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How We Give Back

Globally

We are big supporters of Nkoma hospital in Malawi, Africa and have gone over to provide dental treatment firsthand.

This is part of the line that greets us every morning. It goes on forever. Some people have walked for over 24 hours when they heard there was a dentist, so you hate to turn anyone away.

The dental equipment is not exactly the same as in the U.S.

These are the smiling faces that greet you every morning. Note their ingenuity with their handmade soccer ball made from rolled up plastic bags.

We have helped establish a dental clinic in Haiti as well as volunteered in Ecuador, Nicaraqua and Bolivia

We have learned to say "Open your mouth" in many different languages.

The lines are the same everywhere; long and hopeful.

I always love it when the piglets wander around your feet as you are working on a patient.

Everyone is the village stands around watching you work on patients. It is the excitement of the month. You feel like you are in the zoo.

This little guy was not happy getting his tooth pulled.

It is always fun giving village wide tooth brushing instructions.

This guy was one of our favorites. He helped out all week long.

 

 

Locally

Drs. King and McCune give back locally and globally. Locally we treat many patients at no charge every year that teachers and social workers identify for us. This helps gives them confidence in their smiles which impacts every aspect of their lives. 

Locally-resized

We have also volunteered at Good Samaritan Dental Clinic, which provides wonderful medical and dental care in the city of Atlanta.

Lost Boys of Sudan

We have been very involved with the "Lost Boys of Sudan."

Here is just one of their stories:

Imagine that you are a 6-year-old Sudanese boy watching the family cows in the fields with your 7-year-old cousin. When you come home, there are rebel fighters in your village attacking people. You are so panicked; you have no idea what to do. Your cousin motions for you to run, so the two of you run and hide in the trees behind your family's hut. The rest of your family runs out the front of the hut and are slaughtered. You will never see your parents or siblings again. You find other kids who are hiding and though you have no idea where to go, you know that you must run away or you, too, will be killed. Thousands of you start walking, with no food, no directions, and no adults to help you. You wander for years, walking over 1,000 miles, finally making your way to Kenya after spending several years in Ethiopia. Along the way thousands of your companions either drown while crossing rivers, are eaten by wild animals, or die of starvation. You have no idea how old you really are, but for administrative purposes a refugee camp worker sets your age and gives you a January 1st birthday. Many boys are also given a new biblical name. You all now have the same birthday and many are named James, Peter, John, and Daniel. Of the approximately 26,000 who originally fled your homeland, only 3,000 remain. After living in the Kenyan refugee camp for several years, you are told that you and the other surviving "Lost Boys of Sudan" will be moving to the USA.

The next thing you know you are in a strange land with tall buildings, whizzing cars, apartments with flushing toilets and a cold box for storing food. You are still worried about wild animals sneaking up behind you, but now you have a new language to learn, a job to perform, and western food to shop for and cook. On top of all of this, the people who are helping you settle are telling you that you need to get your teeth fixed. When you were young, in your coming of age ritual, the village chief pulled out your lower front teeth with a knife. You still remember running away and trying to hide, but they found you, held you down and pulled them all out. The dentist here tells you that your tongue has moved into the resulting space and that is why your front teeth stick straight out and have large spaces between them. You want to fit into your new homeland and look like everyone else in America, so you decide to have them fixed.

It was at this point that I met Santino Garang, a Dinka warrior from Sudan. He was missing his lower six front teeth and one upper canine tooth, and his top teeth stuck out so much that they were almost parallel to the floor. He wanted his teeth to "Look American" so I placed braces to close the spaces and get his teeth to fit together so he could bite into his food. I then continued his treatment with an all-girl line up of dentists. A couple of phone calls later and Santino had willing volunteers to take care of him. After orthodontics, Dr. Mollie Winston placed implants, and then Dr. Jane Puskus made crowns for his six bottom front teeth. Santino was thrilled, and now feels much more American. He tells me that he is saving his money to get the Dinka scars removed from his forehead because if anyone from the rebel tribes sees them, they will kill him. I am having a hard time convincing him that I don't think rebel tribesmen are hanging out in Atlanta. I have been fortunate to get to know many of the Lost Boys and one Lost Girl, and have treated more than 15 of them. I have been aided by the very generous contributions of many other dentists who have volunteered to replace the missing teeth after orthodontics. They are delightful young men and some of the more appreciative patients you will ever have. You do have to be very clear with them that a 10:00 appointment really means 10:00 and not just some time that day. I guess when you have walked around Africa for 13 years, a few hours one way or the other just doesn't matter that much.

King & McCune Orthodontics

  • King & McCune Orthodontics - 3401 Northside Pkwy. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30327 Phone: (404) 233-1972

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