Oklahoma's Own: BA Dentist Is Humanitarian Of The Year
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - A Broken Arrow dentist wins some recognition for what's happened since he closed down his practice - 20 years ago.
He found a greater need that he's been filling ever since. Meet one of Oklahoma's Own.
Dr. Rob Lamb is unpacking a $1,000 dollar dental tool - that is about to be shipped to a dentist overseas.
"And you can see it's brand spanking new," said Dr. Rob Lamb, D.D.S., of World Dental Relief.
Lamb oversees a constant flow of supplies that he and his team inventory and ship to missionary dental teams, mostly in third world countries.
"And when I started I didn't know of anybody doing it, and I still don't know of anybody doing it for dentistry," he said.
In the early 1990s Dr. Lamb had his own practice but closed it to devote full time to leading dental mission teams. He eventually decided to become the supply chain for other teams.
Now he says his organization - World Dental Relief - ships $1 million worth of supplies to 400 dental clinics each year. His 20 years of full time mission work earned him the title of 2012 Humanitarian of the Year from the American Dental Association.
"You can be successful - that's great - but it's doing something significant in life where you're helping others," Dr. Lamb said. "That's what it's all about for me."
Lamb's practice turned missionary medical supply has filled orders as large as an entire dental school for Ethiopia. But Lamb says it's still the basics in the greatest need.
"Anesthetic is one of the biggest things and toothbrushes," he said. "We certainly want to take toothbrushes with us and teach them to prevent decay."
All of the supplies are donated. The administration runs off donations.
His peers are recognizing Doctor Lamb for coming up with a great idea - and devoting his life to it.
He'll accept his award at the annual meeting of the dental association.