Big smiles at Namche Dental Clinic

Dental tech Nawang Doka Sherpa teaches school children how to care for their teeth.

It’s springtime, and the world's highest dental clinic, Namche Dental, is taking patients again after a brief winter hiatus. As the only dental care facility in the Khumbu, the clinic treats about 1,300 people a year from Namche Bazaar to as far as Gokyo—a three or four day walk—treating locals, trekking guides and foreign visitors.

Between patient visits, the clinic runs a program to educate local primary school children about dental care. The kids learn about preventing gum disease, the importance of a healthy diet and abstaining from sweets and tobacco. And they have something to smile about: in the 24 years since AHF built the clinic, Namche staff have seen a noticeable decline in tooth decay among the children.