GO ON A DENTAL MISSION
Make a difference – develop your skills set – experience other cultures
Each year around 50 Scandinavian volunteers travel to our projects in countries around the world.
Would you like to go?
Are you a dental professional, or are you currently studying to become one? If so, you can join a dental health mission with Dental Health Without Borders.
You will become part of a community, working together to improve the living conditions for some of the most vulnerable groups in the world! Your professionalism will be challenged daily, and your skills will be put to the test; you will work in a very different context from the one you are used to, and you will often be treating patients under primitive conditions.
At the same time, our dental missions provide a unique opportunity for you to experience different cultures, and to gain a deeper understanding of their daily lives and challenges.
In the field
You and your team will daily provide emergency treatment for the local people, as well as teach them how to brush their teeth and maintain a healthy diet.
This is a key word when talking about Dental Health Without Borders and is why you will be working closely with local dental professionals and organisations, to secure the future of the project. Your work will become a stepping stone for better dental health in the area – even after you have returned home.
Dental Health Without Borders (Tandsundhed Uden Grænser) is a humanitarian organisation that collaborates with well-established organisations in developing countries on joint projects with a focus on health promotion.
Meet former volunteers
You will without doubt get the best introduction to the life of a dental volunteer from our previous volunteers.
As a student I went to India, and after graudating I went to Rwanda with TUG. These two trips are only the beginning of my TUG adventure.
I believe it is beneficial to you as a Danish health professional to challenge and develop your ability to understand cultural differences.
In India my team and I experienced quite a culture shock. The body language, the caste system, eating without utensils, and their understanding of the function of their teeth were just a few of the extreme differences we encountered. One particular challenge, for example, was the fact that the Indians didn't want to have their teeth extracted. This was especially the case regarding the teeth in the upper jaw, as they believe the teeth serve as a proverbial cork-function, making sure that knowledge doesn't leave the head.
I will never stop developing my professional skills, and I have definitely not had my last cultural travel experience. That is why I am going on more dental missions.
Who doesn't want to bring more smiles into the world? I believe there is more to teeth than just their function.
I was amazed at how little the people know about teeth and dental health, but even more at how good they are at thinking of alternatives. I wonder if I could use salt to brush my teeth? Why do small children get caries when they don't eat sweets or drink cola? Great questions, which showed an honest desire to improve their oral health, but also a lack of the necessary resources.
I have a dream of becoming a dentist, and going on a dental mission was a push in that direction. Being involved in dental treatments was awesome and a really great way to learn new skills. And all the different mouths you get to look at. Wow, none look the same, and it's so nice to get to see as many different things as possible.
To me, as a clinical assistant, my dental mission with TUG has been really exciting and educational.
I have wanted to go for many years, and after the trip this year I can say that I would definitely go again. It has been a fantastic experience, meeting all my hopes and expectations for the trip.
I've always loved to travel, and as soon as I heard about Dental Health Without Borders, I knew I was going.
The idea of traveling and making a huge difference for some of the world's poorest people was the perfect combination.
I was surprised at how cool the kids were. Many silent tears were shed, and most of the kids hugged their teddy bears and soldiered through both pain and heartache.
One of my most vivid memories,was walking down the street, when an older lady suddenly shouted at us. We got a little scared at first, but our interpreters translated what she was saying for us, and it turned out she was blessing us and spreading the good news about our deeds and how we helped get rid of her pain.
My first trip impressed me deeply, and I hope to repeat the experience and help even more people.
When I decided to go on a dental mission with TUG, I knew I was getting an unforgettable experience.
Going out there with a team of dedicated young people as well as senior dentists / dental hygienists / dental assistants, all willing to do their best in the spirit of TUG was a great pleasure. I chose Rwanda because I wished to experience the authentic Africa, both the good and bad. I must say that my wish came true.
I have high hopes for a fruitful future cooperation.
As a 70-year-old dentist, the dental mission in Rwanda was a great experience, because of my excellent team mates.
The first week we worked in a refugee camp, the second week at a health centre in Nyamgabe. The work consisted of pain management, through tooth extractions, as well as instruction in toothbrushing and other dental care.
We worked with young students from Rwanda, who served as interpreters for the patients. Through our trip they were sweet and knowledgeable counsellors for us, when we had questions, or as guides on market trips and safaris.
What made the biggest impression on me was that people had time. They would happily wait half a day for treatment after walking a long way to get there. There were people everywhere walking, biking along the roads, and we met many children smiling and waving. It's not unthinkable that I would go for a second trip.
As a student I had clear plans to go on a TUG dental mission once I had graduated.
I was a little surprised by the amount of physical strain being on a dental mission. In a good way though! Also, the speed with which you and your team adapt to the situation and the primitive conditions surprised me. It was great!
What moved me in particular was the fact that some of the children we treated (happily!) mistook me for a previous TUG emissary. This clearly shows how real and important one's work as an emissary is. It also shows the degree to which our work is appreciated and is remembered by the locals.
I have no doubt that I am going on a mission with TUG again. If you want to make a difference being in the dental profession, I cannot recommend highly enough going on a mission.