Each year Dr. Whilden and Dr. Brevet, along with a team of assistants, have the privilege of working in remote areas in cooperation with other Christian mission organizations to provide much needed dental care. Although relief of pain is their primary dental focus, time is always spent teaching oral hygiene and providing fluoride treatments to children to help prevent decay. Over the years these mission teams have worked in many countries including Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, Ecuador, Venezuela, India, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Guatemala and Nicaragua. An approved 501 (c) (3) organization, Christian Dental Missions, was formed to oversee these teams and donations may be mailed to Christian Dental Missions at 7 Broadway, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756.
Articles that Dr. Whilden has written about these trips have appeared in the Journal of the New Jersey Dental Association and are copied here.
Volunteer Overseas Service: One Dentist’s Experiences (1989)
Diary of a Volunteer Dentist: Honduras, Central America (1992)
Bolivia - 2015
Dr. Whilden doing an initial examination
Teaching oral hygiene using special dental puppets
Giving out toothbrushes
Practicing oral hygiene
The team also visits schools to provide fluoride treatments for children
Treating a patient
Atypical mouth lesions caused by irritation from extreme overcrowding of the teeth
Preparing a tooth for a filling
A typical village clinic
A satisfied customer!
People of all ages watch through the windows
The team singing at an evening worship service
Puppet shows during the services were very popular with children
The team enjoyed relaxing at a Bolivian ice cream parlor!
Colombia - 2014
To see a brief video recap of the Colombia team’s work, click here:
Mocagua, Colombia in the Amazon
Dr. Whilden and son, Jordan, unloading equipment
Line of patients outside dental clinic in San Martin, Colombia
School boat (bus equivalent) bringing students to dental team site
Community building used by dental team in Santa Sofia, Colombia
View outside dental clinic window - significantly different from Ocean Grove
One of many patients we saw
Child with typical extensive decay
Dr. Whilden treating a patient
Injecting local anesthesia (a new experience for the villagers)
Flashlights became very helpful as evening progressed
Note the monkey. Sometimes they came to the clinic to see what was going on, too.
Extracted abscessed tooth with berry lodged (over a month) in cavity.
Another happy patient!
Dental hygiene instructions were given to many.
Tarantula - too close for comfort.
Puppet shows added excitement to evening worship services.
Night falls in the Amazon.
Peru - 2013
One of our special patients
Consulting with a patient with the help of an interpreter
Teaching oral hygiene
Preparing a tooth for a restoration
Unloading at a church
Extracting broken teeth
Dr. Whilden with a patient
Part of our team also provided optometric services
Guatemala - 2011
Crowds were waiting when we arrived at the churches were we worked.
Our team included Guatemalan dentists, nurses, pastors and support staff.
The instrument sterilization process uses a camp stove and pressure cooker.
Each dentist tries to work by a window to get better light.
Dr. Whilden and assistants preparing a tooth for a filling.
Two of our team members got to teach oral hygiene to an entire high school at one time in their arena.
Students showing off their coloring books, created by one of our team members, that each dental health.
For the first time we were able to take eyeglasses for distribution.
Most optometry patients had their eyes tested with an autorefractor that indicated the eyeglass prescription needed.
Some patients who just needed reading glasses were simply tested using a "language free" eyechart. Patients indicated what they could see by using 3 fingers to match the position of the "E" on the eyechart.
A satisfied patient!
After patients were finished in the clinic, they had a final stop at a "dismissal" table where necessary medications, post-operative instructions, follow up counseling and Christian literature were distributed.
Nicaragua - 2010
Loading buses to travel from Managua to Masachapa where the team worked for a week.
Masachapa is located on the western coast of Nicaragua. Many of the townspeople are fishermen.
The local fleet going out early in the morning.
Dr. Whilden sharing a devotional thought with the 55 member medical-dental team before leaving for the clinic.
The dental clinic.
Dr. and Carol Whilden and Johnny, one of the interpreters, preparing a tooth for restoration.
Dr. Whilden's treatment being inspected by his patient's daughter!
We wanted to bring these home!
Jordan Whilden and Johnny teaching oral hygiene to school classes.
Dr. Whilden teaching a medical student to do an extraction.
Jordan turned 20 this week!
Dr. Whilden and two other interpreters.
Carol Whilden with team preparing to distribute food to families living in the Managua dump.
A home in the Managua dump.
The mobile medical unit which allowed x-rays and surgeries to be performed.
Inside the mobile medical unit.
Guatemala - 2009
The firemen in Nebaj pulled the trucks out for us to work in their garage.
The first day's waiting list.
Overview of the fire station clinic.
Dr. Whilden treating a patient.
Conversations had to be translated from English to Spanish to Ixil!
Dr. Whilden with a patient.
All patients received information about hygiene and the Bible.
A patient with the typical Ixil headdress.
Our clinic in a school in Cotzal.
School children arriving for fluoride treatments.
One of the teachers giving dental hygiene instructions.
Dr. Whilden making balloon animals for children...and adults!
Haiti - 2008
Our welcoming committee in Bon Repos.
The clinic at the Light and Peace Mission.
Setting up the dental clinic.
Overview of the dental clinic.
Our portable dental equipment that allows us to do fillings.
Dr. Whilden and Mike Badger doing a filling.
Ecuador - 2007
Medical Missions International staff and volunteers
Setting up at a church in Ambato
Dr. and Carol Whilden and their son, Jordan, with a patient
Dr. Whilden with one of the co-workers
Dr. Whilden and Jordan examining a child
A happy patient! (We like these!)
Jordan teaching dental hygiene with a puppet, Max the Cow
Children receiving fluoride treatments
One of our new friends.
Bolivia - 2006
Dr. Brevet giving anesthesia.
Dr. Brevet between patients.
Dr. Brevet extracting a tooth.
The team at work in Urubicha, Bolivia.
Dr. Whilden and his son, Jordan, making balloon animals.
Elizabeth, a Bolivia team member, teaching oral hygiene.
The dental team.
Room for one more?
Dr. Whilden extracting a tooth.
Dr. Whilden giving a prize to a patient in Santa Maria, Bolivia.
Missionaries post signs letting people know when the dental team will be coming.
A typical Bolivian village market.
India - 2005
Dr. Whilden polishing a child's teeth.
Dr. Brevet and a new friend.
Dr. Brevet extracting a tooth.
Fluoride treatments are given to entire classes from local schools.
Dr. Brevet and a patient after treatment.
Vacation Bible School is taught by Indian team members.
The children of an orphanage "crowned" the dental team.
Dr. Brevet cleaning a child's tooth.
Dr. Whilden and a new friend.
Dr. Whilden giving anesthesia.
Dr. Whilden teaching dental hygiene to a school class.
Dr. Whilden doing an examination.
The entire team.