The One-2-One Cambodia Happy Dental Clinic is funded by SAKKA Foundation and the Overseas Volunteer Fund, providing much needed basic dental care to vulnerable children from NGOs/Orphanages in Phnom Penh, especially those who are marginalised e.g. HIV positive children, cleft children or disabled children. The clinic is based in One-2-One Cambodia office on the ground floor and is open from 8.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Wednesday. One-2-One works cooperatively with senior dental students from the International University (IU) and the University of Health and Science (UHS) to operate the clinic. The work is demanding and challenging as we work with the most vulnerable group but also most rewarding, in knowing that we make such a great difference to them. Now they can eat, smile, sleep well and go to school or able to continue with their other treatment plans.
At the clinic, Dental students, Dentists and Dental Nurses provide a range of dental treatment including:
- Dental restorations
- Dental sealants (protective coatings on molar teeth)
- Dental extractions
- Fluoride (to arrest and prevent dental caries)
- Oral health education
- General health and hygiene education and prevention
- Provision of toothbrushes and toothpaste
The Happy Dental Clinic has been very busy providing oral health care to children from various orphanages, NGO and slums across Phnom Penh.
The staff and volunteers are trained specifically to ensure the treatment is as pain free and as gentle as possible. Our Motto is “let no children cry”
The clinic schedule has been designed so that children from each orphanage, NGO groups visit the clinic at a specific time.
At the clinic, our team consists of Dentists, Dental Nurses and Dental Assistants all working to provide dental treatment for the children whether it is emergency relief or oral health promotion actions. Ms. Nary, manages the clinic to ensure appropriate dental treatment is provided to each child in a safe, caring and professional way. Good cross infection control is a priority for Happy Dental Clinic. Additionally, over the last six months, we have been fortunate to have volunteer dentists from overseas helping our team to provide more specialised treatment for the more serious oral health problems.
The Happy Dental Clinic provides a child friendly environment with educational toys and reading materials for children to read and play with while waiting for dental care. As a result, the children are happy to come and have dental check-ups and treatment without fear. It is always great to see the children engaging with their peers and having fun playing with the toys together. Our staff work hard to ensure it is a happy place.
After each treatment, our Dental Assistant provides basic oral health education to the children, teaching them how to brush their teeth properly and explaining to them how they must avoid sweet foods and drinks which can lead to tooth decay. To ensure the children brush their teeth twice daily, we have continued to provide toothbrushes and toothpaste to all children who visit the Happy Dental Clinic.
a total of 1032 children (an average of 172 children per month) from 13 orphanages/NGO have received dental treatment and oral health education at the Happy Dental Clinic. Additionally, we also see disadvantaged young women from the Bloom organization for basic dental care as needed, often weekly.
A priority for our team is providing preventative dental care, including protective sealants (the best preventative measure for molar teeth); which as you can see in the table above, 400 teeth were sealed over the six month period. There were also a high number of restorations and tooth extractions performed. Over the next six months we will continue to provide oral health education and topical fluorides which we hope will help prevent the need for high numbers of restorations and extractions.
During this six month period, our team encountered a variety of challenges. While we strive to create a warm and safe environment, it’s not uncommon for our staff to encounter children who are scared and don’t want to receive dental treatment. However, our staff work extra hard to befriend the children, patiently making sure they feel comfortable and relaxed preceding and during their dental treatment.
While we arrange with organizations to bring children to the clinic at 8am, it’s very common for them to turn up at 9am or 10am. Sometimes they cancel at last minute or cannot come if the raining is very heavy and the street floods. Sometimes their drivers let them down… Naturally this makes it difficult for our team to run the clinic smoothly and as scheduled
Next 6 months
It is anticipated that Happy Dental Clinic will continue to provide high quality dental treatment to young children from orphanages and communities surrounding Phnom Penh. We aim to promote and teach them how to brush their teeth correctly while also explaining to them how to avoid some foods which cause teeth decay. We know that for the best future what we do today is vital.
One-2-One would like to take this opportunity to thank the SAKKA Foundation for partnering with us to help provide these underserved children with the dental care and treatment that they desperately need. It is through this partnership that these children can improve their health and wellbeing, have a brighter future and a greater chance at living a normal and healthy life.