Monday, October 14, 2013

Pediatric Dental Days at Standing Rock Reservation

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Pediatric Dental Days on Standing Rock Reservation.  Standing Rock is in south central North Dakota and north central South Dakota.  Along with four other people representing Children of the Harvest in our conference of the United Methodist Church, I volunteered to help with this event.  We helped over 300 children with their dental care on Friday and Saturday.   

There were about 40 stations where dentists and their assistants were able to work.  They were able to do cleanings, fillings and tooth removal, perhaps they could do more but I don't know for sure.  The doctors did need to refer some children to get work done elsewhere if there was too much to do at this location.
This is the working area before we started.  Most were for the dentists but some were for dental hygienists.  Some of the children had been pre-screened to help direct them to the proper people back here.
There was coloring, movies and 
games for the children while they waited.
When chairs were available we moved the next person (first come, first served) to
the 'on deck' area.  There was a movie there too. 
Moving about the various waiting areas were hygienists sharing tooth care information and stickers with the children.  This area, and the adult waiting area, were separated by a wall.  It was nice to have that division so nobody had to see (or hear) what happened on the other side and get even more anxious.  You see some of these children have never been to a dentist before.
This dentist had such a fun shirt on the first day that I just had to share it with you!  The front said something about Dr. Seuss and Green Eggs.
The back said '...and Ham.'

Another dentist wore brightly colored canvas shoes.  He happened to have bright pinkish/purplish shoes this weekend.  He also has a pair with 'Green Eggs and Ham' (guess that is a dental theme).  A pair with his name embroidered on them and some others that are other bright colors.  This man's shoe collection matched his wonderful personality.
Of course there was a need for supplies.  This was the supply area.  Tools, cleaning supplies, crowns, and many other items that this non-dentist person didn't know the use of.

This is where all of the work was done.  It was a busy area and only a few upset children.  These folks were great with the kids. 
Pastor Kathy, me, Mike & Libby who head up Spirit Lake Ministry Center, and Marilyn. 
The "Purple Shirt People" as we were called!  We helped guide the families, worked with the adult family members as needed and generally had a nice time!  We were given the purple shirts so folks could easily find us and by the end of the first day we'd gained a title!

Oct. 15 update:  The final numbers are in for Dental Days in Fort Yates on the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota. 367 children were seen with over $150,000 in dental work performed.


  1. Well done! Amazing what can be accomplished when we set out to help each other. Good karma all around.