Helping the World Smile: Volunteer Dentists
In most places in the world dentists who can provide quality, affordable dental care are rare. But there are some groups that instead of talking about poor dental care chose to do something about it.
In most places in the world dentists who can provide quality, affordable dental care are rare. Even in America, many people on Medicaid can’t go to the dentist since many dentists don’t accept Medicaid. But there are some groups that instead of talking about poor dental care chose to do something about it.
Global Dental Relief
This organization has provided free dental care since 2001 to children in need in Nepal, northern India, Vietnam, Guatemala, and starting in 2013, Kenya. The volunteer dentists, hygienists, assistants and non-medical volunteers give treatment to children in schools, orphanages and remote villages.
They have treated over 61,267 children with first-time and continuous care. Global Dental will go back to each population of children every two years to continue their care. Since the children learn more about diet and oral hygiene, their dental health improves—each visit they need fewer extractions and restorations.
Afghanistan Dental Relief Project
Because of Afghanistan’s constant civil wars, 30 million Afghans are without dental care, much less reliable water, electricity, phones, etc. This project began to help provide free dental treatment to impoverished areas of Afghanistan, fill facilities with volunteer dentists, train Afghans in dentistry, and teach preventative dental care.
One of the project’s goals is to help establish permanent dental centers in underserved communities. Right now, volunteers work at a clinic that is open 6 days a week, year-round. Volunteers can travel as individuals or in a group for two weeks or longer.
The Baudin Haiti Dental Mission
Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, so even finding food and water is a struggle. This organization started in 1996 in Baudin, a village in the Haitian mountains 40 miles from Port-Au-Prince.
The dental mission serves the Baudin farmers. There is no running water or electricity in the area, so the clinic first used flashlights and simple supplies to help residents.
Now it is a small clinic with a generator, dental chairs and special equipment. There are three 8-day long trips made each year and about 50 patients are treated each day. The consistent trips to the same area has helped the dental conditions and provided much relief to residents.
If you are a dentist, dental hygienist or just have a passion for helping others in need, look up these organizations or others today to help bring pain-free, joyful smiles to others around the world.
Sherri writes for Dr. Robert D’Alfonso, an Austin dentist at the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. Dr. D’Alfonso enjoys taking dental missions trips to help those in need in Mexico.
Categories: Dentists, Free Dental Work
Topics: Tags: affordable, affordable dental, affordable dental care, affordable dentistry, children, children in need, cosmetic, dental center, dental centers, dental chair