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Volunteering abroad

Many UK dentists volunteer to participate in dental projects in developing countries organised by charitable organisations.

​The range of organisations and projects is wide, both in geographical distribution and in length of time spent working in another country.


Dentists and other members of the dental team must prepare for the time they are to spend abroad; accommodation can be very basic and communication methods limited. The cultural setting is also likely to be very different. Some clinical preparation can also be useful as the equipment, the health and safety precautions and the presenting dental conditions are likely to be different from those in the UK.


Organisations running voluntary projects should provide you with appropriate information on the country where you are volunteering to work and its regulatory framework and help you with accommodation, travel and general queries.


Examine the organisation’s policies closely to ensure that you are appropriately supported and have sufficient advice and services. If you have any doubts or cannot receive answers to your questions, consider whether the project or organisation is right for you.


Voluntary dental projects operate worldwide. Some are run by religious organisations but many are initiated by the individuals running the project.


Reports of dentists who have participated in projects are often published in the British Dental Journal and in blogs on our website.