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A Smile for Haiti

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A Smile for Haiti
\"I\'m Selling Hope\"
by Javier M. de Pisón / Editor-in-Chief, Dental Tribune Latin America

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO. The President of the Haiti Dental Association, Dr. Samuel Prophete, said to Dental Tribune Latin America that people are working and that his country is functioning again to some extent, but that large tent cities remain, posing great sanitation and security problems.

Dr. Prophete participated in the \"A Smile for Haiti\" benefit congress of the Ibero-Latin American Dental Federation (FDILA) thanks to a grant from the International Congress of Implantologists (ICOI), and specifically to the efforts of its Latin American Director, Dr. Alvaro Ordóńez from Miami.

Two months after this publication brought Dr. Prophete to the Chicago Midwinter Meeting for talks with Chicago Dental Society and American Dental Association officials on how to help Haitian dentists, little aid has trickled down to the Haitian dental community.

Asked about the reaction of his colleagues to the campaign for Haitian dentists, he said that after the trip to Chicago he called a meeting to explain the commitments to help made by American dental organizations.

\"I told them, \'I cross my fingers and wait for the resources to come,\' but for the time being I\'m selling hope to them.\"

Colleagues in Need
Dr. Prophete said his association will use the first aid received to help the 12 dentists most affected by the earthquake, the ones who lost everything, from a total of 35 dentists in need of help.

\"Haitian dentists have partnered to work together with the ones who have lost their practices,\" Dr. Prophete said. \"This has allowed dentists to survive, but they are still waiting\" for aid from several dental organizations and other sources in the dental industry.

Looters ransacked dental offices after the quake, leaving many professional without tools or materials to work. While institutions such as New York University\'s Dental School have donated dental chairs that are being shipped to Haiti by Henry Schein, Dr. Prophete said that more immediate help can be obtained by purchasing equipment or materials from Haitian dental depots.

Dr. Prophete pointed out that this is an important way for the dentist to find supplies to tend to their patients’ needs, but it also keeps the economy moving forward for Haitians. There is a real concern that dentists who cannot work in Haiti will migrate, leaving a country with already very low rates of oral services with even less.

Contribute to the campaign for Haiti by viewing online lectures at the Dental Tribune Study Club at All proceeds from the ADA-CERP accredited courses are donated to the Haiti Dental Association for purchasing supplies and materials, and assisting colleagues in order of most pressing need.



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