A short history
Dentaid was founded in 1996 when an English dentist refurbished a dental chair in his garage. The equipment was driven across Europe and installed in a Ukrainian prison so a local dentist could treat the prisoners.
At first, the charity concentrated on refurbishing donated equipment and sending it to charitable dental clinics across the world. In 2009, Dentaid engineers invented the DentaidBox – a portable surgery that can be operated without access to running water or electricity. As funding increased, Dentaid started overseas oral health education projects, dental engineer training and volunteering trips. Dentaid’s overseas work continues to help local dentists provide treatment and oral health programmes in their communities.
The charity’s first UK project took place in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire in December 2015 with free clinics for people who were struggling to access dental care. The project was such a success that Dentaid purchased a mobile dental unit so it could visit more towns and cities.
Since the Covid pandemic demand for Dentaid’s work has skyrocketed and the charity now has seven mobile units and a dental trailer that will be used for 500 UK clinics in 2023.
Our workshop today
Dentaid’s workshop at our Totton headquarters is a hive of activity. Our team of dedicated volunteers refurbish, recondition and test donated dental equipment that we send to dentists around the world.
Our portable dental chairs are made from scratch using traditional engineering skills. The metal frames are welded together before being fitted with a wooden base and hand stitched seat. Around the world, dentists use our specially made chairs to treat thousands of patients every year.
Donations come into Dentaid’s workshop every week. Our volunteers sort them and match available equipment with requests from our projects. Then it’s a case of getting everything working, testing it and shipping it to projects where it will make a huge difference.