Many of the patients were left untreated for a long time due to the fact that they could not afford to go to a dental clinic. For them, dental care was a luxury, not a necessity. While working in the clinic, I realized how blessed I am to live without worrying about dental and medical care. This situation opened my eyes to the pain and suffering of those who cannot afford the help that they truly need. This trip amplified my desire to help people in oral health care.
Based on my experiences with ISL, I have become an active volunteer at the Dental Fear Research Clinic at the University of Washington, School of Dentistry, specializing in solving different types of dental fears and phobias. I have received further experiences by being able to shadow Dr. Tar-Chee Aw. I have come to realize that there is more to the fear of dentistry than you would first believe, such as fear of X-rays or not being numb. Thus, these experiences have helped me to understand how varied the field of dentistry really is and to have made me truly interested and motivated to learn more about the different facets of dentistry.
Since my childhood, I have understood how important it is to treat patients fear as well as their oral health care. Dr. Tar-Chee Aw´s work is an inspiration as I also want to become a dentist who can heal the patient's deep-rooted pain, both in their heart and in their mouth.
While my volunteer and research experiences bolstered my determination to study dentistry, it was my class in Dental Public Health Science that taught me how to become a "good" dentist. Most of the lecturers agreed that dentistry in the United States of America is probably the most advanced in the world, however, not everyone in this country enjoys this, due to its high cost. Even if people are able to afford the high expenses, they tend to wait until they feel pain.