Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Foundation: Professional Volunteer FAQs

About the AGD Foundation

Established in 1972, the AGD Foundation aims to improve the public’s oral health and support the efforts of general dentists and AGD. Our primary focus is oral cancer awareness, risk factor prevention and diagnostic training for general dentists.  

What is the purpose of the AGD Foundation Oral Cancer Screening Event?

Approximately 53,000 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and roughly one person dies from oral cancer every hour. The disease is particularly dangerous because it can go unnoticed in its preliminary stages. Early detection is key, and, in many cases, dentists and hygienists are the first healthcare providers to identify early signs and symptoms. The purpose of the event is to increase awareness and educate, screen and refer patients with any suspicious lesions.

Why volunteer for the AGD Foundation Oral Cancer Screening Event?

Volunteering at the event provides a sense of community and offers an opportunity to serve with our peers and our organization. Your commitment to the event highlights the importance of screening for oral cancer and helps to raise awareness.

When and where is the event being held?

The screenings will be held on Friday, June 11, 2021, in Austin, Texas, during the AGD scientific session, June 9–12, 2021. There will be two screening sites, and volunteers will be assigned where needed.

I am a healthcare professional licensed in Texas. What do I need to know to volunteer?

All dentists and hygienists licensed in Texas are required to have a current, active license to practice.Volunteers must sign up online to volunteer and submit a copy of their dental practice license and proof of professional liability no later than Mar. 15, 2021. Individuals will not be able to sign up to volunteer onsite the day of the screenings.

I am a dentist or hygienist but do not have an active license to practice in the state of Texas. Can I still volunteer?

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners does provide temporary licenses for out-of-state dentists working for charitable purposes and has provided the relevant application to the AGD Foundation. If you are an out-of-state dentist and wish to screen patients, applications and required documentation must be submitted to the AGD Foundation by Mar. 15, 2021. There is no fee to apply for a temporary license for charitable purposes. The Texas State Dental Board of Examiners will notify applicants via mail, not email, if they are approved for a temporary license. The AGD Foundation will also be notified.

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners does not provide temporary licenses for hygienists.

NOTE:  To complete the Examination Information section of the application, please be advised that the NPDB self-query report can be completed through the link below.  Please note that the NBDE Part I and II must be made available online via the link below.  The applicant will have to contact the examining board and make sure to make your scores available online.  The Texas Dental Practice Information section of the application will be completed by the AGD Foundation. 

https://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/

https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/dentpin/score-reports-and-results-requests

Will the AGD Foundation provide professional liability insurance for volunteers?

The AGD Foundation will not purchase liability insurance for volunteers. All dentists and hygienists must provide proof of professional liability insurance to volunteer no later than Mar. 15, 2021. The insurance must be current and cover the date of the oral cancer screenings event.

Will dental and hygiene students be able to treat patients?

Per the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, dental and hygiene students are not allowed to actively screen patients because they are not licensed. However, the oral cancer screenings event has many wonderful opportunities for students. We encourage students to volunteer to help greet and register patients, offer translation services, and provide patient education.

Can I volunteer the day of the oral cancer screenings event?

To accommodate appointments and plan for patient flow and other logistics, individuals will not be able to sign up to volunteer on the day of the screenings. Individuals must sign up to volunteer by Mar. 15, 2021.

Is there a minimum age for volunteers?

All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

What should I expect at the AGD Foundation Oral Cancer Screenings Event? 

There will be several stations set up to screen patients. In addition to receiving an oral cancer screening, patients will learn about the importance of daily oral hygiene practices, the negative effects of tobacco products, the link between dental health and overall health, oral cancer, and more. Patients will be required to complete a patient consent form.

Will equipment and supplies be available, or should I bring my own?

The same Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Centers for Disease Control guidelines that apply in the dental office will also apply at the oral cancer screenings event. Current infection control practices will be maintained at all times during the event.

The AGD Foundation will provide latex-free gloves, disposable mouth mirrors, tongue depressors, gauze, face masks with and without shields, disposable gowns, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting supplies. If you have favorite supplies, bring them for your personal use. There are no guarantees we’ll have a specific product brand because most supplies are donated. Dentists and hygienists should bring their own protective eyewear.

Other supplies, including mouth maps, patient and volunteer forms, patient literature, pens, pencils, clipboards, mini flashlights, and other office supplies, will be available.

What else should I bring?

We want your experience to be as enjoyable as possible, which for some means using specific oral cancer screening devices and loupes while working. Therefore, we encourage you to bring your own.

What shouldn’t I bring?

Please leave valuables at home. If staying at the hotel, lock your valuables in your hotel room safe, or lock them up out of sight in the trunk of your vehicle. There is no place to secure or store personal items at the screenings.

What should I wear?

Dress comfortably. You will be walking or standing. No open-toe shoes are allowed, and dress should be appropriate for infection control and patient contact. Scrubs and gowns are recommended, but other full-coverage dress is acceptable.

Every effort will be made to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature for all, but we encourage you to wear layers or a sweater so you can adjust as needed.

All volunteers will be required to wear the name badge received at AGD registration. If you are not registered for the scientific session, a name badge will be provided for you at the screening event. A volunteer ribbon will be provided to all volunteers at the screenings.

Will there be food for volunteers?

Snacks and beverages will be provided for volunteers onsite in a break room away from the patient screening stations. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that we can provide for every special dietary need.

Will there be an orientation for volunteers?

Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your shift so you will have time to check in, attend a brief orientation and tour the screening area.

Will volunteers be recognized for their service?

Volunteers will receive a recognition certificate and be recognized on the AGD Foundation webpage.

How can an AGD member earn participation credit for screening patients?

  • The member must take one of the three-hour courses on oral cancer at the scientific session.
  • The member must take the oral cancer webinar, which will be scheduled closer to the session.
  • The member must participate at the scientific session in Austin by providing at least two hours of hands-on screening. The member is not limited to two hours but must screen at least that long to get CE credit.
  • Under all of these conditions, six hours of participation credit will be awarded.

If I can’t volunteer at the event, is there another way I can help the AGD Foundation?

Absolutely! A project of this magnitude requires donations and in-kind contributions to cover expenses for equipment, supplies, signage, food and administrative costs. Consider donating money or in-kind products or services. Your contribution, no matter the amount, will make a difference in treating patients. Please make a tax-deductible donation online today or participate in the following programs:

Silent Auction Electronic Fundraiser

Donate an item for the annual AGD Foundation Silent Auction Fundraiser and/or purchase auction items. Complete and submit the AGD Foundation Silent Auction Form by April 15, 2021.

Donate to the AGD Foundation via AmazonSmile

For each eligible purchase made through AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the AGD Foundation. You’ll enjoy the same shopping experience that you would at Amazon. To take advantage of this opportunity to support the goals of the AGD Foundation, you must have or create an Amazon account and select the AGD Foundation as your charity of choice.

If you have further questions about volunteering or want more information about AGD Foundation programs and events, please contact foundation@agd.org, or call Marilyn Mays, Manager, AGD Foundation, at 312.440.4329 or toll free at 888.243.3368 x4329.