Dentaid, an international dental charity based in Landford, takes its mobile dental unit to homeless shelters, refuges and day centres across the country providing essential dental treatment for vulnerable people who often face barriers to accessing NHS dental treatment.
“To get an emergency appointment you have to ring at 8.30 in the morning but that’s hard when you don’t have a phone,” said James Ross, who lived on the streets in Devizes before moving to Alabaré Place last year. “I ended up with an abscess which came back a few weeks ago and I know I’ll need an extraction.”
Dentist Jenny Wordley, who owns The Borough Dental Practice in Downton, volunteered to run last Wednesday’s mobile dental clinic. Among her patients was a victim of domestic abuse who had fled her home. “You never know when you’re going to need a service like this,” said the Alabaré service user. “I always took great pride in my teeth and then one day everything changed. It’s important for my self esteem to have good dental health but it’s the last thing on your mind in difficult times.”