Andy Evans and Jacqueline James – Dentaid
They will be talking about the amazing work they do and how dental nurses are vital to their work. The Society are often asked how to get involved and what the costs are and decided to team up with Dentaid to help create a link to dental nurses and the Dentaid team to help get the people they need for the trips to the many underdeveloped countries and in great need of oral and dental care.
Dentaid also do great work her in the UK and are always looking for volunteers, this experience is about giving something back, but in doing so you are very likely to take something away that will stay with you forever and may be that learning experience and opportunity you have been waiting for.
” We are very grateful to the Society for giving us the opportunity to share our work with you, we know how valuable dental nurses are as team members, but that takes on a whole new level when you go out on one of these trips”.
Read More about Dentaid
WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
In 1995 the UK charity Hope Now was approached by a prison governor in Ukraine. His inmates were in urgent need of dental care and a local dentist had agreed to come to the prison if they could set up a surgery there. A UK dentist who was upgrading his surgery donated his old equipment and the clinic was a great success.
Hope Now recognised the need for a dental charity and in 1996 Dentaid was formed with one member of staff working from his garage supported by a £10,000 grant.
At first the charity concentrated on refurbishing donated equipment and sending it to charitable dental clinics across the world. But as funding increased Dentaid started oral health education projects, dental engineer training and volunteering trips.
In addition to providing equipment, volunteers and training, Dentaid has become a respected voice in international dentistry. In 2007 an ongoing action group was set up to study and combat the traditional African practice of tooth gouging, known as infant oral mutilation (IOM).
The charity is also involved in fluoride advocacy, oral health projects in schools and initiatives that provide toothbrushes and toothpaste to deprived communities. In the UK Dentaid developed its Bright Bites education resource for Key Stage 2 pupils which includes teachers’ packs, an educational game, experiments and lesson plans.
One problem with sending large pieces of dental equipment around the world was high shipping costs and the length of time it took for chairs to be installed in surgeries. But Dentaid’s engineers came up with a solution. In 2009 the charity devised the DentaidBox – a portable dental surgery complete with a chair that can be operated without access to water or electricity. And the whole thing fits into a wheelie bin! Not only did this allow the charity to help more projects around the world but an entire surgery could be built and sent overseas for £1,800.
The first DentaidBox was sent to Uganda in 2012 and they are now being used in countries all over the world.
The DentaidBoxes were soon followed by a DentaidBag a special rucksack that allows dental equipment to be taken by areoplane as carry-on luggage. This fully portable surgery can be transported easily to outreach clinics in rural areas and to regions affected by natural disasters.