Kids International Dental Services (KIDS) is a non-profit, volunteer organization founded in 2009 by Dr. Robert P. Renner, a retired prosthodontist and Professor Emeritus at the University of New York at Stony Brook. For years prior, Dr. Renner treated patients under the shade of trees in developing countries around the world, but he knew he could do more with the help of like-minded professionals. Now we are an expanding organization of volunteer dentists, students, and various professionals working toward improving the oral health of impoverished children worldwide.
KIDS strives to provide pro-bono dental care to impoverished children in developing countries.
KIDS is staffed entirely by volunteers. Dentists and dental students treat the children, while our other volunteers provide auxiliary support.
Pro-bono, preventative and emergency pediatric dentistry in developing communities around the world.
A KIDS teams travels to Cambodia, the Philippines, and Guatemala every year. In the past we have also visited Mongolia, while 2016 sees two new destinations for KIDS – we visited Cape Verde in Spring and in the Autumn we travel to Haiti!
KIDS visits each of these locations annually:
Winter: Philippines and Cambodia
Spring: Cabo Verde
While each country and village we visit is unique, a common need exists wherever we go. The children would never otherwise receive dental care; most have never seen a toothbrush. A majority of the children we see are in some degree of pain and many are malnourished. We treat children at schools, dump sites, orphanages, slums, and alleyways.
KIDS is a non-profit organization with zero percent administrative costs. Our teams are staffed by volunteers and we rely on generous donations to purchase vital supplies and instruments for each trip. Our efforts require local support for sustainability and success. Usually we work through a local NGO or grassroots group.
In each community, KIDS dentists work under primitive conditions, with little to no access to electricity. During these visits, many of the children receive dental care for the first time in their lives, so treatment is focused on relieving severe pain and preventing serious infections that could impact a child’s health and quality of life. In addition to extracting teeth and draining painful abscesses, dentists perform ART restorations and molar sealants. Although we are constantly seeking out new communities to serve, KIDS makes every effort to return to the same villages year after year. We’ve seen many successes in these villages; the children look forward to our annual visits, the number of teeth pulled each year decreases, and we see an improvement in overall oral health in the community.
Many non-dental volunteers join each KIDS team. They assist with fluoride treatment, sterilize instruments, and provide comforting care to the children before and after treatment. KIDS is also dedicated to educating the communities we visit in basic oral hygiene practices. In most cases, this means teaching children to use a toothbrush for the first time in their lives.
Since its founding in 2009, KIDS teams have treated between 5,000 and 7,000 children annually throughout developing nations worldwide.
During our annual trips, KIDS teams treat between 200 and 600 children per day.
It costs KIDS less than $3 to provide each child with treatment – treatment they might otherwise never receive.
While KIDS is based out of San Francisco, California, KIDS volunteers come from all over the world, including Great Britain, Australia, Japan, Scandinavia, Germany, and the Netherlands!
KIDS is always looking for new volunteers to join our trips, but many of our volunteers return to volunteer their time and expertise year after year, because they believe in what we do.