Service in China – 2016
Members of the Ensign Academy of Dentistry (formerly the Academy of LDS Dentists) (Dr. Karl Koerner and Dr. Bruce Bosler) helped lead two humanitarian trips to China in October, 2016 to treat, teach, and tour. Dentists provided care to several hundred indigent patients plus taught dentistry to local dentists in Xian and Guilin. Guilin is noted for its green karst hills that emerge from the local rivers to create picturesque scenery famous in many pictures and paintings. Xian is home of the Terra Cotta warriors, who for two thousand years, have “watched over” the rst emperor of China.
Supported by generous donations from Ultradent, Septadont, and Fuji Dental, they provide
d endodontic, pediatric, restorative, oral surgery, and oral hygiene treatment. Many of the patients were handicapped children – deaf, blind, or severely autistic. Most of those who assisted at chairside were Chinese dentists and dental residents (some proficient in English) wanting to become more familiar with U.S. methods and materials. It was an extraordinary experience to have this professional and cultural exchange in the operatory as well as after-hours.
Each day after seeing patients, there were lectures on procedures thought to be of common interest: Removing white-spot lesions on anterior teeth; guided bone regeneration; implant case selection and treatment; oral sedation; and other topics. Chinese dentists shared insights into the application of acupressure in dentistry. In the evenings, there were banquets with some rare delicacies not often seen by foreigners.
It was all about exploring China from different perspectives. After a week of dental treatment and teaching, participants took to the countryside– experiencing the waters and mountains of Guilin and Zhang Jia Jie. Zhang Jia Jie is a national park whose scenery inspired the movie Avitar.
They hiked trails through green, cloud-shrouded peaks jutting up like sky scrapers but also river-rafted waterways meandering through remote rice elds. The people and the scenery gave those who went a time they will never forget. A lot of things were packed into this 10-day visit.
Dr. Bosler and Dr. Karl Koerner are planning similar trips next year but in collaboration with the Academy of General Dentistry with the ability to grant CE credit from teaching at chairside and at the podium. It will likely be in October again when airfares are cheapest.