2018 Humanitarian Award Recipient
Dr. E. David Engst
After practicing orthodontics for 26 years, Dr. Engst sold his
practice and decided to pursue advanced dental training in
order to become a provider of volunteer oral surgery services.
He returned to his alma mater, the University of Washington, as a
fellow in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Over the past 10 years,
he has provided free dental clinics in Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua,
the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Cambodia and the Philippines,
often serving patients who have never had dental care. In remote
jungle areas of Honduras, he treated people who had never before
seen a Caucasian.
After spending much of his time in Honduras, in 2009 Dr. Engst
was forced to evacuate from the country after its president was
deposed in a military coup. Dr. Engst moved his operation to
Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In addition to providing dental clinic services, Dr. Engst lectures
at Phnom Penh’s new dental school, where the dean is the only
western-trained dentist. Dr. Engst invites orthodontic colleagues
who are interested in lecturing at the school to contact him at
For the past eight years, Dr. Engst has also spent six months
per year in the Philippines, providing dental services in schools,
churches and sometimes outdoors. He developed a portable dental
chair and adapted other equipment to meet airline regulations.
Regardless of his location, Dr. Engst encounters many patients in
need of tooth extractions, with full-mouth extractions sometimes
indicated. In 3,000 extractions, only one patient has had a minor
Excellence in Orthodontics Awards Ceremony 11