A Little (BIG) Thing Called Dentaid UK
Have you ever come across Dentaid? Dentaid is an incredible charity providing homeless and vulnerable people with access to safe, affordable and essential dental care in and around the UK.
Established in 1996, Dentaid recognises there are many people in the UK who find it difficult to access dental treatment. Did you know many homeless people can’t register with a Dentist on the NHS because they don’t have an address? Not to mention the extremely long waiting list some areas face when registering with an NHS Dentist. We’ve been working with Dentaid for the past 3 months, providing support to Dentaid’s mobile units, visiting homeless shelters, day centres and community buildings providing free, emergency treatment for people in pain.
On Thursday 20th September three members of the TDH team visited Patrick House, Southampton, a homeless shelter for single homeless people between the ages of 18 and 60. We saw ten patients throughout the duration of the day. We do everything we can in that time to treat their immediate dental needs, as they are transient and often won’t be there next time. This can range from a check-up to a scale and polish, pain relief, fillings, extractions or simply oral health advice and a shiny new toothbrush. We work non-stop throughout the day and it’s a very popular clinic.
Clare Chavasse, Practice Owner comments, “We’re committed to supporting Dentaid, it’s a charity we feel very passion about. When we go there we hear lots of truly heart-breaking stories from people suddenly made homeless and it makes you realise, it can happen to anyone, at any time. Lots of these people have had something happen in their lives which turns into a spiral of decline, as well as people who are born into awful situations which make it virtually impossible to get out of, so continue in the same way as their parents.”
We’re currently being funded by Rotary who have given us the opportunity to attend eight Dentaid sessions at Patrick House. Our next visit will be on the 25th September 2018. We’ll keep you posted on our Dentaid journey and share some more photographs from our time at Patrick House in the coming months. If you’d like to know more about the charity, you can visit their website: https://www.dentaid.org/