Dentistry for Underprivileged: What We Learned on Our Mission Trip To India
During the week of February 1, 2015, Ridgewood Dental Associates very own Dr. Joung went on his first medical mission trip. The trip was to India and the purpose was to minister to the underserved and underprivileged people by providing free medical and dental care. The trip was co-sponsored by Dr. Joung’s church, Joy Christian Fellowship, and OM India (Operation Mobilisation).
Ridgewood Dental Associates had the opportunity to ask Dr. Joung about his trip, how he got involved and what did he gain from the experience.
Ridgewood Dental Associates (RDA): So how did you get involved in the mission trip to India?
Dr. Joung: I had always wanted to get involved with medical missions, and when this opportunity presented itself at my church, I just knew it was the right one.
RDA: Where did you go?
Dr. Joung: We went to Hyderabad, Mahbubnagar and 4 remote villages.
RDA: How long was your flight? How did the time change affect you?
Dr. Joung: The main flight was direct from Newark to Mumbai, and it took 16 hours. Then we took another 1.5 flight within India to get to Hyderabad. The time change was definitely a challenge both going there and coming home. It took a week to readjust once I got home.
RDA: How many doctors went with you? Were they all dentists? Or were there other doctors as well?
Dr. Joung: Our team consisted of our Church’s missions pastor, four medical doctors (a urologist, an ophthalmologist, an oncologist and a psychiatrist) and two dentists, including myself.
RDA: Did you do only extractions? Or other preventive dental care as well?
Dr. Joung: We did some extractions and routine exams. We were able to address acute problems, as well as teach some oral hygiene. We also visited an elementary school and provided medical /dental screenings.
RDA: How many people came to take advantage of the free dental care?
Dr. Joung: We treated three villages with about 200 to 400 people per village and we went to one school, with 80 students and 10 staff.
RDA: What was the main message that you came away from this trip with?
Dr. Joung: It really makes you appreciate how fortunate we are here in the United States. We are blessed here with so much, that we take it for granted. It was a humbling experience. And it was nice to see that we could bring a smile to those people’s faces, just to show them that they are loved.
The staff at RDA is so proud of Dr. Joung for giving his time for such a worthy cause! Please feel free to leave your comments below and let us know what you think of Dr. Joung’s experience.