On Sunday 8th May, London-based charity, the Dental Wellness Trust will provide urgent, free of charge oral health screenings and restorative dentistry for 35 child refugees and child asylum seekers living in the boroughs of Barnet, Camden and Westminster in order to launch its new initiative. A spokesperson explains.
Sunday the 8th May will see the launch of the charity’s ambitious new programme, Livesmart Dental Care, which bridges the deeply worrying gap created by the fact that very few NHS dental practices are able to take additional patients due to limited capacity, shrinking financial resources, and thousands of dentists exiting the profession.
In March 2022 Westminster Child Services contacted Dr Linda Greenwall (top), founder of the Dental Wellness Trust, with an urgent request to carry out routine oral health screenings on this group of vulnerable children – who had arrived in London with their families during the height of the pandemic. She and her experienced team of dental volunteers immediately realised that an urgent (and self-funded) oral health intervention was required.
Initially, the Livesmart Dental Care programme will operate from Dr Greenwall’s private dental practice in Hampstead Heath. Over the next six months it will provide oral health screenings and restorative dentistry for the capital’s child refugees and asylum seekers – aiming to treat over 1,000 children.
Many of these children have never visited a dentist before and some experience excruciating pain and miss schooling as a result. It’s anticipated that they might need up to 20 fillings each, as well as an application of fluoride varnish to help prevent or at least slow the process of further dental decay.
The charity is also currently renovating its mobile dental unit which will be stationed permanently at the Dental Centre for Refugee Children in Camden; with volunteers offering free treatment and preventive oral hygiene advice to those most in need.
Dr Greenwall says: “Without question, dealing with the impact of poor oral health on the quality of life is crucial for these people who are away from their habitual healthcare system, have limited financial resources, and have lost their social support network.
“Initiatives such as the Livesmart Dental Care programme are vital in providing essential treatment, interventions, and preventive advice to these children and their parents in order to help reduce the risk of chronic dental disease in later life.
“However, the government cannot expect dentists to fund these much-needed public health programmes. Good oral health is every child’s basic human right and it’s shameful that some children are being denied this by parliament because of so called ‘limited resources’.”
See the original article here: Dental Industry Review