As a second-year dental student, Jane is about to see her very first dental patient, just screened by the local dentist. The patient is 8 or 9 years old. He has two chipped front teeth. Jane has experience repairing broken teeth—all expertly performed on typodonts. Typodonts don’t cry. Typodonts don’t cringe at the sight of a needle. Jane’s patient is crying. Needles terrify him. Jane finally dispenses with the rejected anesthesia and goes to work. When she needs help she can turn to Dr. Chu, who provides professional assistance. And tomorrow, with her fingers now wet in oral therapy, Jane will be revisited by her happy patient flashing his beautiful new smile.
Brit Steele explains, “Kevin Kuniyoshi, SD’97, assistant professor, Restorative Dentistry, alumni Century Club president, has helped us ask questions: Where do we go from here? How do we get another class to explore a similar project? When we become alumni, we have a place we have identified with, even if we haven’t gone ourselves. Our goal: to make this a project so that everyone in the class has a chance to serve in Honduras.” Jane Gumangan adds, “It’s neat going from ‘Can we do this?’ to ‘How can we keep this going?’’’