As dentists continue to retire at a rapid rate creating a pipeline of new dentist volunteers is essential to the future of Dental Lifeline Network. The Health Resources and Services Administration estimates 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 the new generation of dentists by increasing awareness of dental students and asking them to pledge to volunteer with DLN in the future after they graduate. To date—more than 200 students have taken the pledge.
Hosting more informational Lunch ‘n’ Learn events for students has proven to be a great way for DLN to increase awareness of dental students along with posting articles and blogs for student associations.
In January, DLN became one of the sponsored charities for American Student Dental Association’s Week of Service that 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®.
Additionally, our national board formed a task force to support increasing dental student engagement. The group is chaired by Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, Dean of the Indiana University School of Dentistry and member of the DLN national board. Members of this task force will be working with volunteer advisory students to identify 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.
Our 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.