If you and your family have ever visited a dentist, then you know how expensive it can be and how quickly dental bills add up. Thankfully many of us have insurance, and a helpful and hopefully affordable dentist but there are so many people throughout the world who don't have access to clean water, let alone regular dental treatments. That's why we've listed out a few charities that help provide free dental care to those in need, worldwide.
Global Dental Relief
Originally founded in 2001 as the Himalayan Dental Relief Project by the former Director of the Colorado State Parks as well as their partner, a dentist. They realized on a sabbatical in Nepal, the vast need for dental care and support in the region. There were only 120 dentists for a population approaching 24 million so there simply wasn't enough help to go around.
They were both moved by their experiences within the community and knew that others would be equally enriched by volunteering their time broadening dental health for children in the region. They now have outreach programs in India, Kenya, Laos, Cambodia, and Guatemala. Registered dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants, as well as non-dentists are welcome to volunteer and help out with the charity's various projects. You can donate through their website, here!
If you've heard of mult-million dollar companies starting out of one guys' basement, this is almost the same story. It's beginnings were also in a garage with one staff member being held up by a 10,000 pound grant. At first, the charity developed and concentrated on refurbishing donated dental equipment and sending it out to chariable dental clinics around the globe. As funding began to increase, Dentaid started oral health education projects, dental engineering trips, and volunteering trips.
Their mission is to equip communities and dental charities worldwide with refurbished up-to-date dental equipment, sending teams of volunteer dental professionals to remote villages, refugee camps, prisons, orphanages, and anywhere else that is in need of dental support recognition. They lastly want to educate and train within these areas to continue ongoing dental health education and support for those communities. Volunteers work alongside in-country dental health professionals to share expertise and promote best practices. They perform tooth brushing programs and dental health lessons at local nurseries, schools, and community buildings. You can help support this great cause, here! If you're a dentist looking to donate equipment, check this out!
Smiles For Everyone Foundation
This charity works both at home in the United States and abroad to bring brighter, healthier smiles to those in need. Their outreach extends to under-served communities dental patients, affiliate providers, and employees. They work in regions such as Ghana, Cambodia, Laos, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Thailand.
Smiles For Everyone originally stemmed from Smile Brands Inc, a comprehensive business support service for dental practices that saw such a great need for dental care within communities after a tsunami hit Southeast Asia in January of 2004 just after Christmas. After flocking to disaster relief areas in need for years, they decide to wholly refocus part of their efforts as a nonprofit to spread dental health awareness and supply dental care for free for those in need. You can help support their mission, here!
Open Wide Foundation
Open Wide is looking to change the face of dentistry for the impoverished and under-served around the world. They attempt to establish new clinics in the areas that need it most desperately. Out of the collective desire of dentists and industry leaders to share their skill and heart to help those less fortunate, Open Wide was founded in June, 2011. The result was the beginning of a movement to promote significant, measurable, and lasting change to the state of oral health in the developing world.
They work in direct partnership with local governments to set up dental clinics where no access to skilled dental treatment is available. They facilitate the logistics for dental teams that want to travel abroad and volunteer in their clinics. They organize and transport dental equipment, and supply it to communities in need. They also partner with local dental schools to provide training and mentoring opportunities for young learners. You can contribute to this magnificent and big-hearted cause, right here!
Global Child Dental Fund
The Global Child Dental Fund support projects that channel financial assistance, dental training, and oral health supplies and tech to children through use of local NGO's, local healthcare leaders and organizations. Volunteers travel to identified regions to fact find and strengthen the funds situational understanding of the need in that area, first. They then report back the specifics of the potential project needs and facilitate communication between the recipient parties and the fund.
They currently aid disadvantaged children in 7 countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Tanzania, Zambia, and Timor Leste. They also have a major initiative to end Infant Oral Mutilation, a barbaric practice that effects 25 million children each year. It's commonly performed in East African countries and involves gouging un-erupted canine teeth by untrained village healers using equipment that isn't sterilized.
You can help contribute to these masterful causes to improve dental healthcare across the globe, here. Your donation goes directly to improving the live's of world's neediest children.