Dentaid’s mobile dental units travel the country with volunteers offering free dental treatments. They take their dental surgeries on wheels to shelters, hostels and day centres for people who are experiencing homelessness or are temporarily housed who often find it difficult to access dental care.
The service, provided by Dentaid, was made possible thanks to a £12,000 funding grant from the Norwich Consolidated Charities. The bus was in Norwich for two days allowing the people we support to get access to dental services for the first time in years or ever. The bus was able to help 18 St Martins and 8 YMCA clients over the two days. Treatments including fillings, extractions, hospital referrals, fused braces & general cleaning.
The people we support have been so relieved and grateful for this service and has given them some guidance, support and hope for their dental care in the future.
Joe has been supported by St Martins for 5 years now and has always struggled to get a dentist. He has been calling dentist practises for years, stressing how much pain he is in. He needs help with reoccurring infections in his gums and horrendous toothaches, but he has never got anywhere. Joe has had to visit A&E several times due to the amount of pain he has been in. The hospital cannot deal with dental care, so Joe was just given antibiotics and painkillers which only helped short term. It’s gotten to the point where Joe is having to take so many painkillers to ease the pain that he now struggles with his stomach too.
“I don’t know what has affected me the most, my physical health or my mental health, the pain I’ve been in has stopped me from doing so much”
Joe had the first appointment with the Dentaid Bus and turned up half an hour early due to being so keen! Joe ended up having X-rays of his teeth, a tooth removed and given more antibiotics to treat the infection.
“It was a relief to have the tooth taken out, the dentist was very helpful, he wants to see me again in 3 months time.”
Matty has been supported by St Martins for two years and now lives independently in one of our move on flats. He has received dental care before but has had issues with toothache in recent years and has been unable to get a dentist to check his teeth out.
“it’s things that could’ve been easily resolved at the time but whilst I’ve been waiting ages to see a dentist it gets worse.”
Matty had a full clean of his teeth, a few fillings and was good to go!
“I’m well chuffed I came, it’s a weight lifted off my shoulders that I’ve been able to see somebody.”
The team at Dentaid said they thoroughly enjoyed visiting Norwich, meeting and helping the people we support.