Saturday, February 14, 2009

Englewood Dentist Brings Smiles to Guatemala

Dr. Ryan Roberts has never been to El Rejon, Guatemala.

Until recently, he'd never even heard of this tiny village.

He's about to find out just exactly where it is when he and four other dentists, including college friend Dr. Simon Amir, travel there on Feb. 25. This trip will mark the second time he and Amir have gone to Guatemala to provide free dental care to people there. This time, the dentists will bring along materials about diet and oral hygiene that is aimed at helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

"A lot of the people that we saw on our last trip had no real idea when it came to proper oral hygiene," Roberts said. "We'd like to use some of our time there this time educating them."

Roberts, an Englewood native who now lives in Rotonda West with his wife and two children, spent his last trip in the relatively large town of Santiago. There, although he did not have all the modern equipment that his office in Englewood does, he at least had a dental chair. This trip will take him to El Rejon and another tiny village in the hinterlands.

"It's going to be something of an adventure," he said, smiling. "Instead of a dentist's chair, we'll be seating patients in a kitchen chair."

Roberts and the other dentists work in cooperation with an agricultural organization that, in turn, works with Sarasota dentist Dr. Javier Gonzalez.

"It was Dr. Gonzalez who got me interested in going to Guatemala," Roberts said. "I'm glad he did because I really enjoy the work and the opportunity to do something for others. It's my way of giving back."

Read the rest of the story in The Sun.


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ShutterSparks / KW2P said...

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