A Work the World placement expands a dental student’s training, while offering firsthand exposure to global dental health issues. As you work with dentistry teams in a developing country, you’re strengthening both your personal and professional development in ways that few North American placements can offer.
The experiences you will have on your overseas internship are likely to be vastly different from anything you are used to in a domestic setting. In many of our destinations the dental facilities are greatly under-resourced and it's no exaggeration to say that you may find yourself working with equipment, and in conditions, which really test your skills and abilities. Oral and dental health may be less of a priority for local people, due to financial considerations, and as a result they often tend to present later than they do in wealthier countries.
Our partner hospitals and clinics in each destination country all offer excellent opportunities for practical work in general dentistry, such as scaling, extractions, fillings and root canal work. There are also more specialist placements in oral cancer, maxillofacial and surgery.
All our dental elective students are allocated a supervisor/preceptor who will be their main point of contact. We ensure that this person is a qualified dentist and that they understand what you expect from your placement and, in turn, what they can expect from you. We appreciate that your dental school is also likely to have a number of requirements of this individual, and it is therefore important that you communicate all this information to our staff, during the pre-departure period.
Please check our individual destination pages on the right side of this page to learn more about available areas of specialty within each country. If you wish to work in an area which isn't mentioned here, you can always get in contact with us, to find out if it may be possible.Requirements to join us
Benefits of the program
While the cost of a Work the World dentistry elective may be similar to the cost of an independently organized placement, our program minimizes or removes nearly all the risks involved. First, we provide accommodation, meals and purified drinking water in a safe, secure and hygienic setting at our Work the World house, where students receive the ongoing support of our full-time staff.
We also guarantee a high-caliber clinical experience. Due to our solid relationships with our partner hospitals, dentistry teams there are open to your presence and involvement, and will willingly supervise students whether the program is part of your undergraduate studies, a dental summer internship, or a dentistry volunteer experience. The language and cultural barriers that hamper the foreign worker are greatly reduced, due to our staff’s international work experience and our language classes.
You will receive support and guidance on all elements of your trip preparation, through a personalised online trip planner as well as regular contact with our Head Office staff.Frequently asked questions
Broaden your Experience
We offer a unique range of supplemental placement options, which are designed to complement our undergraduate dental internships, and broaden your overall experience.
The Village Healthcare Experience offers the rare chance to live in a remote village in Nepal, Ghana or Tanzania. Working from a local clinic, you’ll assist in the treatment of patients living in very basic environments with little or no access to western medicine. You’ll live with a local family, take part in village activities and learn how local healers administer traditional healing methods.
The Ayurvedic Medicine Experience provides the exceptional opportunity to intern with a much-respected Ayurvedic doctor. Students live in an lodge and work at an Ayurveda hospital, based in a traditional rural Sri Lankan village.
Highly recommended for those of all levels of Spanish, our Intensive Spanish Course teaches not only practical, conversational Spanish but also crucial medical terms you’ll need to succeed at your Argentina placement. Each course is tailored to the abilities of the students by our full time Spanish teacher.Read more about these optional extras
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
Not only did we treat their dental pain, we aimed to treat all dental disease in order to stabilise the patient’s oral health and prevent them suffering from dental pain in the future.
Cathryn Sherlock, University of Leeds 2012Read More