A VISIT conducted by a group of dental doctors from Australia to the remote Namuga hospital in Star Harbour, east Makira last month was successful.
According to a dental report filed by the team leader Dr Som-Ling Leung, 177 Kindergarten, primary, and secondary students at Namuga school have received dental treated during the trip, excluding those that were not present.
Students were assessed according to World Health Organisation (WHO) Standards and the results will be submitted to the world data base as well as to the National Solomon Dental Department.
Students were assessed and placed in the following categories; 1. No treatment required, 2. Preventive or routine treatment required (Received silver fluoride treatment for teeth showing early signs of decay), 3. Prompt treatment (these received silver fluoride treatment and fillings), and 4. Urgent treatment (assessed as either in pain or likely to be in pain within the next few months. These received larger fillings and extractions if required).
“Silver fluoride treatment is not available through the National Solomon Dental Department at this stage, due to its cost. It involves mechanical removal of decay and a two stage liquid application (no injections).
“It can halt the decay process if applied early and can significantly reduce the need for future fillings or extractions,” Dr Som-Ling said, in the report.
She added, they are planning to return to complete the absent children and will reassess their dental status in 2 years and provide a cost benefit analysis.
“We believe while the cost is high, the product covers many treatments and should be economical considering its benefit.
“We collected information from a survey to determine the impact of oral disease, on appearance, self-esteem, pain and missing school; as well as dietary assessment (what they ate the day before); and source of water consumption.
Dr Freda, the new Makira Dental Director, was also part of the visit.
Prior to the trip, Dr Som-Ling said the main aim of the visit is to gather information about the dental needs, so they can coordinate future visits with appropriate treatment.
The team returned to Australia last week.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA