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Opinion: My Volunteer Experience At A Native American Dental Clinic

Dr. Maryann Lehmann, a dentist in private practice in Darien, Connecticut, discusses her positive experience volunteering at a dental clinic in South Central South Dakota on the St. Francis Mission Among the Lakota. Describing the experience as “like being on a dental retreat,” Dr. Lehmann discovered the time at the clinic also helped her and her team once they returned home. “My hygienists and I were working very fast at the clinic, and when we got back home, we continued on that efficient pace. Things moved smoother, faster and better,” she said. “Not only were we working smarter, but we were happy and excited, and as I say, that trip put some gas in our tanks.”
Image of Dr. Maryann Lehmann.
ALL DENTAL PROFESSIONALS NEEDED. I was sitting on a plane, reading the most recent Journal of the American Dental Association, and I, once again, saw this classified ad. The first time I saw the ad, I was on the way home from the Dominican Republic with a group from the dental school where I teach, full of all the excitement that this trip had brought, already thinking where my next service trip might be, when this popped out at me. The ad went on to say there is a dental clinic in South Central South Dakota on the St. Francis Mission Among the Lakota that is looking for volunteers to provide dental care to the residents of the reservation. That was March, and here it was October, and this time, as I read the ad, I was actually headed to the reservation.

        Read the rest of Dr. Lehmann’s piece at ADA News.

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