WHATEVER YOUR PASSION, WE CATER TO YOUR UNIQUE NEEDS

EXPLORE YOUR MEMBER BENEFITS

As the only organization exclusively dedicated to serving the interests and professional needs of the general dentist, AGD is uniquely qualified to offer you the exact resources you need to succeed in practice and promotion of quality oral health.

ACCESS THE MEMBER CENTER

Fellowship and Mastership

Achieving AGD Fellowship and Mastership reflects your commitment to provide quality care for your patients. Earning these prestigious awards also distinguishes you professionally through the pursuit of quality continuing education.

BECOME A FELLOW OR MASTER

Continuing Education

Access the latest CE opportunities, including live and on-demand webinars, specifically designed for the general dentist.

BROWSE CE OFFERINGS

CE Directory

This convenient, searchable database gives you access to high-quality CE courses that help you stay current and earn credit for Fellowship, Mastership and Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition.

SEARCH THE DIRECTORY

Annual Scientific Session

AGD2018 is set for June 7-9, 2018 in New Orleans

Register Today

Advocacy

AGD monitors important general dentistry issues that affect the way you practice and the health of your patients and communities you serve. We provide you with the resources you need to make your voice heard.

Learn About Advocacy

Manage My CE

Keep track of your earned credits with AGD’s CE management tools.

TRACK MY CE

Publications

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, developments in dental research and clinical findings that impact you. AGD’s peer-reviewed journal, General Dentistry, and newsmagazine, AGD Impact, keep you informed, educated and inspired.

READ THE LATEST ISSUES

Exclusive Benefits

Your AGD membership gains you access to exclusive offers on personal and professional products and services.

View Your Offers

Online Learning

Discover upcoming webinars and access free CE offerings and on-demand webinars that you can pursue anytime, anywhere!

ACCESS ONLINE LEARNING

Award Transcript

AGD offers you the opportunity to distinguish yourself through achievement-based awards and credentials in general dentistry. Your award transcript allows you to check the credits you’ve earned.

VIEW AWARD TRANSCRIPT

"I joined AGD to get involved in organized dentistry and continue lifelong learning."

Major Michael Robert Villacarlos, DDS, MS, FAGD
Elizabethtown, KY
Member since 2011

Join or Renew Your Membership
Michael Villacarlos

NEWS FOR GENERAL DENTISTS

Dr. Binder Volunteers to Meet Dental Needs in Haiti

  • by As Told to AGD Impact
  • Aug 23, 2017

Binder StoryTwice over the past two years, I have spent a week volunteering in Haiti with the small nonprofit aid group, Haiti Marycare. The group’s mission is to help a few villages in the northern part of Haiti. It concentrates on providing education for children, basic infrastructure improvements and health care, especially obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics. In cooperation with local partners, Haiti Marycare supports health clinics in two villages, staffed by Haitian doctors and nurses, most of whom were trained in Cuba, and lab technicians and administrators. These clinics are the only source of primary care for the surrounding areas.

As far as dental care providers in Haiti, there are fewer dentists in Haiti per capita than anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. Few Haitians have ever been to a dentist or even have owned a toothbrush. Haiti Marycare has been trying for years to find a dentist to go with them. I became the first dentist to accompany the group.

Before my first trip in April 2016, I had a few months to prepare. I brought whatever supplies I would need with me. Many dental companies supported me by donating supplies such as anesthetics, disposable items, infection-control agents, and toothbrushes and toothpaste. I brought my own surgical armamentarium. We stayed in a Catholic conference center about a mile from Jacquesyl, a small fishing village. The accommodations were spartan, to say the least. Basic food was provided, but I also brought many boxes of nutrition bars to snack on and share with the local people.

During the most recent trip this past March, we went to Pilette, which is in the mountains. Both Jacquesyl and Pilette are isolated, and there is minimal transportation available. The nearest hospital is a two-hour drive away, and no one has a car. To locate these villages, you need a detailed map. The infrastructure in these villages is basic. There is no potable water, and any electrical power is solar or from a portable diesel generator. The electrical supply is spotty, and the voltage is inconsistent.

Due to the conditions during both trips, I limited my treatment to extractions. My light source was a battery-powered headlamp mounted on my surgical telescopes. There was no X-ray technology — a source of information on which I have always depended. I used a portable dental chair that was donated to Haiti Marycare, as well as an old traditional dental chair that had been donated and shipped to Haiti years ago.

In Haiti, I discovered an endless unmet need for dental treatment. Most of the patients I saw had never received dental care. Some patients had one or two decayed teeth, but most had many more. I saw teeth that were grossly carious. Many were decayed to the roots. Most of the carious teeth and residual roots had been chronically infected for years. 

During my first visit, I saw about 80 patients and extracted about 300 teeth and roots. On my recent visit, I saw well over 100 patients and extracted more than 400 teeth and roots. Since my command of Haitian Creole is limited, a Haitian translator assisted me. We would seat a patient in one chair for examination and administration of local anesthesia while we were extracting teeth on the previous patient in another chair. Patients would expectorate into an empty Spackle bucket.

While I was there, I worked every day and helped a lot of people. I was surrounded by extreme poverty, and that took some getting used to; at the same time, I met some wonderful people and had unique and memorable experiences. I feel good about having the opportunity to help people in extreme need of a service that I have the ability and privilege to provide. I’m already looking forward to another visit.

Hopefully, I can motivate other dentists to volunteer. There are many groups that offer dental services to various third-world countries. Volunteering as a dentist has benefitted me greatly, and I hope that you will consider finding an aid group that can use your help.

Academy of General Dentistry emeritus member Jack Binder, DDS, MAGD, has been a member of AGD since 1976, after he graduated from New York University College of Dentistry and completing a residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He and his wife, Martha G. Connell, DDS, MAGD, share a practice on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. To comment on this article, email impact@agd.org.

EVENTS FOR GENERAL DENTISTS

AGD2018

Jun. 7, 2018 at 12:00 AM - Jun. 9, 2018 11:00 PM
More Information

RESOURCES VITAL TO YOUR PRACTICE

Photo of an icon depicting a briefcase

Insurance & Coding

Find advice on third-party payer coding and how to optimize your reimbursements.

 

Photo of an icon depicting a persons silhouette

Career

Access tools designed to help you succeed in your practice no matter the stage of your career.

Photo of an icon depicting hands shaking

Advocacy Resources

Take action now to impact legislative and regulatory activities affecting general dentistry and your practice.

Photo of a icon depicting a graph

Practice Tools

View or download resources and forms designed to help you run your practice and increase profitability. 


"Working toward this goal with my sister was my main motivation to attain Fellowship. I want to continue loving what I do. Free CE is like winning a prize. Dentists have to pay a lot for CE and this is a BONUS!"

Angela G. Ellis, DDS, FAGD
Chapel Hill, NC
Member since 1999

Learn About CE
Photo of Angela Ellis