World Dental Relief, Inc., is a charitable non-profit, 501(c)(3) relief organization with a state and federally licensed warehouse to receive and distribute dental supplies and equipment to dental healthcare missions around the world...
World Dental Relief, Inc. is a charitable non-profit, 501(c)(3) relief organization with a state and federally licensed warehouse to receive and distribute dental supplies and equipment to dental healthcare missions around the world.
World Dental Relief has a vision of touching the hearts and lives of needy people with compassionate dental care to relieve their pain. But it is no longer just Dr. Ron and Pam Lamb making trips to Mexico donating their services in areas of great need. Now it is a network of many dedicated healthcare professionals who have the same vision of reaching underserved areas of the world where there is little or no dental help. World Dental Relief supplies over 400 teams a year to more than 80 countries, from the barrios of Mexico to remote regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the jungles of the Amazon.
Critically needed supplies and instruments are donated by major dental retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers to the mission warehouse. Many of the supplies are short dated, samples, or discontinued products that can be used by teams traveling overseas where there are no dental supplies. A discounted cost, plus shipping, is charged to cover the expenses of the warehouse such as insurance, electric, labor, and other overhead expenses. Outdated supplies are no longer acceptable for distribution in most countries, so WDR discourages their donation.
The mission warehouse inventory is posted on the website and updated weekly. Supply orders are filled on a first come first served basis. So it is very important that orders are sent in at least thirty days in advance of a trip to see what is available. The inventory of available supplies changes everyday as teams are supplied and semi-trucks deliver more products. WDR receives an average of two semis a week with donated pallets of dental supplies from all over the United States. High demand items such as anesthetic, toothbrushes, and cotton products go quickly.
WDR rents instrument sets to teams. Surgery, restorative, and dental hygiene sets are listed on the website along with the nominal per day rental fees. The surgery sets are used most frequently, so many teams advance reserve those sets with a credit card for their trip.
Portable dental equipment is available from over twenty manufacturers and distributors. WDR no longer manufacturers its own portable equipment but can help teams select equipment suited to their needs. There are many parameters to consider before purchasing portable dental equipment for a mission such as; the source of electric, your parameters of service, the country where equipment will be used, and availability of a compressor for air pressure. Even the altitude where the team sets up to work can be a concern for your equipment’s performance.
Full-sized used equipment from private dental offices provides a good source of donated chairs, x-rays, and cabinetry for charity clinics. WDR does not have enough space to accept and store used equipment. But we do help missions obtain used dental equipment on a project to project basis. WDR keeps an inventory list of used equipment available for donation with names and phone numbers or email. Then we give charity clinics this information to contact donors in their local area. WDR keeps a listing of organizations on our website that put dental/medical trips together. Over 500 trips are available each year for the volunteer seeking a venue. We hope this and other information on our website will help you prepare for a trip with purpose and significance.
A word from our President...
Imagine standing in line all day to see a dentist. Your child whimpers from the pain of a swollen jaw. They say, "We have seen all we can see today." You've walked too far to return home without help. You have no choice but to stay in line until tomorrow to get the care your child so desperately needs. It will be another long night of misery.
I have seen it with my own eyes in third and fourth world countries – mothers and their children standing in lines three blocks long just to get relief from dental pain. There is no pain like dental pain. It was for these people that World Dental Relief was established in 1975.
While we have many dentists and modern technology in our country, third world countries have little or no help for themselves. The big cost of dental equipment and supplies make it nearly impossible for them to have dentists or training programs.
Today, thanks to the donations by major dental companies and volunteer dental professionals, we are reaching out to a world in need. With your help, we can do even more.
Ron Lamb, D.M.D.