As dentists continue to retire at a rapid rate it’s essential for us to create a pipeline of new dentist volunteers. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) estimates that there is a current shortage of 10,716 dentists in the United States. Luckily, dental school enrollment and the opening of new dental schools are on the rise.
DLN’s We Can’t Wait To Have You Help initiative was started in 2019 to capitalize on this new generation of dentists by increasing awareness among dental students and asking them to pledge to volunteer with DLN in the future. To date—more than 200 students have taken the pledge.
DLN recently increased its outreach by hosting more informational Lunch ‘n’ Learn events for students and took advantage of other awareness opportunites such as articles and blogs for student associations.
In January, DLN became one of the sponsored charities for American Student Dental Association’s Week of Service, which resulted in increased awareness and new pledges from 60 students. Students who pledged were entered into a raffle for prizes. This event and other dental student initiatives are supported by our partner The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian Life).
Additionally, our national board formed a task force focused on supporting his effort and is chaired by Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, dean of the Indiana University School of Dentistry and DLN National Board member. The members will be working with volunteer adviory students to determine additional outreach efforts.
Do you teach or volunteer at a local dental school? Help us spread the word about our work and why you volunteer! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started or to get more information.
The power is in our network of generous Donated Dental Services (DDS) volunteers. Together, we can work to ensure that everyone receive equal access to dental care. Visit the dental student page to learn more.