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Dentaid's Mobile Dental unit visits The Crypt in Leeds bi-monthly to deliver emergency dental care to homeless and vulnerable people.
Dentaid runs 3 types of clinics in the UK.
1. Public access clinics which are open to any members of the public who can’t register with an NHS dentist because there’s no capacity in their area. Currently these clinics take place in Kirklees, West Yorkshire
2. Clinics for homeless and vulnerable people. The unit will visit a specific soup kitchen, day centre or night shelter and provide free dental care for their service-users on a regular basis. Regular clinics are held at Two Saints Southampton, Alabaré Wiltshire, Trinity House Winchester, The Crypt Leeds, Kitchen for Everyone, York and The Hub Blackpool. With the purchase of a second mobile unit there are plans for clinics in London, Birkenhead and Bournemouth later this year.
3. Dental clinics for fishermen. These are held at fishing ports and provide treatment for fishermen who often struggle to access dental care.
For projects to be successful we require a volunteer dental team, funding and a host organisation so Dentaid can work with patients’ support workers. Many homeless patients are not engaged with dentistry and might have had previous bad experiences so we help to break down barriers and enable them to access dental care.
In addition to our overseas volunteering programme, Dentaid continues to send dental equipment overseas. Often this is portable equipment allowing dentists to run outreach clinics in remote locations and we have recently sent our Dentaid chairs to South Africa, Malawi, Uganda and Burkina Faso. We have also refurbished and supplied 16 permanent chairs at a new dental training hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi and Dentaid’s warehouse manager and a volunteer travelled to Malawi to help install them and train local engineers in their upkeep. Dentaid’s next overseas project is in Cape Verde where we are supplying equipment and a dentist to provide dental care for vulnerable children.
116 Commercial Road, Totton, Hampshire, SO40 3AD
Category: Social action
Contact: Susan Smith