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Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene Training

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Description
Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene Training Clinic. In 2002, Smiles Forever developed a two-year dental hygiene training program for indigenous young women living at the “Madre de Dios” homeless shelter in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
A team of two Bolivian dentists, translators, and other Bolivian professionals teach and run the program year round. Volunteer dental hygienists from the U.S. and Canada came together to help design and develop this ever-changing curriculum of traditional dental hygiene skills and assisting skills to meet the needs of the dental community and citizens of Bolivia, a Third World country.





Using the founders own resources, as well as private donations, made it possible to create a two chair, fully updated dental clinic “training center” complete with X-ray machine and functioning vacuum system.

Smiles Forever supplies the necessities for the dental services provided, as well as salaries for the Smiles Forever dentists that teach and provide restorative dentistry (fillings) for shelter residents.
The Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene Teaching clinic provides dental care for more the homeless in the area. Last year 2008, restorative and preventive treatment was provided to over 5000 men, women and children.

Smiles Forever Foundation was incorporated as a non-profit organization in June 2000 and received its 501 C (3) status September 13, 2001. Smiles Forever became a non profit foundation in Bolivia in 2004 and is now recognized worldwide. The Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene program was accredited in 2005 by the President Dr. Roverto Bueno of the Dental Society of Cochabamba.




In 2005, Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene School started with six students in the first class. Students were selected and asked to attend the school. Most students did not have the self confidence to believe there was any possibilities for their future. With hard work and dedication from both students and teaching staff, the goal was accomplished and four students received their credential to practice dental hygiene.
Currently all graduating students are working in dental offices in Cochabamba, and are recognized as true professionals.

About their education: students participate in theory lectures once a week by Bolivian dentists on the Smiles Forever team. Four half-days a week students are in clinic working on patients in the Madre de Dios homeless women’s shelter. They provided cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, all this with one-on-one training by the Smiles team.

Some of their education, when not cleaning teeth, is to work with the dentist on staff, honing their dental assisting skills. Students are required to complete 40 adult cleanings at proficiency level, pass all exams at 75%, participate in community service project in a rural community, and complete an internship (dental assisting) in a local dental office within the city of Cochabamba.

The program has had jumped over many hurdles to get where they are today…two students were lost in the first class, one to a domestic violent relationship. Workshops were incorporated into the program dealing with domestic violence, leadership skills, and basic skills such as manners. Smiles Forever found it was impossible not to address the special needs and cultural differences of the community.
A transitional center was created for graduating students to live for a contracted period for one to two year's while completing their general education and working part-time in local dental offices. This allow students to be coached through this difficult period of adjustment and shown how to eventually live on their own.

Smiles Forever provided its first continuing education course, “System of Continuing Care for Dental Health,” for the dentists of Cochabamba, Bolivia. In March of 2005, Dr. Stump helped to prepare this presentation for the Bolivian dental community. Dr. Stump spent many hours interviewing local dentists about how they practiced dentistry in the local economy. His presentation was extremely important in validating the need for preventive care and the use of the dental hygienist in the Bolivian dental office.



Dr. Greg Stump has been practicing dentistry in Chicago, Illinois, since 1975. He has been active in dental practice management for more than 12 years. In addition to being on staff with the Pride Institute, he has authored the workbook “Practicing the Dream.” He also works with Mary Alwan Consulting, which focuses on management, leadership, and financial direction in the dental office.

Smiles Forever Foundation has built a new dental clinic (funded by a International Rotary grant and private donations) at the transitional center in Cochabamba. This new clinic contains three dental chairs in which Bolivian dentist provide dental services to the general Bolivian population. Senior Smiles Forever dental hygiene students provide preventive services. The clinic is slowly building a patient base. Patients are encouraged in prevention over restoration. The clinic provides all specialties in dentistry. Bolivians are able to experience first hand how the program works and donate to the sustainability of the clinic and training center. After six months in existence, the clinic is able to pay for its own maintenance and supplies. All proceeds fund the existing Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene Training Program.

The success of this program has had a tremendous impact within the community. Smiles Forever hopes to use this model to expand its efforts and implement similar programs in other Third World Countries.

Price: unspecified

Tags: Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene Training Clinic

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Dentist in Bolivia | Smiles Forever Foundation
Date added: 8/16/2010
Expiration date: 3/24/2013
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Offer ID: 689
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