Did you know that Jamaica only has approximately 1 dentist per 53,000 people? According to Dentistry Today, research indicates that there are less than 200 dentists in the entire country of Jamaica. This is drastic compared to the availability of dentists in the United States. In Florida alone, there are approximately 10,431 professionally active dentists. Furthermore, only an estimated 6 percent of the Jamaican population receive some form of dental treatment due to cost, availability of dentists or both (Dentistry Today). To help alleviate the oral healthcare crisis in Jamaica, Kirstin Rasmussen (who is currently in her fourth year of dental school at the University of Florida College of Dentistry) and her colleagues recently traveled to Jamaica on a mission trip to provide dental care to citizens who were in desperate need of it. The team (which consisted of 14 students and 3 faculty members) provided extractions, cleanings, oral hygiene instructions and aid to more than 600 patients. All of the services were provided in huts and churches in Kingston and St. Elizabeth. The community leaders in the areas were desperate for help due to the fact that "no one is available to help their dental problems and none of the children have ever seen a dentist". When it was time for the team to depart back to the United States, each community leader tried to convince them to stay longer in the area, explaining that "[they] will have more patients than [they] can imagine".
Implant & Periodontal Therapy is so proud of Kirstin and the UF Dental team!!