Cedar Falls, IA–Thomas J. Horak, D.D.S., P.C., a dentist in Cedar Falls, and four other dentists recently returned from a dental mission trip in Honduras sponsored by the Peace Lutheran Church in Texas. This year marks the 26th year that the church has sponsored the event, and it was Dr. Horak’s 15th dental mission trip since 1994. The dentists traveled to El Rosario, a small rural town in the mountains in Central Honduras. Dr. Horak says a mission group has never visited that area, and it was a gratifying opportunity to help so many people. The dentists treated 492 people, with 704 extractions, 274 amalgams and 289 composites at an estimated value of $242,000.
Dr. Horak says they functioned as a M.A.S.H-style unit and did not have the type of advanced equipment that is available at the average dental practice. They had electricity for most of the time, but there were no overhead dental lights, which meant they had to use headlamps instead. Additionally, the dentists needed generators to perform the procedures, as well as portable Adec dental units for fillings. They had no x-ray capabilities and had to rely on their diagnostic skills, which Dr. Horak says are always critical whether he is performing a smile makeover or dental extractions.
The dental mission trip travels to three different communities once every third year in an effort to provide as much support and dental aid to people in need. The first step of the trip is the organization of an educational area where patients are shown how to properly brush their teeth and are accommodated with dental supplies.The next step is the triage area where the dentists determine if the patient needs extractions, fillings, or both. The final step is the treatment area where the procedures are performed. After concluding each mission trip, the dentists ensure that patients have the proper hygiene resources to sustain proper oral health in the future. Dr. Horak is hopeful that this makes an impact on their level of education in regard to oral hygiene and that each mission trip he attends helps to serve people with the highest needs.
About Thomas J. Horak, D.D.S., P.C.
A native of Cedar Falls, Dr. Bryan Horak earned his dental degree at the University of Iowa School of Dentistry. In 1981 he took over his own practice, and currently focuses on a number of areas such as restorative, preventative and cosmetic dentistry. He belongs to multiple organizations including the American Dental Association, the Iowa Dental Association, the Minnesota Academy of Comprehensive Dentistry, and more. Dr. Horak also offers many one-on-one training sessions for some of the top national educators and peers in order to promote the future of dentistry through continued education.
Dr. Horak’s practice is located at 715 Bluegrass Circle, Cedar Falls, IA 50613, and can be reached via phone at 319-266-3545. Dr. Horak can also be found online at strubdds.com and https://www.facebook.com/Horak.