Former DVI patient Edi Agdea and her volunteer dentist Dr. John Bengtson

Changing One Life Changes Two From the time she arrived in Israel from Ethiopia, Edi was so embarrassed by her severely discolored teeth that she would instinctively cover her mouth with her hand any time she spoke. Edi’s teeth had turned brown from over-fluoridation of the water in Ethiopia but adjusting to her new life in Israel – entering a new community in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Menachem neighborhood – her condition prevented her from speaking in class and inhibited even her social interactions she was a child you would never catch smiling. Edi was 14 years old on her first visit to DVI, which was also the first visit in her life to a dentist and it was her good fortune to be assigned to Dr. John Bengtson. Dr. Bengtson, a Christian dentist from Minnesota who had volunteered at DVI since 1981, was familiar with the condition and treatment procedures. As DVI does not typically provide cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Bengtson consulted with the dental director, who agreed with him here was an opportunity to truly make a profound difference in this girl’s life an opportunity they couldn’t pass up so they made an exception. During one of his extended volunteer stints at DVI, Dr. Bengtson had to treat every tooth in Edi’s mouth. By the end of Dr. Bengtson stay, Edi’s condition had been painstakingly reversed. Through Dr. Bengtson’s dedication, Edi transformed into a confident and radiant woman who completed university and is today a successful working member of society. Her gratitude
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