You do not have to be a dentist to volunteer with Global Dental Relief! General volunteers typically make up 60% of each volunteer team. A strong general volunteer team is critical to manage daily clinic logistics and care for the children.

There are a variety of exciting and essential jobs that you might be asked to perform as a general volunteer. Often, volunteers will rotate through two or more of these duties over the course of the clinic.

If you have a strong preference for one or more of the responsibilities described below, be sure to mention that to your clinic leader during the clinic briefing.

General Volunteers
Hear from our general volunteers
An Interview with Lisa Sasevich, General Volunteer video

An Interview with Lisa Sasevich, General Volunteer

Why be a Non-dental Volunteer (Carole Witka, General Volunteer) video

Why be a Non-dental Volunteer (Carole Witka, General Volunteer)


We care for an average of 100 children per day, and they all require multiple instruments for examination and treatment. Working in sterilization, you will play a key role cleaning and sterilizing instruments while also keeping the instrument table stocked and well organized.

Fluoride treatment

In this role, you work directly with children following their treatment to apply fluoride paste to their teeth, which, combined with regular brushing, will help protect them from future cavities. You may also be asked to keep an eye on and provide moral support to kids who have just had a tooth extracted until they are ready to leave clinic.

Record keeping/checkout

This job requires someone with an eye for detail and a love of little smiles. You will check out each child as they leave the clinic, collecting their record sheet and giving each child a sticker.

The record keeper keeps a careful tally of the work completed for each child, making note of whether or not they will need to come back for further care. Your summary will prove invaluable to GDR in calculating our impact and planning future clinics.

Tooth brushing/dental hygiene instruction

This is a great job for anyone who has lots of energy and loves kids. You will team up with a local community member to creatively and interactively teach kids about the importance of good dental hygiene and how to take care of their teeth. Think games, songs and fun!

Chairside assisting

As an assistant, you will be trained to work alongside a dental professional, helping with exams and procedures. You will be working directly with our young patients, so it is important to maintain a calm, soothing demeanor.

Dental assistants maintain patient dental charts, provide suction, retrieve instruments and needed dental materials, and generally support the dentist or hygienist in their patient care.

If you are a trained dental assistant, this should be second nature to you, though it may take you a few hours to adjust to field conditions. As a professional, we may call on you to train inexperienced assistants or sub in on especially complicated procedures. We love our RDAs!

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