A DENTIST from Wimbledon is heading to Cambodia to provide essential care for hundreds of people who have no other access to dental treatment.
Selina Sufraz-Patel will spend two weeks in Cambodia volunteering with the international dental charity Dentaid. Selina, who works at The Park Clinic dental practice in Raynes Park , will be part of a team of UK dental professionals who will visit poor and remote communities to provide pain-relieving dental treatments and oral health advice.
The team will visit prisons, remote villages, slum areas and schools and expect to see up to 100 patients per day. Many will never have seen a dentist before.
Dentaid volunteers often help people who have been living in pain for months or even years. The team will also be giving oral health advice, applying protective fluoride varnish and establishing toothbrushing programmes. Selina will be swapping her state-of-the-art surgery for portable dental equipment and some areas the team will visit have no running water or electricity.
“I wanted to mark my 50th birthday by doing something different and decided to volunteer with Dentaid in Cambodia,” she said. “Tooth decay in Cambodia is very high, especially among children, due to high sugar drinks and sweets. Many don’t brush daily until the age of 5 and there’s a lack of exposure to fluoride. With the programmes Dentaid provides I can deliver treatment and oral health education that will have a positive effect.”
Selina is raising £2,200 to cover the costs of her trip in October and has organised a series of fundraising events including a curry and quiz night at the Scout hut in Raynes Park on March 9th. The event includes a raffle with a host of amazing prizes including a £50 voucher from www.experiencedays.co.uk .
Lack of access to dental care is a problem in many countries. Around the world there are 4 billion people suffering from toothache and 70 per cent of the world’s population doesn’t have access to a dentist. Dentaid also funds ongoing outreach clinics in Cambodia and sends equipment to local dentists.