Getting to know your 5-Star Rated Orthodontist for Braces & Invisalign in Charleston, SC
Sitting in Biochemistry Class during dental school at the Medical University of South Carolina I began to think about how in a matter of hours familiar sights, sounds and scents were about to change. Not long afterwards I boarded a plane bound for Africa, and things did change, only not in ways that I had anticipated. My first destination was Kenya. I would be working at Kijabe Hospital.
Under the shepherding eye of a missionary dentist, I placed braces for the first time. I was taught orthodontics was more than just developing a pretty smile it was about changing peoples lives.
Next a chaotic 20-hour bus ride transported me from Kenya to Kampala, Uganda. In Kampala, I worked at Mengo Hospital. My trek then led me to northern Uganda. I traveled to Sudanese refugee camps and local churches, setting up oral surgery clinics and extracting teeth.
From Uganda I traveled to the Congo and boarded a boat to Rwanda. I worked there for the rest of the summer, extracting teeth in prisons containing many who participated in the devastating 1994 genocide. Shyria Hospital in the remote Rwandan mountains was my next stop.
While in dental school, I took advantage of every opportunity, and set-up numerous restorative, hygiene and oral surgery dental clinics throughout Africa and South America. Often seeing upwards of 200 people a day, I extracted more teeth in 9-hours than during four years of dental school.
Through all I learned and experienced, something I had heard during my first trip to Africa lingered in my mind. It was a statement from Dr. Rich, a dentist I worked with in Kenya. “One of the most exciting things that I do here,” he told me, “is placing braces on the kids.” Over the next few years I began to understand the relationship between orthodontics and someone’s function, facial contours and overall health.
I can think of no better job than being an orthodontist . It facilitates my passion for relating to people and having a lasting influence in their life. 12 years later along with a wife and four kids, orthodontics has become not simply a career, but a calling.