This weekend was annual CDA Cares community outreach event. This time it was in San Jose, CA. There were more than 2000 people who received free dental care. More than 1000 patients showed up for treatment on Saturday. By Sunday morning, most denture teeth and materials were gone. They were very selective about who would get dentures. By Sunday 11 am, the person in charge of the hygiene department requested we stop sending patients over for at least an hour, until they could catch up on their 4 hour wait. When he saw more patients were sent over, he came back to reiterate his request, which was now more of a demand. Some of the doctors in Dental Triage, which I was a part of, sent patients over for a cleaning because that was all they wanted. They waited in line the night before just to get a cleaning. How do you deny someone that devoted a simple cleaning? You don't. You just ask them to wait for awhile before they head over to the hygiene area.
This year I'm proud to say I didn't witness any hostility or disrespect towards any of the volunteers. Everyone in line was very patient and understanding. Even at the hygiene area, where irritability is understandable.
All in all, it feels good to know that my profession always give back to its communities. There were hundreds of volunteers, both in and out of the dental field. So many people were there both days, starting at 5am. One of the best response I heard today was from a doctor to his patient, "I volunteered for this," when his patient asked him why he hasn't taken a break since 5am. It was 12 noon. He was also near retirement, if not retired already, if you know what I mean. One of the best compliment today was, "I got lucky today. I got the best looking doctor to check on me." Yup, he's talking about me. He may have been slightly vision impaired but he made my day. His sincerity was unquestionable. Therefore, as I lay in bed with salon pas pads on my back, I still get a chuckle out of that piece.