From August 18, 2019 to August 25, 2019, 27 undergraduate dental students and 6 faculty from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) will travel to Santo Domingo to provide dental services for a week to an underserved population free of charge. Through a collaborative partnership between Tufts Student Hispanic Dental Association (TSHDA) and the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU), patients come in by the bus loads (pediatric and adult) and are triaged upon an initial examination to receive free preventative, restorative, and emergency procedures as needed.
Our partnership allows us to constantly build around the idea of Continuity of Care. This can provide pre-screened patients the opportunity to establish a dental home at UNPHU so that they may return for additional treatments. This event is slated to be bigger and better than years past. The TSHDA and UNPHU recruitment efforts will be focusing on an additional patient population — children with intellectual and learning disabilities, which will include a fun oral health promotion and educational component.
Our Target Population:
This event will primarily focus on serving disadvantaged communities, inside and outside the city capital of Santo Domingo, who do not have access to any dental care due to financial constraints, along with a lack of oral health education.
The TUSDM Advantage:
Our vision of global leadership in oral healthcare is one that has continuously motivated TUSDM to provide education committed to clinical excellence, all the while maintaining a strong connection to community service here in the United States and in other countries. Thus, the mission of Tufts Hispanic Dental Association Global Service Learning Trip to the Dominican Republic resonates very deeply with TUSDM. Junior and Senior dental students travel to deliver much needed dental care, usually inaccessible to the local community. For students that are new to the clinic, they are able to gain experience treating many patients in need of dental work within a short period of time, which boosts one's clinical skills, speed, and confidence, all while making a difference in that patient's life and oral health.
TUSDM’s experienced faculty and dental students take Spanish Terminology Classes throughout the semester to help with communication and conversation. This opportunity strengthens TUSDM’s already well-established ties to the local communities around Santo Domingo, as well as their relationship with UNPHU, in the form of effective comprehensive care and oral health education.
The most rewarding aspect of this entire trip is the appreciation and gratitude shown by the patients and knowing that the care we provide can be a life changing event for so many families.
How You Can Help:
Your generosity can make a direct impact on this year’s Global Service Learning Trip to the Dominican Republic. Your donation has the ability to help us reduce the dental supply costs for the week, but can also have a longer lasting impact by helping to facilitate the oral health of families in need, and potentially help them find a permanent dental home. The TUSDM Hispanic Dental Association appreciates any and all contributions towards this service trip, which is 100% funded out-of-pocket by the students.
We hope you will consider helping TUSDM students to continue to bring top-level dental care to a multitude of patients in the underserved communities of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in a productive and meaningful way!