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Deciding to become involved is the most difficult step. There are as many excuses not to get involved as there are days in the year. As one volunteer put it, “There was always an excuse, but in the end, all of the excuses boiled down to fear.” There can be fear of the unknown, but preparation and speaking with other volunteers can assuage most of that anxiety. Once you make a commitment, the details can be worked out. Many veterans can assist in the proper planning of the project itself and the process of how to manage professional and personal matters back home while you are away. Many practitioners worry about their practices, but the practice will be there when you return, and patients may even view you in a more favorable light.

Download the International Dental Volunteer Guide, 5th Edition (PDF).