Two Fort Lee dentists recently returned from a trip to Cambodia, where they spent a week providing much-needed dental care to children in the largely impoverished country.
Pediatric dentist Dr. Jamie Diament-Golub and her husband, Dr. Jon Golub, an orthodontist, who have private practices in Fort Lee and Westwood, participated in the Cambodia 2012 KIDS Dental Mission through KIDS International Dental Services, a nonprofit group that provides dental care to children in developing countries.
“[Cambodia] is a country struggling to provide basic needs to its people,” wrote the dentists’ marketing director and front desk coordinator Wendy Herzon.
The two local dentists joined six others from the U.S. and support staff from the U.S., Great Britain, Australia and Japan on the mission.
The dental team treated patients in Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia, as well as in the countryside. They set up a makeshift clinic, using tables as dental units at a Buddhist Monastery in Prey Veng Province, near the border with Vietnam. There they treated as many as 250 patients a day with restorations, extractions and preventative care, Herzon said.
"Many of the patients that we saw in Prey Veng Province had never seen a dentist before,” Golub said. “Unfortunately, candy is readily available and the kids haven't learned how to care for their teeth.”
The team also treated kids at Phnom Penh orphanages, including the Cambodian Children Orphanage for Living and Training School (CCOLT) and the People's Improvement Organization Orphanage, both of which provide basic necessities like food, housing and education to kids “who would have otherwise scavenged the municipal dump for recyclables or worse yet, been victims of trafficking,” Herzon said.
“Though this was our first trip to Cambodia, many of the children in the orphanages have been receiving care from KIDS International for the past eight years,” Diament-Golub said. “It was terrific to see the positive impact that the program has had on their overall dental health.”
Diament-Golub, known affectionately to her young patients as “Dr. Jamie,” has been on many such dental missions with KIDS, including several to Jamaica and Guatemala. The mission to Cambodia, which took place from Feb. 23 to March 5, was the second for “Dr. Jon,” according to Herzon.
“As an orthodontist, I appreciated being given the opportunity to return to my dental roots and provide basic dental care to these children,” Golub said.
Next up for the two dentists is a trip to Guatemala as part of another KIDS dental mission this summer, according to Herzon.
“I am sure there are many more missions to come for them,” she said.
Dr. Jamie Diament-Golub and Dr. Jon Golub have offices at 2185 Lemoine Ave. in Fort Lee and 390 Old Hook Rd. in Westwood.