MADANG, Papua New Guinea — Nancy waited anxiously on the rear deck of the m/v PACIFIC LINK for her opportunity to be examined by a dentist. This opportunity was a rare chance for free dental care and, perhaps, to have her smile restored. Even though Nancy was doubtful, she decided she didn’t have anything to lose.
Missing a front tooth and with other teeth decaying, Nancy was keenly aware of her appearance. Her self-esteem undermined continuously by her condition, she hoped something could be done to restore her teeth.
After waiting in line for four hours, Nancy finally reached the examination chair. Yet she didn’t comprehend the implications when a U.S. dentist volunteering with YWAM Ships Kona explained that improvement was possible. The dentist, Joan Fox, was aware of a technique that could provide significant cosmetic enhancement to Nancy’s teeth.
Fox extracted some of Nancy’s bad teeth. Then, she made a dental splint for Nancy by acquiring a fishing line from m/v PACIFIC LINK engineers. Fox bonded the front teeth together and molded portions of the line over the extraction sites. Then, she used a curing light to harden the soft composite teeth and polished them. When the procedure was complete, the composite teeth looked completely natural to the naked eye.
Nancy still wasn’t aware of what had been done for her until she looked in a mirror. When she saw her smile had been restored, she was overjoyed and in disbelief. Nancy can now smile without being self-conscious and can eat most foods.
As Nancy exited the clinic, the dental assistants who participated in the procedure couldn’t stop telling her how beautiful she looked. Fox had done similar procedures on other patients, but Nancy’s was the most significant transformation.