Dentists give out free dental care to homeless people to help them smile

DENTISTS have been helping bring smiles to the homeless by offering free treatments.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 5:40 pm
A happy patient—before and after Titchfield Dental's denture skills

Titchfield Dental Health in Park Gate has joined forces with international dental charity, Dentaid, to help lift the lives of homeless people throughout the South East by giving them the best teeth and smile they could wish for.

Owner and lead dentist Dr Clare Chavasse said: ‘Life is hard if you are homeless, with oral health low on a list that starts with food and

shelter.

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‘In supporting Dentaid we help bring free dental care every month to the region’s homeless community—people who are not registered for NHS treatment—which we deliver via the charity’s mobile dental unit, or Flossie, as we have christened her.’

Without the mobile unit people with dental emergencies would have to go to their nearest hospital and it is hoped by taking a dental service to a location where patients already feel safe and comfortable, barriers can be broken down and staff can help them access essential dental treatment.

The team can help if individuals agree to a treatment plan and show up for future appointments. For Carl, Titchfield Dental helped him go from a roomy grin to a full smile thanks to bespoke dentures.

Clare said: ‘We take pride in helping homeless people smile with pride.

‘It’s my way of giving back for all the opportunities that dentistry has afforded me. It’s ironic, too, as I started my practice from a van in a Titchfield car park over 30 years ago.

‘So, I’ve come full circle, with Dentaid’s Flossie reminding me to never to take anything for granted.’

Titchfield Dental Health has been supporting Dentaid and their work to help the developing world from regular donations and supplying dental equipment to funding the supply of fresh water to school children.

The charity also works in the UK, providing educational resources to teach children about the importance of looking after their teeth, free dental screening and treatment at the quayside for fishermen as they come ashore and started the country’s first ‘pay what you can afford’ dental clinic for people who were struggling to access NHS dental care.