The Volunteer Dentists
The Underprivileged Island Patients Get a Chance at a Smile

May 1st, 2011
by -


Dr. Alvaro Sanchez, and Dr. Brent Bills consult a patient at Clínica Esperanza

Dr. Alvaro Sanchez, and Dr. Brent Bills consult a patient at Clínica Esperanza

Dr. Brent Bills DMD, his wife Laural and daughter Whitney have been helping to bring smiles to faces of Roatanians. The dentist has been coming two-to-four times a year to the island giving free dental care to Clínica Esperanza patients.

The benefits of orthodontist procedures are not only cosmetic. “It helps them in opening breathing passages and improves their self esteem. Technology like that just wasn’t here 10 years ago,” says Dr. Bills. There are around 25 patients being currently helped, some in their early teens, and one forty-year-old patient.

The American orthodontist says that he uses a technique that allows for basically no teeth to be distracted. “I came to work with children, but I ended up working more with adults,” says Dr. Bills who for the last 31 years had a dental practice in Wyoming. USA.

Since April of 2010, Dr. Bills has been coming to Roatan’s Clínica Esperanza to perform the procedures and teach techniques to other dentists like Dr. Alvaro Sanchez, DDS, who also volunteers at Clínica Esperanza. “We want for the Clínica Esperanza to be a learning center,” said Dr. Sanchez.

For the past year Kenford Woods, 16, from Sandy Bay has been receiving treatment for his irregular bite. “I can chew food much better now,” says Woods with a broad smile. According to Dr. Bills the cost of the treatment in the US would run somewhere around $6,000. Woods has volunteered his time at the clinic painting the building.

Another patient that receives the free treatment is a 16-year-old girl, already a mother, who lives in one of the abuse shelters on the island. “After the treatment her personality has completely changed. She has more self esteem. The change is remarkable,” said Dr. Bills. [/private]

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