Dental Volunteer Internship
For volunteers studying or practicing dentistry this program offers a unique opportunity to learn and assist those who need it most on the beautiful island nation of Jamaica. The impoverished in Jamaica are simply unable to afford dentistry, to the great detriment of their health. While there is some access to dental care through the few government-funded centers and hospitals available, transportation issues and cost can prove problematic. Those who can access the government system find it is overburdened, under staffed and lacking sufficient resources. This amazing program puts dentistry care into impoverished communities to ensure it’s getting to those who need it most. Volunteers should have completed at least one year of dental school (to observe only), while those with two or more years of study can access practical work opportunities at the discretion of partners. Qualified dental volunteers can apply or a temporary license to actively practice. This volunteering program is a perfect learning occasion for students or those thinking about a career in dentistry, giving them wonderful observation and support experience. Jamaica is an amazing place to visit with volunteers having the opportunity to soak up the friendly Caribbean culture and its beautiful locations. Become a Love Volunteer today and play your part in helping care for those less fortunate in spectacular Jamaica.
Goals of this Project:
- Improve the dental health prospects of the people of Jamaica
- Provide quality dental care to the people served by this project
- Provide an opportunity for students to learn and observe
- To create a better cultural understanding between all participants
How You Can Help
With an over-burdened medical system, volunteers are greatly needed to help provide quality dental care to the people of Jamaica. Volunteers on this program provide support to staff to meet the daily workload and improve patient care. Volunteers will help in health care centers, communities and schools. They will assist with dental health education by working within communities alongside locally trained dentists and dental hygienists to conduct workshops and provide basic services and care. The types of care provided includes dental examinations, diagnosis, tooth extraction, filling, cleaning, fluoride applications and oral health education. Ideal volunteers for this program include dental students, dental assistants, dental hygienists and dentists. Dental students will only be able to observe but professionals, once registered with the Dental Council of Jamaica, will be able to do practical work. Registration takes between 4 and 12 weeks. Volunteers will find a placement on this program to be an extremely beneficial addition to both their dentistry careers and their life experience.
Volunteers contribute in many ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Assist dentistry staff in the treatment of patients
- Assist with conducting workshops
- Interact with patients and provide support
- Assist with administrative duties where required
This program offers an amazing opportunity for suitable applicants who are 18 years and over to work alongside qualified medical professionals and gain first-hand insight into the Jamaican dental healthcare system. It is open to those with experience and/or education in the field of dentistry, as well as dental school and pre-dental students. Ideally, volunteers on this project will have at least a basic knowledge of the local language in order to communicate effectively with patients and staff, though this is not a pre-requisite. Naturally, all applicants must also have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
As with all of our Jamaica volunteer programs, volunteers on this project will be based in the idyllic city of Mandeville. Situated in the heart of the island at 2000 feet above sea level, Mandeville is one of the more peaceful and attractive places on the entire island of Jamaica.
In days gone by, wealthy English settlers and expatriates favoured this part of the island, building impressive mansions and country homes here because the landscape reminded them of the countryside of their home countries. Today, a large number of the residents here are Jamaicans who have lived abroad for many years, usually in England, and who have returned to retire.
Thanks to this esteemed history, Mandeville is not only a booming business center and capital of the Manchester Parish, it is a contrast of the new and old set amidst rolling hills and lush vegetation. What a wonderful place to volunteer!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival into Kingston or Montego Bay, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. Here you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. They will also provide you with your Welcome Pack, which contains maps of the local area, supplies, volunteer t-shirt, contact information, and a volunteer manual to help you to be more aware and fully prepared. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston, Jamaica (Code: KIN) OR Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, Jamaica (Code: MBJ)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this program will be accommodated with a local Jamaican host family, where they will have the opportunity to become fully immersed in the local culture and custom, improving their knowledge of the people, culture and language. Jamaican families are renowned for their hospitality and love to learn more about different cultures. Living with a local family truly is the best way to throw oneself into the local culture and to meet people who will often become lifelong friends!
All host families have been fully vetted by our local team, receive a detailed orientation and have extensive experience hosting international volunteers. Depending on the time of year it may be necessary to share a room with other volunteers, but private rooms are often available upon request. Volunteers will be provided access to a shared bathroom and laundry. Volunteers are responsible for doing their own laundry (machine wash or hand wash onsite) or can pay a small fee to cover the cost. Wifi is available at most host family houses, however we ask volunteers to remember access to this service is a privilege and may be limited at times. A range of internet cafes are available in Mandeville.
Host families will provide breakfast and dinner daily (including weekends). Lunch is not included but can be purchased at a nearby café while at your project site – a wonderful opportunity to check out the huge variety of local and international restaurants, cafés and bistros in Mandeville!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.