The Marconi Dental Group enjoys being involved with the community of Carmichael and beyond. Therefore, a team composed of staff members from our practice and led by Dr. Ashkan Alizadeh went to the Dominican Republic from March 3rd to the 10th, 2018. There they performed over four hundred procedures and treatments for small villages of sugar cane plantation workers in the vicinity of La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Supporting the Good Samaritan Hospital

This medical mission trip was first suggested to the Marconi Dental Group by the Scheduling Institute, a consulting firm that helps our staff to be patient-focused in everything we do. They recommended working with World Mission Partners, a charitable organization that provides planning and logistics for doctors, dentists and construction workers to help poor communities in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Dr. Alizadeh signed up for a mission in January of 2017, and after more than a year of preparation, it was time to depart.

Mission Trip
From left to right in red shirts, the Marconi Dental Group team: Nicolas Lara, Dr. Ashkan Alizadeh, Hailey Kasinger, Dr. Fe Benito, Saharai Lara, Joan Lewis, Nikhil Patel, Edna Garcia, Moises Lopez. Also with them are members of the local support group.

The team flew and drove nearly all day on the 3rd to reach the community of La Romana. After a Sunday orientation, the team was in the field on Monday, assisted by translators with the Good Samaritan Hospital. From the start, they were out visiting bateyes, the plantation villages of sugar cane harvesters. The majority of these workers are Haitian immigrant families, living on approximately $8 per day in a state of indentured servitude. As a result, they have little money for oral hygiene and dental care. Therefore, from the team’s first arrival, every stop had many eager patients waiting in line for treatments.

The dental team was provided with a donated RV fitted out as a mobile dental clinic (see above). Two dental chairs allowed for more complicated dental procedures, while a lawn chair was also recruited into service so the team could serve even more needy people. Mouths were examined and difficult cases were referred to the Good Samaritan dental clinic for later in the mission trip. Others were helped immediately with cleanings, fluoride treatments, and fillings where possible, and many extractions to relieve toothache and remove teeth damaged or diseased beyond repair.

Marconi Dental Group Serves in Dominican Republic
Dr. Alizadeh performs a procedure in the La Romana dental clinic.

Educating Dental Clinicians

The new dental clinic at the hospital was paid for by donations from dentists associated with the Scheduling Institute. A respected firm specializing in dentistry, Design Ergonomics, donated the plan for a modern clinic, which opened in 2017. The Marconi Dental Group spent a day here, treating more difficult cases and helping the local clinicians learn how to use the new equipment and perform more complex procedures.

Assisting Dominican School Children and Others

Mission TripEducational programs about oral hygiene at area elementary schools were followed by more treatments with fluoride and medicine to fight intestinal parasites. Over a hundred students were seen at their schools, in addition to the many children visited in the bateyes. Along with medicine for children, reading glasses and sunglasses were distributed to adults. In all, the staff completed the following procedures over four days:

  • 66 tooth extractions
  • 33 dental cleanings
  • 240 fluoride treatments
  • Over 100 parasite treatments
  • Distribution of 50 pairs of reading glasses and many pairs of sunglasses

In every community, the patients were extremely grateful for the help and assistance, leaving the team tired, but fulfilled.

Marconi Dental Group Serves in Dominican Republic
Dr. Fe Benito and Hailey Kasinger with children from a batey.

This visit emphasized the vital importance of brushing and flossing for maintaining dental health. Dr. Alizadeh stated that while many patients in La Romana had severe tooth decay, he sees similarly diseased teeth right here in the United States, where oral hygiene is extremely inexpensive and available. “Brushing and flossing your teeth daily prevents cavities. Nothing is more important for preserving your teeth.” Visiting our Carmichael dental office is critical for solving problems with your teeth and preventing them, but daily home dental care is vital for your health and well-being.

To learn more about the Marconi Dental Group mission trip to the Dominican Republic, ask our staff about it the next time you visit our clinic. We are happy to tell you about this gratifying experience.

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Dr. Fischer

Dr. Fischer comes from Sandy City Utah, where he graduated from the University of Utah with a background in Medical Biology. Dr. Fischer then was awarded his DDS degree from Loma Linda University here in California. Prior to that, Dr. Fischer worked alongside his father for several years as a design engineer at his father’s dental company. Dr. Fischer has a strong passion for dentistry, he believes in providing his patients with the most modern and up-to-date procedures, and he truly enjoys the variations of procedures he gets to perform daily.

When not practicing dentistry, he can be found spending time with his family. Dr. Fischer and his wife Brittany have twins Kaitly and Kyle, and son Johnny. Outside of his professional activities, Dr. Fischer is also a true adventurist. He has travelled to many countries and enjoys backpacking, scuba diving, para gliding, camping, and hunting just to name a few.

Headshot of Dr. Y. Vinny Huang at Marconi Dental Group

Dr. Huang

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang received his Degree in Dental Surgery in his hometown of Taipei, Taiwan and then went on to receive his Masters in Science and Postgraduate Certificate in Prosthodontics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.

He has been practicing dentistry since 1992 and his area of specialty is Prosthodontics, the treatment and handling of dental and facial problems. Prosthodontics involves the restoration of missing teeth and jaw structure. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang is also a Diplomate of the (ABP) American Board of Prosthodontics and an active member of the (CDA) California Dental Association and the (AAFP) American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and a fellow of the (ACP) American College of Prosthodontists. He is also fluent in Mandarin!

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang was fortunate enough to find his calling at a young age. He grew up watching his grandmother struggle with her dentures on many occasions and has been determined to help others just like her ever since. He is truly passionate about his work and finds great joy in creating beautiful smiles for his patients whether it be on their own or with the help of dental implants. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang makes it his personal mission to educate his patients and community on the importance of oral health and does so with honesty, professionalism and care.

When Dr. Y. Vinny Huang isn’t practicing dentistry or assisting the community, you will find him spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys being outdoors and staying active whether it be swimming, golfing or playing tennis.

Headshot of Dr. Visage of Marconi Dental Group

Dr. Visagé

Dr. Visagé graduated his dental degree from University of Pretoria in South Africa (1999). He practiced general dentistry in South Africa and England until 2002. He went on and completed a residency program in Periodontics and Oral Medicine, in South Africa to attain his Masters degree in 2006. He established a successful private specialist practice in Periodontics and Dental Implants. During that time he also served as secretary of the South African Society of Periodontology and still holds specialist registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

 

In 2014, Dr. Visagé and his family relocated to California, and he was invited to the prestigious Program for International Dentists at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 2015, he received the OKU Dental Honour Society Dr Kramer S Award from the UCSF School of Dentistry. In 2016 he received the Dental Honour Society Membership Award and also the Award for Clinical Excellence & Mentoring (UCSF).  He obtained his American Doctorate of Dental Surgery (UCSF) in 2016.

 

The most enjoyable part of his work is getting to know the patients and being able to play a role in improving oral health, which contributes to quality of life. He is truly passionate about dentistry, but strikes a balance between his professional and personal lives.  He maintains his fitness through running, biking and hiking with his family. 

Dr. Visagé and his wife Karlien, have  a  daughter and a son.  When time allows, he and his family enjoys travelling and spending time together. They travel to South Africa as often as time allows, but also enjoy road trips in the USA.