Turma Do BemBrésil Brazil
Free dental services to low-income youth and promotes society's understanding about oral health issues.
Turma Do Bem (TdB), the largest specialized volunteer dentists network in the world, is dedicated to changing society’s understanding about oral health issues, and dentists’ view over the social and environmental impact of their activity. The organization trains volunteer coordinators who engage and manage networks of dentists that agree to donate a portion of their time to provide free dental care to low-income children and youth. TdB is also active as an advocate for policies that support and promote access to dental care for low income populations.
Key facts Éléments Clés
Dentista do Bem
Dentista do Bem is the main project of TdB, and relies on the voluntary work of dentists who serve low income children and youth, aged between 11 and 17, providing them with free dental treatment until they turn 18. The treatment, carried out at the voluntary dentist’s office, has a curative, preventive and educational approach.
Patients are selected through a needs assessment, which is determined by a screening held in public schools or social institutions. Poor children and adolescents, with serious oral problems, and those about to have their first job have priority. By 2016, 68,000 children and youth benefited from the Dentista do Bem program globally.
The project has 1,500 volunteers – across 26 states, including the Federal District of Brazil –, in ten countries in Latin American. TdB’s head office in Brazil makes the connection with all those involved in the project (the benefited teenager, his family, the school and the volunteer dentists), and the monitoring of the treatment.
Apolônias do Bem
In partnership with Dental Amil, TdB developed Apolônias do Bem, providing free dental treatment to women victims of domestic violence. While these women may receive other forms of support, no organization offers dental treatment. In 5 years, the project offered full free dental treatment to 750 women and in 2016 it expanded its support to transgender women, a group targeted by gender-based violence.
To solve the lack of general access to dentistry, TdB works to impact public policies. The first coordinated action was the Mayors Pact, sent to mayors of municipalities to sign in favor of oral health to develop and approve laws that for the universal access to dentistry. In the last two years, due to the ongoing political crisis in Brazil, results in this area have been limited, but similar policies have the potential to benefit over 33 million people.