We seek to train people of the developing world how to provide basic dental care for their communities.
Our drive comes from the belief that local people can be empowered to provide basic dental care within their own communities. Such care is decidedly better than the more common alternative, no care at all. While we recognize the rationale for volunteer delivered direct care, this is not our purpose. Our volunteers strive to develop health workers' knowledge and skills rather than simply provide unsustainable direct care. As much as possible, we utilize existing dental supply infrastructure, and teach treatment techniques using materials and methods that are locally available and affordable. In this way, our efforts have a chance to make a sustainable, long-term difference. The hope is that communities become less dependent upon outside help.
We train health workers in a modular fashion. All training is done through a system of self contained, progressive, skill sets. We begin by teaching the fundamentals of prevention and the importance of being proactive in creating a prevention program. With each subsequent skill set, we target the most prevalent conditions in the community first. For example, if there is low tooth decay, but wide spread gum disease, we focus first on how to treat gum disease. If the community primarily suffers from childhood tooth decay, we first teach how to do fillings. We continue building skill sets over time as we send new volunteer trainers to our projects.