Dental Missions - Keep Them Smiling
Take this opportunity to put your dental skills to good practice while helping the children and at the same time experience the wonderful culture of Vietnam!
Since 1999 Joy Degenhardt has been arranging Dental Outreach Programs to provide dental care to children in orphanages, street children centers and in high poverty stricken areas where dental hygiene is almost unknown. Steve Henley was the first dentist to work with Joy and together they laid the foundations to an ever improving Dental Volunteer Program. Every year more and more dentists and senior dental students are enquiring into and joining us on these Dental Outreach programs. The areas worked in are Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre, An Giang and Danang. Each volunteer typically works in just one area, but occasionally two and spends a period of one to two weeks with us.
We try to keep each group of volunteers between 6 and 10 persons, 8 being optimal. Dental volunteers are responsible for a number of tasks including, setting up makeshift dental practices, organizing themselves as a team to handle the examination and treatment of up to, and often over 100 children a day, carrying out oral examinations, administering oral dental treatment, and, just as importantly, the teaching of good oral hygiene to the patients, as well.
Those volunteers who are still students will carry out their dental aid work under the supervision of an experienced, licensed dentist. We will provide a qualified dentist to supervise each project, offering advice when and where needed. As well as this, we also highly recommend that our groups try to bring their own experienced, licensed dentist with them as well, to help avoid any misunderstandings with interpreters, but we understand that this is not always possible.
We offer the following two dental student programs:
- Dental Experience program
The Dental Experience Program will enable 4th year students the possibility to put to practice their dental knowledge and skills they have been taught, under the supervision of qualified licensed dentist.
- Observe, Aid and Assist program
The "Observe, Aid and Assist" program will allow dental students to observe qualified dentists performing dental work/surgery from everyday dental techniques to corrective dental surgery, with the option to "Aid and Assist" depending on what the students wishes, and/or the policies of their school. This all occurs under supervision of qualified dental surgeons in a safe hospital enviroment.
Throughout all our Outreach programs, we have interpreters on hand to communicate between the volunteers and their patients but it is always good to learn a few basic words in the Vietnamese language. You will be surprised what smiles a word or two in Vietnamese can bring. By the end of your program, you will have memories for life of the brave and grateful patients, the beautiful smiling children, and the wonderful culture of Vietnam.
Interested in Participating?
If you are interested in volunteering on one of our outreach programs, please contact Joy Degenhardt by emailing email@example.com giving some information about yourself, your dental qualifications and experience, and your volunteering intentions, e.g. when you would like to attend, the length of time you can attend, and any further travel plans you may have while visiting Vietnam.
You will be sent an information package regarding our proposed programs, an application form, and will be requested to supply the necessary documents and information needed for us to process your application.
You must have an original and valid PASSPORT which must have longer validity than the visa by at least one month and have at least one blank page left.
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Vietnam Photo Journal
by Don Funk