Dr. James Lee’s Mission

Our very own Dr. James Lee has been caring for the dental needs of the children in Orphanage Emmanuel for over 24 years. Each year a large group of volunteers from Arkansas and Tennessee team up and travel to Honduras to complete various projects at an 450 child orphanage located in Guaimaca, Honduras. 

 

This February Dr. Lee’s wife, two Kidz Choice- Fort Smith staff members, Crystal and Pam, and Rock Dental Brands Marketing Specialist, Jess Clark accompanied Dr. Lee in his yearly mission trip to Guaimaca, Honduras. This amazing group of volunteers set out on an ambitious task to remodel and add to an old medical clinic on the property. 

 

He treated 68 patients, did 33 composites, 14 crowns, 6 pulpotomies, 15 extractions, and 68 fillings. 

 

“I do the very same work on the children in Honduras that I do at home in Fort Smith. They get the exact same care and treatment plans as I give my patients at home.” – Dr. Lee  

 

Jess reflected on the trip and said “I  felt a sense of gratitude for being a part of something larger than myself, but honored to work alongside a doctor that cared so deeply for the children that others had so easily discarded.” 

 

Many of the children recognized Dr. Lee and hugged him. Mrs. Lee would hold their hands and soothe them if they were scared and play soccer on the front porch if they were bored. Dr. Lee performed work on patients that he likely wouldn’t have seen as a pediatric dentist in the states, because the patient was older or cases he may have referred out, he took on the work. One case I remember very vividly he pulled the wisdom tooth (a case he would have referred out) of a 34 year old special needs man. It took Dr. Lee an hour and a half. The patient was shaking and kept choking during the procedure. I was so grateful to be there and to hold his hand and tell him everything was going to be ok and he was doing such a good job. 

 

Another case that stuck with me, we did two crowns and extracted the top front four baby teeth of a three year old. Dr. Lee and the team were absolute champs and professionals keeping the baby calm as he was squirming and upset in the chair. Again, I had the opportunity to sooth the baby and then scoop him up in my arms when he was finished. Less than five minutes after his procedure, he was back to babbling to me in Spanish and showing me his toys. 

 

My favorite memory on the Orphanage Emmanuel campus was when the city turned off the electricity on Thursday, we shut down the clinic and went to work on the medical clinic. Next door to the medical clinic was this huge playground and I found all the special needs kids playing. So I went over and played with them, pushed them on the swings and swang with them and passed out candy. When I was bone tired, I went and sat on the concrete steps and all the special needs kids piled in around me to love on me. It’s one of those moments in time you just wish you could freeze. 

 

There were a few things that struck me about the orphanage. It was an absolutely gorgeous campus, well maintained by the children and staff. The children were so very well behaved and well mannered. There was a high number of special needs at the orphanage, yet SO loved by everyone there. They may have been discarded by their parents, but they were so welcomed by Orphanage Emmanuel.

 

Sometimes we have these lofty ideas that we go out and change the wold but so often we are changed.   

 

 

 

How we’re keeping you safe during COVID-19

As we resume seeing patients with non-urgent dental needs in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown, we want to lay out for our patients exactly what we are doing to keep you safe as you return to our clinic for your dental care. Thankfully, our practices follow very strict infection control, personal protective equipment, and sanitization protocols every day as part of our normal course of business. Even amongst our high standards, we have added increased measures during this time to ensure our clinical environments are safe.

We have crafted our plan to ensure that we are exceeding the guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAmerican Dental AssociationAmerican Association of Orthodontists, American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, OSHA, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Missouri Department of Health and the Missouri Dental Association.

Our Patients

  • Offering masks to patients who do not have one. Please note: Our clinics have the adequate number of face masks to offer to patients. However, if you have your own face mask, please wear it and it will allow us to save masks for patients who do not have them.
  • All patients will be asked to wait in the parking lot until they are called in for their procedure. All guests of the patient will be asked to remain in their car until the procedure has been completed.
  • Limiting the number of patients and guests in the clinic at any given time. Adult patients will be asked to enter alone, while children and adults requiring special assistance will be permitted only one caregiver to enter the facility at a time.
  • All patients will be screened for fever, symptoms, and underlying health conditions before entering the clinics. All patients will use an antimicrobial mouth rinse as a pretreatment measure.
  • Sick patients will not be allowed to enter the clinic.
  • Offering live video appointments for patients who are at risk, or are infected to be screened safely.
  • Offering live video appointments for patients whose appointments do not require an in-person visit.

Our Staff

  • Screening doctors and staff every morning for fever and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Staff and patients will be limited in number based on CDC guidelines for each facility.
  • Providing all proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 masks, surgical gowns, gloves, masks, and face-shields.
  • Observing excellent hand hygiene.
  • Sick employees will not be allowed to enter the clinic.
  • All procedures that create aerosols will require the use of a rubber dental dam to reduce the bacterial spread of aerosols.

Our Facilities

  • Reducing the number of people coming into the office each day by limiting patient visits, limiting accompanying parties, and staff in each location.
  • Removing all unnecessary items including magazines, remote controls, pamphlets, brochures, etc. from all waiting rooms and treatment rooms.
  • Making hand sanitizer available all throughout the clinic.
  • Disinfecting all surfaces in treatment rooms before and after each procedure.
  • Extending time between appointments to allow for thorough disinfecting of spaces.
  • Sterilizing all instruments.
  • Patients will be separated by at least 6-feet for all procedures.
  • Delivery personnel, vendors, etc. will be prohibited from entering the clinic. And if necessary, will follow the same procedures.