More than 70% of the world’s population…have little or no access to oral health care.”

-MH Hobdell, Health as a Fundamental Human Right British Dental Journal 180, 267 – 270 (1996)

About Dental Teams

Dental care is one of the most critically underserved areas of global health care. With the help of our volunteers, ISL is able to enhance smiles, provide oral health and hygiene education and supplies, and provide dental care for thousands annually. ​

This program focuses on pediatric dentistry because 1)  this represents the greatest need area of dentistry in developing countries, 2) pediatric dentistry is less invasive and therefore more amenable to more activity by both dental and pre-dental students, 3) focuses our efforts on prevention and public health dentistry – clearly the advancing edge of World Health Organization guidelines and emphasis .

Our dental programming functions in accordance with the best practices of the local dental community and is compatible with ADEA guidelines.

ADEA Compliance

ISL has the only independent program that fully collaborates with in-country dental schools and faculty, while providing ADEA guideline compatibility and international “best practices” standards.  Local dental school faculty members help create our programs, train our dentists, and set guidelines for what is appropriate involvement for team participants relative to their qualifications.

ISL utilizes the recommendations of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in our dental programming.  Quoting from their guidelines:

There will always be disparities in what individual pre-dental students are prepared to do.  Some pre-dental students will be better prepared to take on more advanced patient care (from previous EMT training, for example) than others…. Be aware of your limitations and do not try to exceed them. See ADEA Guidelines (PDF file) and ISL and the ADEA Guidelines.

Patients’ rights, including both their right to treatment and their right to refuse treatment, are respected at all times. Patients are advised that students may be assisting under the supervision of a qualified in-country dentist.

Who is Right for Dental Teams

ISL’s dental teams are ideal for students of dentistry at all education levels. Pre-dents welcome!

What to Expect

Upon arrival in-country, you will be met at the airport by ISL staff. Your team’s first day will be busy with orientation and intensive training seminars on topics such as community oral health education, tooth identification, nerves of the mouth, basic dental exams and screenings, manual cleanings, field extraction techniques, filling cavities, review of dental instruments and equipment their proper care and handling, review of standard safety precautions and waste materials disposal, and basic dental Spanish.

In the community, your team will visit homes and provide oral health screenings, distribute dental health kits, and invite children and adults with acute concerns to a field dental clinic staffed by a local dentist. At the clinic, you will rotate through patient intake, oral health screening, and manual cleaning stations, and actively observe the dentist perform extractions, fill cavities, and aid with pain management. You will also learn to maintain and manage dental support equipment, inventories, and supplies and provide oral hygiene instruction.

In the evening, you will participate in seminars on the prevention and treatment of common oral diseases and practice techniques such as suturing and administering injections. Your team will eat most dinners out in order to relax and experience the local culture and cuisine. You will learn a few traditional dances and explore some important historical/cultural sites.

Recreational options vary by location, but you will have the opportunity to shop for local crafts and explore geographic treasures such as beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, or caves and explore ruins, city centers, or coffee plantations, and have time for activities such as ziplining, and snorkeling!

Volunteer Involvement

Volunteers are directly supervised by a licensed dental professional at all times.

Pre-dental students will be trained to distribute dental materials, provide oral hygiene instruction, and perform patient intake and interviews. Higher levels of involvement may be permitted at the discrimination of the presiding dentist. At a minimum, pre-dental students may actively observe all activities.

Dental students may actively participate in all clinical activities deemed permissible by the institutions of higher learning with which they are affiliated, under the guidance and supervision of a local, licensed dentist. It is the responsibility of the dental student to be informed of and adhere to the policies of his/her dental school.

Dentists may participate in all clinical activities under the guidance and supervision of a local, licensed dentist.

Safety and Respect

For the sake of security, ISL volunteers remain together as a team from arrival to departure. Patient rights must be respected at all times; Patients have the right to refuse treatment.

ISL prohibits discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, religion or any other factor.

What To Bring

You will need masks, goggles, headlight, exam gloves and funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, premium recreation, personal spending, and departure tax.

What ISL Provides

ISL Provides 24-hour accompaniment by professional, bilingual staff, airport pickup/drop off, all ground transportation, all lodging, two meals per day, drinking water, instruction by licensed dental professionals, dental supplies and medications, tours and basic recreation.

Countries with upcoming Dental Program Teams

17 teams found

#PAN63DENT9 - Dental Team in Panama from Jun 03, 2017 to Jun 11, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide dental health services to those in need. While in Panama they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#NIC610DENT9 - Dental Team in Nicaragua from Jun 10, 2017 to Jun 18, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide dental health services to those in need. While in Nicaragua they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#NIC624DENT9 - Dental Team in Nicaragua from Jun 24, 2017 to Jul 02, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide dental services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#BAJA625DENT7 - Dental Team in Mexico: Baja from Jun 25, 2017 to Jul 01, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide dental care to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PAN71DENT9 - Dental Team in Panama from Jul 01, 2017 to Jul 09, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Global Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

#NIC78DENT9 - Dental Team in Nicaragua from Jul 08, 2017 to Jul 16, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Dental Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#NIC722DENT9 - Dental Team in Nicaragua from Jul 22, 2017 to Jul 30, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Dental Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#BAJA723DENT7 - Dental Team in Mexico: Baja from Jul 23, 2017 to Jul 29, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in with local health agencies to partner in providing much needed health services in the San Raphael community. They will also have the opportunity to explore the culture and cuisine and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#PAN812DENT9 - Dental Team in Panama from Aug 12, 2017 to Aug 20, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Dental Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#NIC819DENT9 - Dental Team in Nicaragua from Aug 19, 2017 to Aug 27, 2017 for $1695

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide Dental Health services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 4 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!