EASTON — For the past 33 years, local dentist Dr. Herbert Gorin has been on a mission to touch people’s lives around the world, giving them the opportunity to smile or be pain free.
The inspiration started 33 years ago when Gorin and his wife Laura met a couple at church who were doing missionary work in Africa. Since then, Gorin and his wife have served about 15 countries and completed 35 mission trips, including in refugee camps and prisons.
During those trips, he has done root canals and cleanings, and bonded, filled and extracted teeth. Gorin said a lot of his patients have been through tremendous pain and have never seen a dentist.
“During my trips, me and nine to 54 people have worked on 2,000 to 5,000 patients per trip,” Gorin said. “I think the biggest thing is how blessed we are to help those in need. When you go into a country of 10 million and you only have eight dentists within that population, it makes me realize how we are so fortunate here to be able to have care — medical care, dental care. We are blessed people.”
Gorin has worked with people who have been abused, tortured and had their teeth knocked out, as well as those who have had entire families killed.
Gorin recalled working on an 8-year-old girl and her mother in Eastern Europe. The daughter was taken out of human trafficking, and whenever the young girl saw a man, she would start screaming.
To make the young girl feel safe, he worked on her mother first, and Gorin recalled praying hard for the young girl to not be afraid of him. She walked in and kept her eyes down throughout the process of extracting and filling teeth.
The miracle, Gorin said, was that when the work was done, she walked to the door and then decided to run back to give him a hug. That moment made Gorin cry and feel blessed for doing the work he does for those in need.
“I just kept on saying she was God’s special treasure. (During the process) she never cried or screamed,” Gorin said. “We prayed when we started, we prayed halfway through, because I had to get her numb, and she never moved, and she hadn’t screamed. I was crying and the people (in the room) were crying, and people said that it was a miracle. If I did not go on that trip, I would have missed the miracle.”
Gorin believes anyone can do work to help those in need. You don’t have to be a health care provider to “make miracles happen,” he said.
“It has been a remarkable journey, because you don’t have to be a health care provider. But when you have a gift, it’s like there are perfect things to offer in life,” Gorin said. “Once you go on a trip like this, it is very addictive. You just want to serve and give back. You do something that is so little, and it impacts the world. Life is a journey. For me, it is dentistry second, ministry first. I don’t know the church that any people attend, but I know they serve the same God that is Jesus.”
Gorin recently returned from Guatemala; his next trip will be to the Middle East.
Gorin has lived in Talbot County for 35 years and graduated in 1984 from the University of Maryland Dental School.
Gorin originally is from the Washington, D.C., area. He and Laura have four children, all who have attended Easton High School. He attends Oasis Easton Church.
When he is not doing dental work, he and his wife raise sheep on their farm.