Trinity Dental Clinic, just outside of the capital city of Monrovia, Liberia, opened its doors to patients in November of 2008. Liberia has only a handful of licensed dentists for a population of about 3.5 million.
Dental therapist Frieda Schmidt and dentist Keith Chapman are full time practitioners at the clinic, which has three treatment rooms and one alternative treatment room primarily intended for hygiene. The clinic is fully equipped with dental units, lights, suction units, supplies and materials.
Volunteers may be asked to help with any urgent needs, as shipping is one of the clinic's greatest challenges and expenses. Short-term volunteer needs include dentists, hygienists assistants, and prosthetic laboratory technicians, but Trinity is also seeking a long term volunteer administrator to help with minor accounting, paper work, e-mails, fundraising, awareness raising, and procuring of both orders and donated items.
For dentists, options include working at the clinic, possibly helping cover for vacation time for the full time practitioners or allowing one or both of them to travel to a more remote location and offer a temporary clinic to that area. Volunteers can also split their time or devote all of their time to a remote clinic with the aid of Trinity Dental Clinic for organization and logistics. Cost, materials to bring, and need for your own auxillary staff would be much greater if doing remote clinics. Dental work involves primarily extractions, but the clinic also offers restorative and some endodontic treatment.