Thursday, 20 May 2010

One-2-One Dental Treatment and Health Education for Poor Children

The following is a short report, prepared by one of our Partner Organisations in Cambodia, One-2-One. CamKids is providing all of the funding for this particular project and the impact on the dental health of the children has been remarkable.

Project Goal: Provide basic dental services for children from orphanages and deprived communities in and around Phnom Penh.

Logistics: During January to March, each morning and afternoon, groups of 10-20 children were brought to the International University Dental Clinic for treatment. After an oral health education session, children were examined and a treatment plan made. Some of the children had a mouth full of decay, often with painful abscesses.

Collaborative partners: One-2-One Charitable Trust, Phnom Penh International University and CamKids.

Background information: 6 year olds in Cambodia have an average of 8 decayed teeth! Many children coming to the clinic require extractions, but our focus is on doing what is most important for that particular child, to enhance their long term development and well-being. Our priorities are relief of pain, restoring decayed permanent teeth, and sealing the permanent molar teeth to prevent future decay. Most treatment is carried out using local anaesthesia so that the child does not suffer any pain. In addition, many children receive a fluoride treatment. All children are shown how to brush their teeth. Recently we introduced a new preventive dental product into the clinic – silver diamine fluoride solution. This topical fluoride can be applied directly to the dental decay on primary teeth and has the affect of arresting the decay, so that in many cases a filling can be avoided. We have developed guidelines which indicate when this treatment should be used, and when it should be avoided. Some children require more than one visit to the clinic to carry out the most necessary treatment.

The children accept the treatment well and tears are not common. The dental students who provide the treatment make a lot of effort to talk the children through the procedures and give them a positive experience. The dental students are gaining confidence in treating children, and are even willing to treat the children with HIV. This is excellent training for the students who will be more confident when they graduate. Among the staff supervising the children are two Cambodian paediatric dentists, Dr Sonita and Dr Sopharith.

From January to March, with funding from CamKids, 762 children were treated. Children were seen from 15 orphanages and NGOs.

If you would like to find out more about this or any of our other Medical Programs, please email:

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