Hospitals in developing countries are short staffed and often have a high patient load, so students find themselves involved with treatment and patient care very quickly. Under resourced surgeries can also mean a return to the basics of dentistry education, diagnosing and treating conditions without adequate laboratory or dental equipment.
There is also a great opportunity to see cases that are seldom, if ever, found in the UK. Whether you are interested in minor or major surgeries, or wish to focus on specific areas like the problem of excessively worn down teeth - a common problem in Asia particularly, this is a great chance to expand your dental knowledge.
Unfortunately cost, distance and a lack of education in resource-poor countries means patients regularly present themselves with diseases or pathologies that have advanced to a critical stage. The chance to witness and treat these conditions will undoubtedly teach you new skills and enhance your understanding of disease progression.
We work with a huge number of dental departments, with several placement options in each of our destinations for dental and dental nursing students. This means you can be quite specific about your interests and requirements, and we can give you a variety of options that we feel best suits your needs.
If you really have no idea what would suit you best, the Operations Manager assigned to your elective knows your chosen destination well and has visited all the hospitals and clinics to ensure that each placement is of high standard. We can narrow down the options with you to work out whether busy departments, small clinics or outreach projects will best suit your needs.Frequently asked questions
LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION?
Working as a dentist in the developing world will undoubtedly be a challenge. But how do you decide whether you are better suited to Nepal or Argentina for example?
We've put together four dentistry options so that you can get a sense of what it is like to work in a developing country. Are you inspired by treating periodontal disease in Tanzania and heading out for safari at the weekend, or are you keen to use your skills as part of an outreach project to help rural Nepalese people with no access to dental care?
This list is certainly not exhaustive, so please do get in touch if there is something else you are interested in.DOWNLOAD DENTISTRY SPECIALITY SHEET
Amina Bajwa's case study - read more here
I was based in the oral surgery and oral pathology/medicine department as I personally found these areas of dentistry the most interesting.
During my time in the hospital I had the opportunity to carry out numerous extractions, observe biopsies, participate in consultant clinics and attend the ward rounds and theatre operations.
I have had such an incredible experience here in the Philippines and have made so many lifelong friends in my short three weeks, as well as drastically improving my confidence and clinical skills.
Veronica Pletiak, Adelaide University 2014Read More
Volunteering as a young dentist was a great opportunity for professional development and I have come back feeling inspired and overwhelmed.
Avan Mohammed, BDS (Hons) MJDF RCS 2012Read More
Our second week of placement was in the regional hospital. In contrast to the private hospital, the public hospital was far more busy and we saw a lot of severe dental infection. Trauma was not unusual here… something we rarely see in Hong Kong!!!
Matthew Chan, The University of Hong Kong 2012Read More