A mobile dental unit offering free treatment for people who are struggling to access dental care is returning to Kirklees in October.
Dental charity Dentaid is running four clinics in Batley, Dewsbury and Ravensthorpe offering emergency treatment and oral health advice for people who are suffering dental pain and are not registered with a dentist.
No appointments are necessary and people can turn up and wait to be seen by the team of volunteer dental professionals. Treatments available include extractions, fillings and dental screening.
When the mobile unit visited Dewsbury last September, 304 people were seen by the team of volunteer dental professionals during 11 clinics held in schools, community centres and the town hall. The team extracted 192 painful teeth and many more patients had fillings, fluoride varnish treatments and oral health advice. A further clinic held outside the town hall in January was attended by more than 30 people and children from several local primary schools have also been seen on the mobile dental unit.
In June thousands of extra NHS dental places were created in Kirklees to help improve access to dental care and shorten NHS waiting lists. However, Dentaid is aware that there are still many homeless and vulnerable people in the area who aren’t attending regular dental appointments for a variety of reasons.
“It’s very positive that extra NHS dental places have been created in Kirklees and more will be available next year. However, every week Dentaid receives calls from people in Dewsbury who are not accessing treatment and are suffering dental pain and infections,” said Dentaid CEO, Andy Evans. “This includes vulnerable people who can find it difficult to engage with traditional NHS services. We hope that by bringing our mobile dental unit to Kirklees we can get them out of immediate pain and help them to re-engage with NHS services. We see it as a great opportunity to work with foundation dentists and local dental professionals who are volunteering their time to work on the mobile unit and bring dental care to vulnerable people and those who have been suffering long-term dental pain.”
The clinics will take place at:
Thornhill Lees Community Centre, Brewery Lane, Dewsbury. Tuesday, October 16th, 2.30pm – 6.30pm
The Greenwood Centre, Ravensthorpe. Thursday, October 18th 2.30pm – 6.30pm
The Greenwood Centre, Ravensthorpe. Friday, October 19th 12noon – 4pm
An additional clinic is being held for service users at The Streetwise Project on Thursday October 11th from 7pm – 8.30pm.
The service is for people who are not registered with an NHS dentist. Patients will be assessed and invited to wait for treatment which will be provided free of charge