MORE homeless and vulnerable people across the UK will be able to access free dental care after Dentaid launched its second charity dental unit at the BDIA Showcase.
The vehicle will visit homeless shelters, soup kitchens and day centres with teams of volunteers providing dental screening, emergency treatment and oral health advice for people who find it difficult to access dental care.The new unit has been supported by Bupa Dental Care, which has chosen Dentaid as its official charity partner. Bupa dental practices will be supporting Dentaid’s UK work with a variety of fundraising initiatives involving patients and employees.
Since Dentaid launched its first mobile dental unit in 2016, the charity has been travelling the country providing free treatment for many of the most vulnerable people in our society. Homeless people, children in areas of poverty, fishermen and those living in places where it is difficult to register with an NHS practice, have all benefitted from clinics carried out in schools, community buildings, hostels and fishing ports from Cornwall to Aberdeenshire.
In the first nine months of 2019, 475 homeless and hard-to-reach people have been seen in Dentaid clinics and the charity receives requests for new projects every week. The new unit will enable Dentaid to run more clinics with one vehicle stationed in the south of England and one in the north.
The second vehicle, formerly used by community dental services, was bought at auction and both units have been reconditioned and branded thanks to Bupa’s support. X-ray equipment has been provided by Acteon and organisers of the BDIA Showcase, MA Exhibitions, invited Dentaid to reveal the new unit to the industry at the BDIA Showcase.“We can’t wait to launch the second Dentaid charity dental unit and start using it for projects that provide outreach dental care for people who struggle to access treatment,” said Dentaid CEO Andy Evans.
“We know that 70 per cent of homeless people have experienced dental problems and thanks to our incredible volunteers we are in a unique position to help them. This is about breaking down barriers, helping people out of pain and restoring their self-confidence. We have regular clinics in Leeds, York, Winchester, Hampshire and Wiltshire but we know there are many other homeless communities that need our help and we’re looking forward to launching new projects thanks to our second dental unit.”
Speaking of the partnership, Gabriela Pueyo, General Manager at Bupa Dental Care said: “We’re really excited to begin our work with Dentaid and help support them to provide oral care for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. What makes this extra special is that we asked our employees to vote for which organisation they wanted to make our official charity partner and they overwhelmingly chose Dentaid.”
In addition to supporting the new dental unit, Bupa Dental Care has also provided funding, via its apprenticeship levy, for Dentaid to hire an administration apprentice and made Dentaid the beneficiary of its Pennies scheme – a digital charity box available in all Bupa Dental Care practices.
Gabriela Pueyo continued: “As one of the largest dental providers, with more than 470 practices across the UK, we’re in a great position to provide volunteers for Dentaid’s mobile units as they travel across the country. We’re really proud to be able to support such an important organisation.”Dentaid in the UK