VAW – Dental Outreach provides volunteers with the opportunity to shadow dental professionals and assist them in procedures such as extractions, cleanings, fillings, radiography, and sealants. Volunteers will fund raise for the supplies and materials used for the procedures prior to the trip abroad. In the clinics, volunteers will perform basic triage, assist the dentists, and manage the pharmacy, as well as teach oral hygiene classes in elementary schools. All volunteer work is under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.
All housing, food, staff, translators, and in country transportation is included. Interns pay for their plane tickets, spending money, and fun travel.
Shadowing a Dentist
Volunteers sit right next to the dentist and assist as he or she diagnoses conditions, performs procedures and discusses follow-up treatment. Volunteers will have countless opportunities to ask questions and learn as much as they would like.
Patient History & Measure Vital Statistics
Volunteers meet patients as they come into clinic, take their personal and dental history and record their current appointment specifics. They learn how to take blood pressure readings and analyze blood sugar levels. Volunteers will learn these skills and then apply them under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse.
Sterilization and Tray Preparation
Volunteers learn and apply the proper techniques for sterilizing different instruments post-procedure. Volunteers also learn about the instruments used for each procedure, and prepare the instrument trays for the dentists.
Teams will travel to a local school and teach children the importance of hygiene, dental health, hand washing, nutrition or another subject the team decides to teach. Ideally teams will bring something to distribute to the children such as toothbrushes or bars of soap.
VAW Dental Outreach trips are 14 days long. All teams will have six Dental Work Days and one Education Day, as well as three to four days to explore the beauty and local culture of their host country. Each country varies slightly in how the schedule is arranged and what opportunities are available.
All volunteer housing, food, staff and in country work transportation is included in the program fees. Volunteers pay for their plane tickets, spending money and fun travel.
Volunteers Around the World constantly strives to provide the best quality patient care for our communities and the best professional development opportunities for our volunteers. We follow the guidelines outlined by top organizations, such as the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). Please feel free to read through the guidelines ADEA has established for pre-dental students here or visit their website directly here.