We all know the saying, Show your teeth. Usually it’s used to describe someone who tries to intimidate by showing their power. In this case, we mean it literally. Marten Tandartsen is a dentist that doesn’t mind if its employees show off their teeth. The practice has its offices in Drachten, the Netherlands and everybody within a range of 50 km lets Marten Tandartsen take care of the dental needs. That’s how good the dentist and its reputation is.
The case of the immigrant
One day, that wasn’t unlike any others, an immigrant entered the building asking to be accepted as a patient. She was a poor girl from Bosnia and Herzegovina that had never taken care of her teeth and only brushed them occasionally. When the dentist on duty took a look at her teeth, he was sincerely shocked. Obviously he knew that dental care in poor countries wasn’t as good as it is in the Netherlands, but he had never seen anything that bad. He spoke to the partners of Marten Tandartsen about this and together they decided it was time to start helping people in need.
Dentists without borders
One of their clients, who also happens to be one of our partners, was waiting for his appointment when he eavesdropped and learned about the plans of his dentist. He became enthusiastic and immediately joined the conversation. After a while he was able to convince Marten Tandartsen that they should initiate a project with us and the rest is history. We have been working together ever since.
Generous with time
As the dentist didn’t know us, they preferred not to make a big donation right away but rather donate their time. This was a new concept for us, but all help is welcome, so we jumped on the chance to start this new and interesting partnership. The first thing that came to mind was something like Dentists without borders. The dentists however wanted to still keep control, because they felt like they otherwise might as well join the existing charity. In the end we decided to compromise and the result is a great project from which we both benefit greatly. It works as follows; each dentist working in the Marten Tandartsen practice gets two weeks a year paid leave. This leave is to be used to go to one of the ten indicated destinations and help local dentists and patients with extreme dental problems. All of this free of cost.
From the 10 dentists, 3 have already gone and called the project very successful. They felt like they learned a lot, not only because they were alone in another culture, but also because they had seen things that usually don’t occur in the Netherlands when it comes to teeth. One of the dentists actually started his own little project to help prevent common issues he saw in Honduras. He works on this in his spare time and hopes to find a solution before his next trip in the fall. Let’s hope he’ll manage, because he will be paying for this trip himself and use his holidays for it. That´s how passionate he is. His two colleagues went to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Senegal. Both of them were very excited as well. The next trip is planned to South Africa. A dentist with a South African mother will try and help the people take better care of their teeth. Or at least prevent them from letting the situation escalate. We are sure that this trip will be a success as well.