More vulnerable people in the UK will be able to access essential pain relieving dental treatment after the dental charity Dentaid was awarded a £6000 grant by the Wesleyan Foundation in its public vote.
The grant, managed by the heart of England Community Foundation, will enable the charity to expand the work of its mobile dental unit which provides outreach clinics for homeless and vulnerable people and those who find it difficult to access NHS dental treatment.
The first project funded by the Wesleyan Foundation grant took place on Saturday, January 20th when Dentaid ran an outreach clinic on its mobile dental unit outside Dewsbury Town Hall. A team of volunteer dental professionals saw 38 patients including 17 who needed painful teeth extracted and several more who required fillings. Many people in the town are finding it difficult to register for NHS dental care and 20 people were waiting for treatment before the clinic opened. Dentaid is planning to return to Yorkshire to run more clinics in the spring.
The mobile dental unit provides regular clinics for homeless and vulnerable people across the UK. By visiting day centres, hostels and projects, Dentaid can help to break down barriers and re-engage clients with healthcare services. The mobile dental unit has recently been used for projects in Blackpool, Leeds and Winchester where it pays monthly visits to Trinity House day centre.
“Sadly there are many people in the UK who don’t access dental services for many different reasons,” said Dentaid CEO Andy Evans. “Vulnerable people often don’t report dental pain until it’s having a severe effect on their lives and dental problems can further damage their self-esteem and confidence. By taking the mobile dental unit to places where they already safe and comfortable, we can re-engage people with dentistry, help them out of pain and then lead them towards regular dental care.
“We are extremely grateful to the Wesleyan Foundation, its members who voted for us and the Heart of England Community Foundation. This funding will allow us to run more clinics on our mobile dental unit, helping more of the most vulnerable people in our society to access basic dental care.”