The Health Lottery Supports New Mobile Dental Unit in Weston-super-Mare

Dentaid The Dental Charity proudly announces the launch of its ninth mobile dental unit, generously supported by The Health Lottery. This cutting-edge mobile dental surgery has begun operating in Weston-super-Mare from Tuesday, June 18th. This outreach will benefit diverse groups such as people experiencing homelessness , abuse survivors, cancer patients, fishing communities, families living in poverty, and those battling addiction.

Since its inception, over £130 million has been raised through The Health Lottery for various health and wellbeing causes across Great Britain. This donation facilitated the refurbishment, stocking, and preparation of Dentaid’s new unit. Additionally, The Health Lottery will support monthly dental clinics in Weston-super-Mare throughout the summer.

This new mobile unit enables volunteer dentists and dental nurses to deliver a wide range of services, including oral cancer screenings, dental health advice, cleanings, fillings, and extractions

Due to the increasing demand for Dentaid’s services, the charity has expanded its fleet of mobile dental units, bolstered by significant support from the dental industry and its supporters. This year, Dentaid will conduct nearly 1000 charity dental clinics across the UK, a significant increase from 422 clinics last year.

Dental problems are prevalent among homeless individuals and can hinder their efforts to escape poverty and addiction. A complex set of interlinked factors exacerbates the problem: lack of self-care while experiencing  substance misuse and mental health issues, poor diet, tobacco smoking, and limited access to dental products. Research indicates that 70% of homeless people suffer from toothache, and 15% have attempted to extract their own teeth.

Patients supported by Dentaid face numerous practical, emotional, and mental barriers to accessing care. The challenges of homelessness make it difficult to keep appointments, and many patients struggle with anxiety or have limited opportunities to prioritise oral health. Some have also suffered dental damage due to their diet, addiction, violence, or abuse.

Dentaid’s mobile dental units visit soup kitchens, hostels, night shelters, and emergency accommodations, with volunteer dental professionals providing screening, advice, and dental care. By offering regular services, they aim to break down barriers and give our vulnerable patients the best possible chance of accessing dental care.

“Dentaid’s mobile dental units are a lifeline for many, providing essential care to those who need it most,” said Jill Harding, Communications Manager at Dentaid. “This new unit, supported by The Health Lottery, will allow us to reach even more people in Weston-super-Mare and beyond, offering vital services that can make a real difference in their lives.”

“We are incredibly proud to support Dentaid with this initiative,” said Carly Troullis, of The Health Lottery. “The work they do is truly inspiring, and we are committed to helping them deliver much-needed dental care to vulnerable communities. This partnership reflects our ongoing dedication to improving health and well-being across the country.”