Another Successful Dental Mission

The Share a Smile team has completed another successful dental mission in the Nootka Sound area of Vancouver Island.  The team started out travelling to Kyuquot for a 2 day clinic there.  Another 2 day clinic in Zeballos and finally a 2 day clinic in Tahsis.  They helped many people in these remote communities with dental hygiene needs who do not have easy access to dental care.  The mission was a great success and Share a Smile is already looking forward to next year.  Watch for pictures…coming soon.

Share a Smile 2017 Dental Mission

Hello Everyone,

 Share a Smile Society is looking for volunteers for our next dental mission coming up August 2017 and BCDHA is helping to sponsor 4 registered dental hygienists to join us. If you have a desire to join a volunteer dental mission to give back to the community’s right here in BC, now’s the time.

Travel up the isolated, picturesque coastline of Vancouver Island’s Nootka Sound and ‘Share a Smile’ with the communities in this area. BCDHA has awarded Share a Smile Society with a grant to help fund the travel and accommodation expenses for 4 volunteer dental hygienists.

We will be visiting the communities of Tahsis, Esperanza/Zeballos and Kyuquot in the Nootka Sound and it may be possible for you to join our team for one, two or all of the communities. This is determined after our volunteer numbers are confirmed and travel arrangements are made and confirmed. We will be leaving very early morning on Tuesday, August 15-2017 from Nanaimo and returning late in the day on Wednesday, August 23-2017.

The lucky applicants must be registered dental hygienists in the province of British Columbia with a valid license with the College of Dental Hygienists of BC and must also be members of BCDHA. If you are interested in joining us for this amazing opportunity please submit your resume by mail or email along with a letter of interest including your desired destinations and your BCDHA and College Registration numbers. No previous experience on volunteer missions is necessary and 365 Day Rule exemption is an asset but not required. Deadline for Share a Smile application for BCDHA volunteers is June 21, 2017.

For more information about Share a Smile Society and our Nootka Sound volunteer mission, please visit our website www.shareasmile.ca. You can also email us with inquiries about volunteering or donations at info@shareasmile.ca.

 

BCDHA Grant Awarded to Share A Smile Society

BCDHA LogoShare a Smile Society is looking for volunteers for our next dental mission coming up September 2016 and BCDHA is helping to sponsor 4 registered dental hygienists to join us. If you have a desire to join a volunteer dental mission to give back to the community’s right here in BC, now’s the time.

Travel up the isolated, picturesque coastline of Vancouver Island’s Nootka Sound and ‘Share a Smile’ with the communities in this area. BCDHA has awarded Share a Smile Society with a grant to help fund the travel and accommodation expenses for 4 volunteer dental hygienists.

Kyuquot-ZeballosWe will be visiting the communities of Tahsis, Esperanza/Zeballos and Kyuquot in the Nootka Sound and it may be possible for you to join our team for one, two or all of the communities. This is determined after our volunteer numbers are confirmed and travel arrangements are made and confirmed. We will be leaving on or about September 5th and returning on September 14th.

The lucky applicants must be registered dental hygienists in the province of British Columbia with a valid license with the College of Dental Hygienists of BC and must also be members of BCDHA. If you are interested in joining us for this amazing opportunity please submit your resume by mail or email along with a letter of interest including your desired destinations and your BCDHA and College Registration numbers. No previous experience on volunteer missions is necessary and 365 Day Rule exemption is an asset but not required. Deadline for Share a Smile application for BCDHA volunteers is June 19, 2016.

For more information about Share a Smile Society and our Nootka Sound volunteer mission, please email us with inquiries about volunteering or donations at info@shareasmile.ca.

BCDHA Banner Logo

In the News!

Several years ago, a group of dental professionals traveled
to Ecuador to provide much-needed dental care to poverty stricken
people in remote, outlying communities in that
South American country. The lack of oral health education
was exacerbated by a lack of access to care. I was among
that team of volunteers and, when I returned to Canada,
I noticed how many of the people I treated while away
displayed the same oral health issues that I currently
witness while working in First Nation communities in
British Columbia.

heatherNootka2013Many Canadians take basic dental health care for granted.
Major cities provide easy access to doctors, dentists, and
other health professionals, but there are many communities
in Canada that are accessible only by boat, bush plane or
a full day’s drive along a gravel road. The communities
in these rugged places were originally settled because of
access to resources like fish and game. Some are slowly
becoming transformed into seasonal tourist destinations, but
a visit from a dental provider is rare, if it happens at all. You
and I might think a one-hour dental hygiene visit is a minor
inconvenience around which we have to schedule our
afternoon. Can you imagine the logistics of taking the family
to the dentist when the only transportation out of town is a
boat that delivers freight three times a week?

Since I am passionate about my cause, it wasn’t long
before I had found a handful of like-minded professionals
willing to help me make a change in people’s lives. Share
A Smile Society was born. For its first project, the small
group visited the tiny community of Esperanza on the
west coast of Vancouver Island. We met with community
leaders and First Nation Elders to lay the foundation for
future trips to more villages. Two years later, we returned with a larger force and spent five days providing dental care
and education to three communities in the Nootka Sound
region. The response was amazing. Each community was
buzzing with excitement as people lined up for their turn
with the dental hygienist or dentist. The team provided
dental care to everyone who requested it. There was no
age restriction and everyone had an equal opportunity. The
volunteers treated 74 patients over the five days. They left
behind oral hygiene aids and instructions on their use.

clinicPics2013One of the volunteers was Amy Borst, a dental hygiene
student. This was her first experience as part of a volunteer
dental project. “This trip was one of the best experiences
of my life, a dream fulfilled, and a true fueling for my career
dreams in the future. I am passionate about the profession
of dental hygiene and as a student can’t help but admire
Heather as she is one who has chosen to see the local
need, act upon it, and work to make it accessible for others to
act upon it. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity.”

After the five days in Nootka Sound, dentist Larry Hill
and I were able to travel on the freight boat to meet with
Elders at the remote community of Kyuquot. This encounter
opened the door for Share A Smile Society to bring a team
to another community in need. The next project for Share
A Smile is to return to Nootka Sound and Kyuquot this year.
We are actively seeking volunteers and donations to make
this trip a reality.

Share A Smile Society (www.shareasmile.ca) is a registered
charity managed entirely by volunteers. It invites volunteer
dental professionals and students to help improve oral
health in remote communities in Canada and abroad.
Contact the society if you would like to make a tax
deductible donation or would like more information about
future events or joining our next project. Share A Smile
may be reached by telephone at (250) 754-3885 or by
email at info@shareasmile.ca.

Nootka Sound 2014

Share a Smile is on a mission to bring good dental health to  isolated communities right here in our own back yard! It’s time for another trip to the remote ends of Vancouver Island!

From September 12 to 19, 2014 the Share a Smile Society volunteers are heading for Tahsis, Zeballos, and Kyuquot to provide FREE DENTAL CLINICS! Everyone is welcome!

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This volunteer team, made up of dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists, will provide diagnostic, preventative, and restorative procedures on a first come, first served basis. Emergency cases will take priority placement.

We are still rounding up volunteers and donations for this trip. To become a part of the team, check out the volunteers page. Or make a secure donation today and help Share a Smile around the world!