Why do Filipino people have bad teeth

Zittau. The photo in Dr. At first glance, Sven-Torsten Preuss shows a completely normal dental treatment. But the impression is deceptive, because it comes from the medical aid mission on the Philippine island of Mindoro almost ten years ago, for which the Zittau dentist was present.

The operation was organized by the Berlin association Kyklos-Dental. Since 1999 he has been active on Mindoro and Palawan, two of the more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines. The people there are very poor, according to the association's website. You could survive doing odd jobs growing rice or fishing. However, there is often a lack of money for medical care. One of the consequences: many locals have bad teeth. Kyklos-Dental is committed to helping you. During a vacation in the region, the founders experienced the catastrophic medical care and since then have gone to one of the islands once a year to help. The association now has 30 members from all corners of Germany. They now care for around 150 to 200 patients on a daily basis.

Almost ten years ago, Dr. Preuss made a lasting impression. He says he had never had to treat some clinical pictures such as abscesses erupting outwards. People in Germany go to the doctor before a festering mouth sore gets that bad. It was immediately clear to him that he would not stop at this first relief operation.

For the first time, Dr. Preuss spoke of the project during a training course in Leipzig. The man from Zittau had just come back from his vacation in Cuba and was still completely impressed by his impressions. When a colleague spoke about the not exactly rosy conditions in Germany, he objected. The conditions here are almost heavenly compared to Cuba, he said. Then another colleague started talking about the Philippines. Medical care there is even worse than in Cuba, he reported. Therefore, an association called Kyklos-Dental is there regularly and provides practical help on site. The association works on a charitable basis. That means that 100 percent of every donation goes to the project. Really all members and helpers work on a voluntary basis and, for example, also bear the travel and material costs themselves.

Sven-Torsten Preuss thought that was good and joined the club in 2009. Although the helpers bear all personal costs themselves, the association still needs money, for example for medical purchases and above all for medicines. That is why the Zittau resident started a dental gold collection campaign over the past three years. To do this, he asked every patient whose gold had to be taken out whether they wanted to donate it. Legal regulations prevent this gold from being used again. That is why it is given to the patients. An amazing number of them would have decided to donate, he says. That surprised him every time.

He collected the gold and brought it to Berlin this year. As crowns and fillings are damaged when they are removed, it cannot be reused in the Philippines either. And who wants to have things in their mouth that someone else has chewed on for decades? Preuss gave the gold to the association and the association sold it.

When he and his team then heard the result, they were more than surprised. None of them really expected that. His sisters in the practice would have guessed between 200 and 300 euros, says the boss. When they then heard the actual amount, their mouths literally stayed open, the Zittau dentist reports with a smile.

But it was the same for him himself, he reveals. He hadn't expected such a good result. His patients donated dental gold worth a whopping 6468.15 euros. This is the largest single donation Kyklos-Dental has ever received. This makes them the absolute front runners, it says in a letter from the club.

The 52-year-old would like to travel to the Philippines again to help out even more. Unfortunately, the situation in the Philippines is currently very uncertain, he says. In view of the security situation and the acute risk of kidnapping, the Federal Foreign Office warns against traveling to this region. The association does not want to take any risks for its members and is therefore not planning a local project for the time being. But he continues to send aids to the region and organize their distribution on site through local contact persons. As soon as the political situation improves, the members want to resume aid on the ground.

If it is somehow possible for him, then Dr. Preuss be there. He would like to take this opportunity to thank all of his patients who have made this possible.

www.zahn-hilfe-mindoro.de, donation account: Hypovereinsbank Berlin, IBAN DE54 1002 0890 0354 9846 52, BIC HYVEDEMM488