Sierra Smiles Dentistry by John Bocchi, D.D.S - 5465 Kietzke Ln - Reno, NV 89511 - (775) 786-1911
Last weekend, I was fortunate to go on another Flying Doctor trip to Thermal, California. My past experiences with the Flying Doctors were to small remote towns in Mexico, so this adventure was quite different.
The “Oasis” Trip is what we call it, is held twice a year in the spring and the fall. The Clinic is set up at a high school, with several volunteer practitioners- ranging from physicians and nurses, to hygienists and dentists!
We arrived to Thermal, Ca on friday evening flying out from Truckee, Ca. We went to dinner with all the other volunteers that evening at a local Italian restaurant, provided by the owners of the restaurant who have been a part of Flying Doctors for years. It was great to meet people from all over that all have the deep hearts to help others in need. That night after dinner we headed over to the clinic to get set up for the next day, several of us were there late making sure everything was ready to go without a hick-up!
The next morning was bright and early to get to the clinic at 7:00am! As we arrived there was already a line wrapping around the corner of the buildings. I could not believe my eyes, I was told by past volunteers that patients will get there at 4:00am to wait in line to be seen. My heart was pumping fast as I was excited to get started, but disturbed at the same time that we may not be able to see everyone.
I started at 8:00 am and worked until 6:30 in the evening with a half hour break. I had a high school student helping me assist and translate with those who did not speak english. The clinic had serious momentum with 14 dentists and two hygienists- myself included. The patients all had very serious cases of gum disease, decay and a handful of them with diabetes as well. I found that most had just not been edjucated on the importance of oral hygiene. It was quite sad, yet at the same time rewarding that I was able to help people that would never have that opportunity otherwise.
Several of us stayed to help clean up the clinic, then to head off to a scrumptious buffet at the nearby Casino! What a treat for the Flying Doctor volunteers after an exhausting day!
The next day we headed back to all of our hometowns feeling extremely rewarded by the patients’ appreciation and all of our efforts to make the clinic happen. The clinic was an absolute success, myself seeing 14 patients, the dental clinic seeing over 200 patients and the whole clinic caring for over a 1000 patients!
My adventure was definately hard work, but fun and incredibly rewarding all at the same time! I would encourage anyone who would like to help in any way to experience a Flying Doctors trip to get that high that we feel when helping others who are less fortunate!
Until the next trip,
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Office: (775) 786-1911
Address: 5465 Kietzke Lane
Reno, NV 89511
This is the best dentist visit I've ever had. I'll be recommending them to everyone I know! WOO!
— Sierra Smiles Patient