Atzin Mexico - Motlan
Programs

MOTLAN DENTAL PROGRAM

Summary

Anyone who has suffered the pain of a tooth abscess knows the value of a good dentist. Launched in 2007, Atzin's Motlan Dental Program provides a vital service at low cost in this large rural community of 6200 people. In fact, it is the only dental service available. Attending to more than one thousand children and adults each year, the program is gradually raising awareness of the importance of oral health, hygiene and higher nutrient diets.

Challenge

The 6,200 Nahua villagers earn a meager living by weaving palm baskets. Laboratory studies revealed toxic metals in the water, soil, palm dyes and clay cooking pots. These toxins produce a silent crisis of slow poisoning especially for the undernourished. People suffer from low levels of chronic toxicity, poor diet, and constant dental and health problems. Most adult women are illiterate. Macho male attitudes, alcoholism and domestic violence seriously affect daily life.

Solution

Living in acute poverty today often results in bad teeth. Launched in 2007, Atzin's Dental and Oral Health Program (called "Motlan" meaning tooth in Nahuatl) provides basic dental services free to all children under 13 years and at low cost to others. One qualified dentist and two dental assistants, both local women trained on the job, offer services two days per week. They also teach oral hygiene and do dental assessments in all school classrooms and Atzin programs

Long-Term Impact

Atzin's Motlan Dental Program provides a vital service at low cost. Motlan continues to be the only dental service in this large community of 6200 people, attending to more than 1,000 children and adults each year in the clinic and in the village schools. Combining acute care with oral hygiene and nutrition education, the program is gradually raising awareness of the importance of dental health and higher nutrient diets among villagers, contributing to an increased quality of life.