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Towards a healthy and smiling population

 

 

Towards a healthy and smiling population,

Can you imagine having a child who is sever sick and is going to die because of dental problems,

Can you imagine that your daughter will not smile because of bad theeth

Can you imagine a four ours walk to a dentist, if there is one.

In Rwanda they can, because it is the unfair reality. And it is so unfair because it is not necessary.

Healthy teeth for a lifetime at low cost based on preventive dentistry for all people rich and poor, in Germany and in Rwanda, that’s my dream.

First let me introduce myself

I finished my Study in Dentistry, in 1984, in Groningen, Holland; I went to Germany to work as a dentist and started my own dental Office in 1986.

I choose to live and work in a little town, Stemwede, between Osnabruck and Hannover. My dream was that the people in this small society, can chew with their own teeth a lifetime without investing a lot of money. Together with partner dentists and dental hygienists, we motivate our patients to be responsible for their own teeth. It is not a dentist who is responsible for your teeth. It is the patient’s own behavior that is vital for healthy teeth. Preventive actions that’s what counts. That’s why we offer a low cost dental preventive system, depending on the age of the patient, this make the system so dynamical.

The importance of good prevention was more and more accepted in the following years and appreciated by the patients. The dental office became larger and larger. The essence of my vision, of using your own teeth a lifetime, by preventive dentistry, came true.

The children from 1986 became the parents of today. The results are astonishing. Nowadays children start much earlier with preventive dentistry, mostly at the age of one or two years. And they have less problems with their teeth as had their parents. It gives me a great satisfaction to see how my vision, healthy teeth for a lifetime, became reality for my patients.

With these remarkable experiences in my mind, I started to look forward; is there a possibility to make this dream happen on a larger scale. To help not only a local European community but perhaps bring this dream to a whole country. A country where good oral health isn’t yet widespread. A country, where less fortunate people don’t have any access to a oral health system.

 

In 2008, I started to work with an organization in Rwanda. We developed special programs of screening, Dental Preventive dentistry and Atraumatic Restoration Treatment (With ART you can repair teeth when there is no dental equipment, electricity or water) and we focused to work for the benefit of children at the local schools.

At the end of 2013, I became the chairman of the DentalHealthCareRwanda (DHCR). It is our goal to give the schoolchildren the opportunity of costfree preventiv dentistry in Rwanda  Although it isn’t always easy and a long way to go.

I believe it is possible to have this low cost preventive and curative dental system for the benefit of all Rwandese people, towards a healthy and smiling population. Our local partners are Rwandese dentists with their own skills in dentistry, ready to learn, who works with passion for their community to improve the standards of oral health, dental students and local community workers to bring this idea of dental prevention into the Rwandese families.

I work for it and I love it.

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