach at least once, many twice. In one school, the decay-free children have gone from 0% in 2010 to over 50% in 2013, a remarkable, and gratifying, change in a short time.
Since 2009, S. D. O. has operated five clinics in the Philippines (Siquijor), three in Vietnam, and one in Cambodia.
Who We Are
Dental professionals originally from South Surrey/White Rock (Semiahmoo Peninsula): dentists (5-6 per team), CDAs, hygienists, non-dental helpers and Kwantlen University Nursing students and helpers faculty. We are a group of volunteers who come from diverse backgrounds and are united by our common desire to help those in need. We are motivated to improve the dental health and well-being of people without access to basic dental care. We pay for all our personal expenses on our trips.
Supporters and Partners
We work with local groups, both in Canada and in developing countries, who are able to help us with provisions, equipment, and the organization and delivery of dental care and prevention. Our supporters and partners include foreign Rotary Clubs and NGOs who help with the set-up of clinics and provision of clinic sites, and Canadian faculty and students from the Kwantlen University Nursing Program who provide oral health education.
To improve the dental health of people without access to modern dental prevention and treatment, either because of a lack of affordability and/or because of an insufficient number or lack of local dental therapists.
In recent years, in the developing world, inexpensive sugar-laden confection and drinks have become readily available and affordable. This has produced a tremendous increase in dental decay and infection, often within one generation. This change has happened so rapidly that we often see decay free young parents whose young children suffer from rampant decay. Nursing bottle syndrome is also very common impacting very young infants.
Western corporations, such as Coca-Cola have enabled this process through cheap, easy access to their products. (This is also a problem in North America among some socio-economic groups.)