A person’s first time to the dentist usually does not equate to 18 teeth extractions. But then again, there is rarely anything ‘usual’ about the work of YWAM Medical Ships Australia (MSA). With a fully functional dentistry clinic on board, and trained dentists ready to take all that Port Moresby’s locals could throw at them, the ships doors were opened on Tuesday, 24th July, to YWAM MSA’s largest supporter in PNG, Steamships Ltd.
Steamships’ employees were welcomed for the day to come aboard and have their teeth treated, checked and also receive education about mouth and tooth care. It was then that an older man, John, 61, walked aboard.
As he walked into the clinic, he appeared nervous. This would be the first that John would be exposed to the sight, smell and experience of dental technology.
Dr Daryl Holmes, YWAM MSA’s volunteer dentist for the week, and long time supporter of the vessel’s work said it was alarming to meet John, who hadn’t seen a dentist in his entire life.
“It was most gratifying to treat and relieve his pain and disease that had obviously been present over half his life,” said Dr Holmes.
Unfortunately, due to the level of decay and infection, only four teeth were salvaged after 15 root stumps and three full teeth were removed; however, John left the ship with a much healthier mouth and future, as well as education to continue caring for his teeth.
This is only one of many success stories coming out from the YWAM MSA, Port Morsbey outreach. There is never a day where lives are not saved, quality of life restored and smiles returned to faces, like the one of the delightful and always memorable, John.