Who can volunteer?

Global Dental Relief welcomes volunteers of all ages, occupations, nationalities and backgrounds! Anyone with a love for children, a spirit of adventure and a passion to make a difference in the world is welcome on GDR projects.

You do not have to be a dentist to volunteer!

What is the typical group size?

Group sizes vary depending on clinic location. In general, group sizes range from 16 to 18 volunteers. Small Adventure trips feature smaller teams of up to 10 volunteers.

Each clinic is also staffed with two experienced GDR Trip Leaders. A typical group includes five to seven licensed dentists, one to two licensed dental hygienists and roughly 10 general volunteers. General volunteers can be dental assistants, dental students or individuals with no medical background at all!

I would like to travel with my friends/family/coworkers. Is that an option?

Absolutely! GDR hosts a variety of groups on our projects each year. Keep in mind that our projects are limited in size and availability.

Contact our office directly if you are interested in joining as a large (10+) group.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

The minimum age to volunteer is 14. For families with youth under the age of 14, please call our office and speak with one of our Country Coordinators directly.

It is important to remember that GDR clinics are fast-paced and require a fair amount of physical activity. Often times, children under the age of 14 have a hard time adjusting to the field conditions (no AC, hot/humid climates, long workdays, etc.) found at GDR project locations.

If a volunteer is under the age of 18, they must be accompanied by a legal guardian or adult chaperone.

What skills do I need to volunteer?

We require our clinical volunteers to be fully licensed. We follow all guidelines set forth by the ADA® (American Dental Association) in terms of licensure.

General volunteers are trained on-site during the project briefing.

GDR does not require previous volunteer experience. The most important skills needed are an open mind and a willingness to be a team player and work hard! All volunteers are trained in Global Dental Relief’s model of care at the beginning of each project and supported throughout the entire experience.

How far in advance do I need to sign up?

Global Dental Relief projects often fill up six to eight months in advance. We encourage our volunteers to register and submit a deposit as early as possible! For folks who are interested in a specific clinic but need time to make arrangements, we are happy to save your place for up to two weeks.

Last minute openings do occur — contact our office directly to find out if there is an opening on a specific trip.

Can I fundraise money for my trip?

Yes! Many Global Dental Relief volunteers successfully fundraise all or a portion of their program fees. Volunteers interested in fundraising can refer to our Guide to Volunteer Fundraising packet for tips and support.

Additionally, we provide a personal payment link for all volunteers to make fundraising easy and user friendly for those who wish to contribute!

Once you have registered for a project, your Country Coordinator will work with you directly to put together a fundraising or payment plan that is right for you.

Global Dental Relief will provide a letter for all donations over $25 to be used as a tax deduction.

Any fundraising done using third party platforms (GoFundMe, Facebook, etc.) are not eligible for tax deductible receipts from Global Dental Relief.

Are my expenses tax-deductible?

GDR is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in the United States. This allows a portion of your project fee and airfare to be tax deductible. At the conclusion of your project, our office provides a tax letter to each volunteer. Your tax adviser will be able to help you determine the appropriate percentage.

Wolfgang Pfannenstiel

What Partners Say

After my first GDR project I was sure to do this continuously no matter what! This is helping kids in need effectively. This is having enjoyable conversations with new friends. This is creating unforgettable memories. So in my specific case the letters GDR stand for the German Dentist Returns :)”

- Wolfgang Pfannenstiel, Dentist, Germany

Darshani Khosla

What Partners Say

Global Dental Relief makes sure children are receiving continuous care and that clinics are run efficiently and with the highest ethical standards. They take care of every detail on your trip — I plan to volunteer with them for years to come!

- Darshani Khosla, Dentist, Texas

Carol Lim

What Partners Say

Thank you Global Dental Relief! Nothing compares to the efforts and perseverance of your volunteer teams, working hard to bring healthy smiles to children.

- Carol Lim, Vice President of Business Development, Cranberry U.S.A

TJ Gabriels

What Partners Say

I plan my whole year around these trips. I love travel with a purpose, being more than a tourist and making a small, positive mark in the world. This organization has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and has really helped broaden my world view.

- TJ Gabriels, Lawyer and General Volunteer, New York

Michael Pasoff

What Partners Say

As a dentist, I have treated and cared for many patients, however, nothing can compare to the sense of fulfilment when volunteering your time and skill to ease the pain and suffering of others. It never ceases to amaze me what can be accomplished when surrounded by dedicated, caring and talented volunteers, such as those I met in past GDR clinics.

- Michael Pasoff, Dentist, Montreal, Canada

Nour Shehadeh

What Partners Say

I am honored and grateful to help these amazing children, meet incredible people, explore their culture and change children’s lives for the better. I look forward to many trips with GDR in the future.

- Nour Shehadeh, Dental Hygienist, Illinois

Peggy Lamm

What Partners Say

If you want to literally change lives, this is a great way to do that. Our work with Global Dental Relief produced more real good than all the other cumulative good works I’ve helped with through the rest of my life.

- Peggy Lamm, CEO Colorado Mesa University Foundation and General Volunteer, Colorado