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Costa Rica Dental Volunteer Opportunities

Are you a qualified dentist or currently studying dentistry? Are you interested in putting your skills to good use through a well-organized volunteer program that genuinely makes a difference in the lives of those in need? Does the idea of gaining international dental experience sound appealing to you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have an excellent opportunity for you to achieve all of these goals through our dental volunteering program in Costa Rica.

volunteer dental

IFRE Volunteers proudly offers high-quality dental volunteer programs in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Despite having one of the most advanced healthcare systems in Latin America, there remains a significant gap between the dental care patients require and what they actually receive. This disparity is particularly noticeable in the field of dentistry. Dental care programs provide the opportunity to meet communities’ everyday healthcare needs. Common conditions like cavities and gum disease can become quite serious if left untreated.

By becoming an international volunteer, you can provide invaluable assistance to local dental professionals who often work with limited resources, funding, and support staff. Your contribution will help underserved communities become more knowledgeable about dental hygiene and receive the medical attention they so rightfully deserve.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer Responsibilities and Impact:

Volunteers are typically placed in a dental clinic or general health clinic offering dental services. Responsibilities vary depending on the needs of the project and your specific studies or qualifications. Remember, you are there to help based on what is possible for both you and the project, which does not always include direct patient care. It is crucial to have realistic expectations, as there are inherent limitations to working abroad in the medical field. Your role and independence when volunteering depend on your training and expertise, but are also determined by your Spanish skills, the duration of your program, and your ability to take initiative.

You’ll have the opportunity to help out in the reception area with appointments and paperwork, assist with teeth cleaning and check-ups, shadow a dentist or hygienist, teach patients about basic dental hygiene and healthy routines, and clean and prepare materials.

Skills and Qualifications:

To participate in this dental volunteering opportunity, you must meet one of the following criteria: either possess a recognized qualification in dentistry or be currently enrolled as a student in the field of healthcare with a focus on dentistry. Additionally, having a foundational understanding of the Spanish language is not required but recommended.

Working hours may vary slightly, but you can expect to work 3-4 hours per day, Monday to Friday. Your volunteer shift is in either the morning or the afternoon depending on the needs of your project.

Participating in this dental project in Costa Rica promises to be a rewarding and enlightening experience, where you'll have the opportunity to learn from local doctors while making a positive impact. While your daily hours will vary depending on your project placement, the following is a general outline to provide you with an idea of what your typical day may look like:

First Day: Your first day as a dental volunteer in Costa Rica will commence with our dedicated in-country coordinator escorting you to your project placement. During this initial introduction, you'll be acquainted with the local project staff and receive a comprehensive orientation. This orientation will cover your responsibilities, daily schedule, safety guidelines, and provide insights into Costa Rican culture and customs.

Weekdays: Your dental volunteer work officially begins on the second day, and your daily schedule will vary according to your specific placement. A typical day may follow this pattern:

7:00 to 7:30 AM: Start your day with a traditional Tico breakfast shared with your host family. This may include gallo pinto, a beloved national dish featuring rice and beans infused with signature spices and flavors, along with eggs, tortillas, fresh juice, and café con leche.

7:45 AM: Depart from your host family's residence and travel to your project site. If you opt for the local bus, it's an economical option, but be sure to arrive early as delays are common, and expect crowded conditions during peak hours. Enjoy your fulfilling day as a dental volunteer in Costa Rica!

12:00 PM: Take a break for lunch. You can either return to your host family's home or bring a packed lunch with you. Use this time to connect with fellow volunteers and build friendships with people from around the world.

3:00 PM: After completing your volunteer duties, your evenings are free to explore. You can choose to relax with your host family or team up with fellow volunteers to explore the surrounding areas.

6:45 PM : Every evening, you'll share a traditional dinner with your host family. Immerse yourself in the local culture, practice your Spanish language skills, and make the most of your time in this captivating country.

Fees & Program Dates

Program Dates

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.

Volunteers can participate in our program from 1 week up to 3 months.


Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fees (US$)

Duration Fees
  1 Week   $550
  2 Weeks   $955
  3 Weeks   $1,360
  4 Weeks   $1,725
  5 Weeks   $2,005
  6 Weeks   $2,285
  7 Weeks   $2,565
  8 Weeks   $2,845
  9 Weeks   $3,125
  10 Weeks   $3,405
  11 Weeks   $3,685
  12 Weeks   $3,965

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »

Spanish Immersion Classes – 2 Hour Group
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - $150/week
San Jose, Costa Rica - $125/week

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Shared Accommodation with host family from Sunday to Saturday
  • 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Airport Pick up
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation, Walking Tour, Safety Presentation
  • Project Management
  • Volunteer Certificate
  • Discount for returning volunteers
  • Letter of Recommendation (upon request)
  • Emergency contact 24/7
  • Access to computer lab, high-speed office-wide wifi at the institute, and access to weekly salsa dance classes and cooking classes
  • Free coffee and tea at the on-site snack bar

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses such as soft drinks and snacks
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer
  • Extra nights of housing (can be booked at an additional cost)

The volunteering in Costa Rica program fees will cover expenses from the first day of the program to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Accommodation and Meal

Our Dental volunteers in Costa Rica will stay with one of our socially respected and experienced host families. They will offer you a home away from home and a great chance to immerse yourself in the culture. The host families have experience with hosting international volunteers and accommodations are located in safe neighborhoods. You will be sharing a room with other volunteers of the same gender. Volunteer rooms are basic, clean and comfortable, and you will have access to showers, hygienic toilets and electricity. The volunteer project may be walking distance from the accommodation or require public transportation.

Volunteers will be provided with 2 local meals a day (breakfast and dinner). We accommodate all dietary restrictions, diets, allergies and preferences without any extra charges. Make sure you let us know early so we can communicate this to your host family.

Learn more about IFRE’s accommodations and meals in Costa Rica. .

Free Time and Weekends Exploration:

San Jose, Costa Rica has a lot of cultural offerings like museums, theaters, live music, great restaurants, and a historical downtown shopping area. The city is perfectly located for day and weekend trips to surrounding areas like volcanos, the cloud forest, rainforests, beaches, mountains, waterfalls, and more.

Discover what to do in your free time in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Safety and in Country Support

Your safety is IFRE’s number one priority, and we make sure you have a successful and secure volunteer abroad experience. We make sure you have safe housing and a welcoming host family to help you navigate the local area, work with respected organizations, offer health coverage, and also provide the support of our dedicated in-country team available to you at all times.

Learn more about IFRE’s safety and support in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Costa Rica Dental Volunteer Opportunities: FAQs

IFRE takes care of all those little details needed to plan the perfect Costa Rica volunteer trip. Here are some of the things you should know when traveling abroad with us:

Arrival and departure

You will fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Make sure you have sent us your correct flight details so that we can pick you up without any delay. Our airport representative will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your placement.

IFRE doesn’t offer departure transport services. They can be booked separately with the in-country coordinator at an additional cost.


You will need to apply for a tourist visa in advance. Do some research ahead of time and find out the requirements for someone from your home country. Some volunteers are eligible for an on arrival visa depending on the nationality. A 90 days visa extension facility is available. Please visit the Immigration site of Costa Rica and get more detailed information. Costa Rica has recently extended their tourist visa duration to 180 days.


The first step for protecting yourself while traveling abroad is getting up to date on your vaccines. Please consult a travel doctor who is knowledgeable about current health issues and epidemics in Costa Rica. You can also find the information on Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Health Canada or in Travelers' Health United Kingdom. We highly recommend that you get all the necessary vaccinations before heading to Costa Rica for volunteering in our program. You should be up to date on your routine vaccines, as well as Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid.

For more readings


Volunteer Health and Safety

Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Why volunteer in dental program?

Jumpstart your dental career

Nothing helps jumpstart your career like an internship and the dedicated mentorship of experienced professionals. Gain valuable experience in the dental health care field and have an exciting international internship to put on your resume and set you apart from other candidates.

Learn key dental procedures

Learn a variety of key dental skills and procedures like cleaning, repair work, extraction, x-rays, etc. Our Costa Rica dental volunteer program is your chance to learn even more about the dental healthcare field and develop the skills you need!

Travel to a new country

Costa Rica is a true paradise. The stunning beaches, towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and lush jungles will take your breath away, while the friendly Ticos and Ticas will steal your heart.

Make new friends

One of the best parts about volunteering abroad is all the exciting and different new friends you will make from all over the world. Bond with your fellow dental volunteers, the local project staff, and make new friends as you travel and explore!

Contact IFRE today to kickstart your dental career in Costa Rica!

Other Volunteering Opportunities in Costa Rica

If you lack the medical background for this project, don’t worry, there’s plenty of other ways for you to contribute to this amazing place. You can join our following projects.

Contact IFRE today to learn more!

Other Medical Projects Worldwide

Access to adequate healthcare is sorely lacking in many communities and places around the world, and IFRE aims to make this a thing of the past with our medical projects located across the globe. Take a look at the list below for some of our most popular medical projects:

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