From the Wires
New Jersey Dentist Performs Dental Service Abroad
Dr. Harcsztark Teamed Up With the US Navy Hospital Ship USNS Mercy to Embark on a Medical Mission Trip
By: Marketwired .
Jan. 15, 2013 05:01 AM
KEARNY, NJ -- (Marketwire) -- 01/15/13 -- New Jersey dentist Dr. Harry Harcsztark helps people far beyond the borders of New Jersey. Though he spends most of his time working at his private practice, The Smile & Implant Center, Dr. Harcsztark recently joined a humanitarian mission team to volunteer his dental services in Vietnam while aboard the US Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy.
According to Dr. Harcsztark, "The USNS Mercy goes on a yearly five-month humanitarian mission throughout the Pacific Rim and the Indian Ocean, bringing medical care to countries where it is virtually non-existent. This summer, the USNS Mercy visited Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste (a relatively new country that is considered the world's poorest country)."
The Mercy is a converted oil supertanker that was gutted and refitted with a modern hospital. The ship's mission is to provide medical, dental, veterinary, community and engineering services to countries in need.
Dr. Harcsztark, who normally spends his time working with New Jersey dentistry patients, is grateful for the chance to be a part of this unique opportunity and provide vital services to those who would otherwise be forced to do without. He says:
"Thanks to my wife Renee and my great dental team, I was able to spend time away for a month from my family and my busy dental practice. I wanted to offer my services to help people who rarely, if ever, have seen a dentist. Dental pain can be one of the most severe types of pain imaginable, and dental infections -- if left untreated -- can actually lead to death."
This year, the Mercy had seven dentists that joined Dr. Harcsztark, in addition to another five dentists from a Japanese military vessel. The team on the Mercy collaborated with assistants and support personnel to perform 286 surgeries and 536 additional routine check-ups in Vietnam.
In Cambodia two years ago, Dr. Harcsztark was assigned and in charge of the ship's portable surgical dental drill unit that the dental team took to on-shore sites. All complicated surgical cases were referred to him or sent to the ship. The two sites assigned to Dr. Harcsztark were a local, poorly-equipped hospital and a remote school site right next to a monastery for training young monks. The team transformed a classroom into a dental clinic, performing mainly extractions and oral surgeries.
As Dr. Harcsztark reflects: "It was very rewarding treating close to 30,000 patients and seeing places and meeting people I would normally never see."
About Harry J. Harcsztark, DDS, FAGD, FICOI
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The Smile & Implant Center
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