William Courtney Fisher is a retired dentist from Kaysville, Utah. At the age of 66, the doctor still wanted to give his time to dentistry and to help those who can’t afford dental care. So he has been in the Kingdom of Tonga for the past eleven weeks doing just that.
With a grant from Smiles for Everyone Foundation, as well as the help of other volunteers, Dr. Fisher has been able to provide dental services to the Tongan people in need. He has improved smiles, eliminated dental pain and disease, and restored teeth to many people in the local community who have not had proper dental care in years.
The volunteer staff consists of a receptionist from Tonga; three retired dentists with their wives as assistants, from the United States, Austrailia, and England; a hygienist from Tonga; and a biomedical technician who volunteers during his time off from working at the local hospital. These volunteers have been working out of a clinic provided to them on the campus of Liahona High School.
Since Dr. Fisher’s arrival in Tonga, the clinic has seen nearly 1,600 patients and delivered over $1 million in donated dentistry.
One young man came to us with many carious and broken teeth. But especially evident were two front teeth, half decayed. He asked if they could be fixed first. We restored them with a root canal and some composite fillings, and he left with the biggest smile. We found out later from our receptionist that there was a big school dance that evening, and he wanted to look his best. We went over to the dance and saw him having a great time, with his big smile. He later returned to the clinic to fix his other teeth, and we are working to restore all of his teeth, as many as we can.
This teacher wanted to set an example for her students of the importance of a good smile and came to the clinic to improve her smile.
Dr. Fisher and his wife will finish their work in Tonga and head to Apia, Samoa for another outreach later this month.