Volunteer Dentistry Internships Abroad
Volunteering overseas on one of our Dentistry internships is a fantastic way to gain practical experience in the field. These placements are open to those considering a career in dentistry, as well as students and trained professionals. Each placement is tailored, where possible, to your level of experience and interests.
Volunteering on a Dentistry placement
As a Dentistry intern, you may find yourself working in a number of different settings, depending on the project you choose. These include assisting in the dentistry departments of hospitals, as well as public or private health clinics. The standards of facilities and equipment vary – some are comparable to what you would find back home, and others are often very basic and lack of funding for sufficient staff and medical resources.
You will have the opportunity to learn more about dental practice in a developing country. A lack of education around dental hygiene, combined with a lack of financial resources means that many cases you see will be considerably further advanced than those you are likely to encounter in the western world.
What will I do on a Dentistry internship?
Your role will differ according to the specific placement and destination that you choose. Those with additional experience or training will take on more responsibilities. Please bear in mind that any opportunity to gain experience in practical, hands-on work will always be at the discretion of local practitioners. Initially, your role will be mainly observational. However, as you develop a working relationship with the local healthcare staff, you may find yourself taking on more duties.
In general, interns will get to observe procedures ranging from basic oral healthcare and fillings to root canals and tooth extractions. You may even have the opportunity to witness complex orthodontic surgeries. As an extra pair of helping hands, interns may find themselves helping set up the instruments for the dentists, and assisting them while they treat patients with basic tasks such as scaling and polishing.
There is also the opportunity to get involved in regular outreach work. These programmes general involve providing basic dental checks and minor procedures, as well as educating children on the basics of oral hygiene, such as the importance of brushing teeth.
If you are a Dentistry student in your Elective year, please see our Dentistry Elective page.
“I had planned to observe dentistry in a developing country to support my university application, but the experience was much more valuable than I could have imagined. Mostly I assisted the Dentist, Dr Pardo, by working as the dental assistant, washing and sterilising equipment and helping to prepare materials for fillings. I was able to observe many procedures, and see some examples of dental neglect that I hadn’t been able to see whilst shadowing in the UK.”
Dentistry in Bolivia