volunteering at a dental clinic

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scabiesnrabies

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What kind of things do you do as a volunteer? I am looking for opportunities to volunteer in a dental clinic, but it seems like volunteers are only allowed to do administrative work unless they are a dentist, RDA, etc and I don't know if it is worth it.
 

PChemGrad

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When I volunteered I was acting as a assistant to the dentist. I had no training prior. they put me to work as a DA. it was fun.
 

mitshi

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What kind of things do you do as a volunteer? I am looking for opportunities to volunteer in a dental clinic, but it seems like volunteers are only allowed to do administrative work unless they are a dentist, RDA, etc and I don't know if it is worth it.

You don't do admin job there. Instead, ask that you want to observe the dentist actively, and if possible be given a chance to involve yourself more like his/her assistant ....
 

DakotaDentist

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Yeah, I agree to get involved as much as you can at a clinic if you volunteer there. If you can assist then that's great, but if you don't then there are other things to do like sterilization, cleaning rooms, developing x-rays. Just get involved!
 

aznxhon3y

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Actually, here in San diego they have something called the free dental clinics... i'm sure they have some in many of the major cities across the country. For this one here in san diego, it's actually affiliated with the university of california, san diego, and we have three clinics. The volunteers (mainly made up of pre-dental students) are able to do anything from managing, to scheduling patients, to doing front desk work, to taking x rays on patients, taking impressions, etc. 99% of us aren't RDAs (there's only one in our club that i know of) and other than anything you actually need to have a dds/dmd for, we can do everything else. Many of us have gone and obtained xray licenses for the state of california.

I know there are opportunities like this (i went to a katrina thing similar to this and i was a DA), and if you're interested in starting up a free-clinic thing similar to the one that we have at UCSD, you can check out our website:
http://www-acs.ucsd.edu/~ucsdfdc/index.php

i might get crap for advertising about our club but in all honesty, i think it'd be great if other people had an opportunity like ours.
 

xtractime

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i think it all depends on where you volunteer. I volunteered at a rural area clinic as a dental assistant and did a lot of chair-side assisting ranging from simple restorations to extractions. and like other people said, if you have no experience, just get involved through develpoping xrays, setting up and tearing down opatories, etc. its amazing how much you will pick up from just being around in the environment.
 

mack daddy

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Yeah, there are a lot of opportunities to volunteer at dental clinics... and many jobs to choose from. Of course, observing the dentist work and assisting would be the ideal job... you can also work in the DIPC (dental instrument processing center) where they sterilize the instruments, develop/take x-rays, and even chart dental restorations for the dental records. I guess it really just depends on the dentist and the clinic. Hands on dental treatment is the the best. Best of luck! :)
 

MrTeeth

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Actually, here in San diego they have something called the free dental clinics... i'm sure they have some in many of the major cities across the country. For this one here in san diego, it's actually affiliated with the university of california, san diego, and we have three clinics. The volunteers (mainly made up of pre-dental students) are able to do anything from managing, to scheduling patients, to doing front desk work, to taking x rays on patients, taking impressions, etc. 99% of us aren't RDAs (there's only one in our club that i know of) and other than anything you actually need to have a dds/dmd for, we can do everything else. Many of us have gone and obtained xray licenses for the state of california.

I know there are opportunities like this (i went to a katrina thing similar to this and i was a DA), and if you're interested in starting up a free-clinic thing similar to the one that we have at UCSD, you can check out our website:
http://www-acs.ucsd.edu/~ucsdfdc/index.php

i might get crap for advertising about our club but in all honesty, i think it'd be great if other people had an opportunity like ours.

There is a similar opportunity in Seattle. I manage a non-profit dental clinic, being a pre-dental student myself and have recruited other pre-dental students to do a lot of things that RDA do. There really is a lot of opportunities in a lot of cities around the nation, you just have to find the right one. It is easier to get more hands on experience in a non-profit, community, low-income clinic. Most of those clinics don't ask for more than a time commitment and will train.
 
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