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Honduras Dental Mission to Serve the Dental Needs of the Poor

Honduras Dental Mission

Millions of people in impoverished Central American nations like Honduras lack the basic necessities of food and shelter. Many simply cannot afford medical and dental care.  


In 2016, Dr. Jose Francisco Dittel answered the call to help those in need, participating in a medical mission to Honduras to serve the dental needs of the poor in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.  The mission was organized by Dr. David Thurber, a maxillofacial surgeon in New York, under the auspices of The Foundation for Service to Mankind.  The focus of the Honduras mission was to help patients with severe facial trauma requiring maxillofacial surgery, who otherwise would not receive care.

In Honduras, health services are not readily accessible for a majority of the population living in poverty. Sadly, in nations where many go without, millions are simply unable to pay the high cost of medical and dental care.  As such, millions live without access to basic dental service. Thanks to the incredible kindness and skill of Dr. Dittel and his colleagues, many lives have been changed for the better in Honduras.

In his native country of Costa Rica, Dr. Dittel is a highly qualified and experienced Maxillofacial Surgeon, recognized as the only medical professional in Costa Rica to hold degrees as both a medical and dental surgeon with specialties in both Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, and Advanced General Dentistry, as well as plastic surgery.

With degrees from Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and the USA, Dr. Dittel has expertise diagnosing and treating facial pain, injuries, and fractures, and a wide range of procedures ranging from dental implants and corrective jaw surgery to rebuilding facial bone structures.

Honduras Dental Mission

While in Honduras, Dr. Dittel and his colleagues evaluated 16 patients with severe facial trauma and craniofacial malformations.  Three of these patients were victims of severe motorcycle accidents who suffered facial fractures and severe facial deformation. Imagine the despair of these young patients and the desperation of their families.  Imagine knowing that this accident would forever rob these patients of a normal appearance, their work, their relationships and even their ability to see and speak.

Some of the distress from these kinds of facial fractures includes:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial & eye pain
  • Vision changes, bulging eyes, double or blurry vision, permanent blindness
  • Hearing problems
  • Inability to bring teeth together
  • Pain with jaw movement
  • Altered sensation on the face (nerve damage)
  • Face disfigured or uneven (asymmetrical)
  • Bleeding in brain: can lead to seizures and be life-threatening

Now, imagine the pure joy these patients must have felt upon learning that Dr. Dittel and his colleagues would be able to help them smile again.  In no uncertain terms, these patients were given a second chance at life thanks to the kindness and dedication of these generous medical professionals. Without the help of Dr. Dittel and the team involved in the mission, these people would suffer life-long defects in both function and appearance.  It is stories like this that make us proud to work with Dr. Dittel, an incredible doctor and wonderful human being.

In Costa Rica, it’s easy to find good dentists and good prices on dental care.  Patients that choose iSmile, get the added benefit of knowing that they are also supporting the charitable work of Dr. Dittel, helping people in Honduras, Costa Rica and throughout Central America. Patients that choose Dr. Dittel can feel good knowing that they are getting dental care from one of the best dental surgeons in Costa Rica and that their support helps patients in need.


If you are looking for a maxillofacial surgeon or help with facial reconstruction, TMJ or a full mouth reconstruction, contact us and someone from our team will be in touch to help you with planning your surgery.