INTERNATIONAL DENTAL MISSION TRIPS
The goal of International Medical Relief dental volunteers on our mission trips is to provide free dental services for patients who have never had or had limited access to dental care. Globally, dental care is limited in developing nations. Providing this much-needed service improves the overall health of the communities IMR serves. Volunteer dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, and dental students, plus highly interested non-dental volunteers all work together in our dental clinics to give our patients the care that they desperately need. We need dental volunteers for every international medical mission trip we take.
Why Dental Missions with IMR?
- ADA-Foundation preferred dental volunteer organization
- All dental clinics are insured and all practitioners have malpractice insurance
- Teams are licensed, registered, and credentialed with Ministries of Health and the U.S. State Department
- All-inclusive destinations
- Safe and secure working and lodging environments
- Once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences
- Hands-on, real-life humanitarian opportunities
- Assistance with online fundraising to help cover trip costs
“The youngest patient of the day, a 4-year-old, arrived with a personal letter from his school’s principal. The principal wrote that the child had been to the hospital numerous times to get treatment, but for many reasons was turned away each time. The letter begged for us to admit him. Due to his age and diagnosis it was complex case, but my team and I were still able to extract one of his incisors – a baby tooth that was so infected that it caused the permanent tooth to emerge prematurely through the gums. We sent him home feeling much better. Talk about feeling a sense of fulfillment and making a difference!”
– Dr. Mor Bar, Panama IMR Alumni
On our mission trips, volunteer dentists focus primarily on meeting the greatest needs of our patients: performing examinations and extractions, treating abscesses, and referring patients for suspected oral cancers. Our dentists also provide sealants and fluoride treatments, when possible. Our goal is far greater than simply treating the acute dental need today; our goal is to save teeth in the future by providing oral hygiene education and toothbrushes to our patients, and educating local dental students wherever possible.
Read about Dr. Matt Dunn’s dental mission trip to Ethiopia with International Medical Relief.
Volunteer hygienists perform preliminary oral examinations, patient cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants and much needed oral hygiene instruction. Most often this is the first oral cleaning that these patients have ever had! Their beautiful smiles sparkle even more when their hearts are touched by our wonderful volunteer hygienists.
DENTAL & PRE-DENTAL STUDENTS
Volunteer pre-dental and dental students, mission trips with IMR provide an amazing learning opportunity. Dental students receive a hands-on residency experience under boarded general dentists, specialists, and oral surgeons, as well as local providers on our global outreach dental mission trips. Pre-dental students have the chance to work alongside and shadow our dentists, providing assistance in patient care. We encourage pre-dental and dental students to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to gain hands-on experience, see the world, and impact communities in need, one smile at a time.
Volunteer dental assistants are critical during our dental mission trips by providing chair-side care during dental procedures. They perform a variety of duties including patient management, patient registration, charting, fluoride treatments and support with instruments and sterilization. Patient comfort and peace of mind for family members are critical to the success of every dental clinic.
Our dental assistants help create a peaceful atmosphere in our dental clinics and stay with patients and family members throughout their experience. Post-operative instruction is also a very important role of our dental assistants as we want to ensure proper use of any medications as well as proper care of the area treated.
OFFICE TEAM – GROUP PRACTICE TRIP
Make this an experience for everyone to share! Serve in the comfort of having your own staff by your side by getting the whole office together. It’s also a great way to show your patients the dedication that you and your staff have to others, as well as offers a unique opportunity for you to bring the whole team together to fundraise for the experience. Offices find group trips with IMR a valuable opportunity not only to build up their team but identify their values to the patients they serve.
IMR has been working with International Ministries of Health since 2002 to provide dental relief to communities lacking access to basic dental care. It’s a wonderful way to give back.
International Medical Relief is recommended by the American Dental Association. We are a featured volunteer organization with the ADA Foundation and serve the most countries of those organizations featured by the Foundation.
I was born in the urban area in Vietnam, then I immigrated to America with my family. My dream is to become a dentist because I want to take care of people’s health and use my skills to help people. This trip gave me a chance to come back my country and to go to remote area in Vietnam for the first time. I realized that remote people lack oral care and oral knowledge. They don’t know the importance of the interaction between oral health and body health. This trip helped me have a closer look at remote Vietnamese people’s oral problems and understand the difficult living condition of people here, which gave me more motivation to pursue my dream.
In addition, I learned a lot from Vietnamese people here about local culture and from all my teammates about dental and medical knowledge and the interaction between people. On this trip, we didn’t have enough dental staff and sufficient equipment to treat all dental diseases for everyone, which made me feel unhappy. However, this gives me a reason to come back. In the future, I would like to come back here as a real dentist and I want to bring more dental staff with me to help making the healthier community. In addition, I want to form the small class so we can educate the community in order to increase their awareness about how important oral health is. – Minh Chau, Pre-Dental Student, Team Vietnam