Making a Difference: Community Service Around the Globe

A child gets screened during a mission to border towns in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

RSDM is an invaluable public health resource, improving the lives of underserved patients around the globe and in our own backyard.

RSDM students and faculty make annual trips to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Since 2004, they’ve also travel to a Native American reservations in the mid-West to staff a federally run dental clinic, while dentists there are on vacation.

At home in our Newark and South Jersey clinics, students and faculty see daily evidence that they’re improving the lives of patients and their communities. Several outreach programs educate children and adults about oral health, including the importance of oral cancer screenings and oral healthcare during pregnancy.  RSDM is one of the few oral healthcare providers in New Jersey that accepts Medicaid, which covers nearly half of our patients. Many live in Newark, where 30 percent of residents live below the poverty level.

At our Community-Oriented Dental (CODE) program in South Jersey, fourth-year students also treat many disadvantaged patients. For more than 20 years, we’ve been leaders in dental treatment for HIV/AIDS patients. Since 2002, we’ve received federal Ryan White funding for patients in underserved regions.

Each year, we participate in Give Kids a Smile Day, when we offer free health screenings, dental sealants and oral health educational tips to Essex County children, some of whom are underserved.