Dr. Richard Beckermeyer grabbed one of several unmarked black binders from a shelf in his office and laid it on the table.
This one, like the others, contains photographs he took during his many faith-fueled humanitarian trips across the globe.
A licensed dentist, the Niles man has cleaned teeth, performed root canals and done just about any dental procedure imaginable for hundreds of poor and disadvantaged people around the world since the mid 1990s. Many of them have never held a toothbrush, he said, and have never seen floss before.
Beckermeyer flips through the photographs until he reaches an image of a father holding his young son. The boy’s face is scrunched in agony, his open mouth revealing several missing teeth.
Beckermeyer chokes up as he recalls how the boy’s father cried and thanked him afterward, despite the fact the dentist caused the child’s short-term pain by removing the teeth.
“They were tears of joy,” he said.

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