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Local dentist helps Haiti

Eight years ago, a Western New York dentist started an annual trip to one of the poorest areas in the western hemisphere. When that dentist passed away, another local dentist picked up the effort to help those in Haiti.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Dentistry is his profession, but for Dr. Donald Tucker, he uses his profession to help those in Western New York and in Haiti. 

"Once you go there you get pulled in, the need is so great and the people are so appreciative," he said, "I'm helping Haitian dentists learn modern techniques."

Credit: Dr. Tucker

He said just about everyone in the country has tooth decay. When he goes to Haiti to set up a clinic for about a week, he is working to save teeth. However, the majority of the dental procedures done by the Haitian dentists are extractions.

"They don't have pacifiers so the kids and infants use sugar cane, to start calm kids down and you get a lot of tooth decay in front teeth," said Dr. Tucker.

There's a shortage of dentists in Haiti. "There is one dental school that produces 25 dentists a year for a population of 10-million or so people

Credit: Dr. Tucker

"Even if you don't care from your own heart, you should care for the health of the country because it does reflect on us too," said Dr. Tucker. A gofundme account is set up for anyone interested in helping the mission in Haiti.

There is a Dental/Medical mission in Coq Chante, Haiti. Two churches have been funding and running the clinic for 25 years. The Dental/Medical clinic is associated with St. Michael the Archangel Church in Coq Chante. They are involved in a Twinning program, set up by St. George R.C. Church in West Falls, NY. And Nativity of our Lord  RC church in Orchard Park, NY

The Medical clinic has two full-time Haitian nurses and a part-time Haitian physician.