We are a team of dental professionals, writers, lawyers, bankers, scientists, engineers, real estate personals, accountants, business executives, artists, web designers, home makers, and High School students committed to have every child in the world to have a smile.
The fundamental mission of Kids International Dental Services (KIDS) is to provide pro-bono dental care to impoverished children in developing countries. Other aspects of our mission includes (a) providing a platform for young dental professionals to perform community service world wide, and (b) to expose young students of High School age to social service and encourage them to innovate projects to serve disadvantaged youths in developing world. High School students who join us in our trips must be accompanied by at least one parent.
As part of its mission, KIDS is committed to minimizing environmental impact on our host countries. All plastic, paper, and infectious waste produced as a result of our dental missions is strictly limited.
Under the leadership of Dr. Robert P. Renner a team has been working in three different countries for last few years treating about 1000 children in each country once a year. Our effort is generating a lot of interest among young dentists, dental students and non-dental enthusiasts as well. The three countries we visit are Guatemala, The Philippines, and Cambodia. Dr. Renner is a retired Prosthodontist, a professor Emeritus at The University of New York at Stony Brook. Besides the three countries mentioned above, he has volunteered his dental services throughout his dental career pro bonoin a county jail, a mobile dental van, on a Native American Indian Reservation (Dine-Arizona-Utah), migrant worker camps, a children’s shelter (HALE HOUSE) in Harlem, NY, and the Colgate Dental Van.
Why: There are children in the world who will never have dental care that we take for granted unless we provide it. Most of these children have never seen a tooth brush. We treat children at the dump sites where they eat what ever they can find in the garbage that other people have thrown out. We provide dental care to children in orphanages where they come after being abandoned by parents, family members. They are forgotten children of sex slavery, dead parents of AIDS, gang violence, street accidents. In the remote villages we serve children who are often malnourished with severely limited life expectancy. They often have birth defects due to inbreeding. These are results of remoteness of the villages. Each community we visit we discover stories.
What: Pediatric dentistry in developing communities around the world is our main mission.
How: With donation from people like you.
The effort needs local support for sustainability and success. Before starting any program we obtain permission from the government of the host country. Usually we work through a local NGO or grassroots group.
Every child we see has a chart with his/her name and age. Local leader(s) keep the charts and every year we try to see the same children and of course some new ones. We start our day early in the morning. Each child first sees a dentist, usually Dr. Renner or another American dentist. Multiple non-dentist volunteers do topical fluoride applications, and a team of dentists perform surgical procedures, ART restorations, and sealants applications. During the exam the child is triaged. All go for fluoride treatment but those needing a surgical procedure or ART restoration or sealants are asked to wait until all children have exams and fluoride treatments. Each child gets a toothbrush after their exam. We do not take elaborate lunch breaks. A group of two or three take snack breaks for few minutes while the clinic activities get carried on by others.
Most days we treat between 200 and 250 children. On the bright side, the cost of providing basic care to these children is less than $3 per child for treatment that would cost over $30 per child if performed at the health unit. So far we are personally committed to providing regular care to these children. We try to encourage young local dentists to partner with us and understand our American spirit of volunteerism. For a dental program in a developing country to be successful one must partner with a local agency and involve the local dentists/government. As the dental caries rate for many of the children in selected communities decreases we turn our attention to providing more ART restorations and molar sealants.