Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oral Diagnosis

When I tell people I am working as a missionary dentist in Africa the first response I receive is, "you must see some crazy things." The answer straightforward answer is 'yes'. Kijabe Hospital casts a broad net even beyond Kenya and we see numerous patients who have been referred to our clinic due to the rarity of their condition and/or because they have found no treatment at the various other clinics they have previously seen.

Although their pathologies are fascinating... they come attached to a person who is often scared, confused, and desperate for help. We try to keep in mind that are African patients are more than a puzzle (size of lesion, color, radiographic characteristics, and duration) to be solved (coming up with a differential diagnosis). No they are a child of God to be loved, valued, and treated with the highest level of professionalism.

Five-year old girl that has bean deaf since birth and came to our clinic for underdeveloped mandible.

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Most likely a fibroma of the hard palate.

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At first glance a hyper-extruded incisor. But after looking in the mouth just a poorly made denture.

Aggressive oral tumor called Ameloblastoma (positive dx from biopsy).

Swelling isolated to the upper lip. The patient had no history of allergies (cinnamon), no medications (Ca+ Channel Blockers), no trauma (he is not a boxer), no signs of oral infection, and is otherwise healthy. We were baffled.

1 comment:

afreakforjc said...

Hey, what did you guys do for the mandible? Do you have mandibular DO sets?