ShareThis Page
Valley News Dispatch

Father-son dentists lead mission trip with Pitt students to Dominican Republic

Mary Ann Thomas
| Saturday, June 2, 2018, 7:18 p.m.
Dentist Maxwell Mock celebrates with one of his patients in the Dominican Republic while on a recent mission trip there to provide dental services to residents.
Courtesy of David Mock
Dentist Maxwell Mock celebrates with one of his patients in the Dominican Republic while on a recent mission trip there to provide dental services to residents.
University of Pittsburgh dental students hold a huddle to start their day of providing dental services to residents of the Dominican Republic while on a mission trip there led by Springdale dentists David and Maxwell Mock.
Courtesy of David Mock
University of Pittsburgh dental students hold a huddle to start their day of providing dental services to residents of the Dominican Republic while on a mission trip there led by Springdale dentists David and Maxwell Mock.
University of Pittsburgh dental students provided dental care to residents of the Dominican Republic on a recent mission trip to the country.
Courtesy of David Mock
University of Pittsburgh dental students provided dental care to residents of the Dominican Republic on a recent mission trip to the country.
Father and son dentists Maxwell (left) and David Mock brought a group of University of Pittsburgh dental students to the Dominican Republic last month for a mission trip.
Courtesy of David Mock
Father and son dentists Maxwell (left) and David Mock brought a group of University of Pittsburgh dental students to the Dominican Republic last month for a mission trip.

A Cheswick family in its third generation of dentists led a mission to treat 700 patients in a week in a small village in the Dominican Republic.

Harold “David” Mock and his son, Maxwell, headed a team of 40 University of Pittsburgh junior and senior dental students last month to a small village northeast of Santo Domingo.

Maxwell Mock, 28, is starting his second year of practice in Springdale with his father, David, 65, of Cheswick, who has been a dentist for 40 years.

The younger Mock got involved in dentistry mission work in Honduras with the Delta Sigma Delta dental fraternity at the University of Pittsburgh dental school, where both men were educated.

They learned about the need in the Dominican Republic four years ago with Bright Island Outreach and have traveled there annually for four years.

“They were looking for help,” David Mock said.

“These are really poor people, with 90 percent of them working in the sugar cane fields,” he said.

Beside a lack of resources and transportation, their teeth have issues because they often pop a piece of sugar cane into their mouths during the day.

“They get a tremendous amount of decay,” David Mock said.

The free clinic there doesn't offer the “luxury” of suction and air to assist with the dental exams and procedures, which are often done at a picnic table in 90- to 100-degree heat, according to Mock.

The team completed more than 2,500 dental procedures — restorations, root canals and many extractions — during their recent makeshift clinic.

They also visited elementary schools in the area to teach oral health and apply protective fluoride varnish to all the children's teeth.

Grateful for the free dental work, the villagers staged a play at the end of the week for the dentists and students.

The mission included third- and fourth-year dental students, who paid their own way and who have little experience in a clinic setting, according to Mock.

“They say they learn more in a week than years in the dental school,” he said. “It makes you feel good that they are helping out.”

Plans are already under way for next year's dental mission.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me