North Texas Dentistry Volume 8 Issue 3 2018 ISSUE 3 DE - Page 16

Texas A&M College of Dentistry Braces by the Sea Graduate students take orthodontic care to the Caribbean by Jennifer Eure Fuentes n interesting trend has occurred in Roatán, Honduras, over the past several decades. Between 1970 and 2000, word began to spread about this small island off the country’s northern coast. More than 1 million people now visit Roatán each year, in large part because of its close reach to the Mesoamerican Reef, a diving and snorkeling mecca. That’s in sharp contrast to the average 900 visitors per year in 1970, according to a 2016 NASA report. As the island’s tourism industry has grown, so too has the poten- tial for higher incomes. A One of the keys to attaining those oppor- tunities, according to Dr. Monte Collins ’84, ’86, adjunct assistant professor in orthodontics: a nice smile. “If they have a good-looking smile, it will help them get a job,” says Collins. And then comes a trickle-down effect of better wages and with that, increased quality of life. It’s what drew him to serve patients at Clinic Esperanza, which runs almost entirely on donations, especially five- dollar contributions from patients, four years ago. The clinic has a medley of vol- unteers from the health care sector, with new faces every day from all over the world. Dentistry, obstetrics and gynecol- ogy, laboratory services, and a pharmacy are all part of the mix; why not add ortho- dontics to its services? He called up Peggy Stranges, the clinic’s founder and presi- dent, to see if they had considered provid- ing orthodontic care. “The bizarre thing is, they had an ortho- dontist a couple years before I got there,” says Collins. That individual died unex- pectedly in an accident, and by the time of Collins’ arrival in Roatán, there were still 16 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | a few kids hanging on with braces intact. So he picked up where his predecessor left off, finishing treatment for current patients and s хѥɅ́ȁ܁̸)!Ʌٕ́Ѽѡͱٕ䁙ȁѡ̰)ɽ٥Ʌɥ䁥ѡхͥ)聍ͥѕахѡѥ)ɔQ́ձѥɥ)ѥЁхݡ ́́Ʌ