Dentists are urgently needed to check and fix the teeth of the capital’s homeless this Christmas.
The check ups will be a part of the medical services on offer to London’s homeless people, many of whom may not have access to professional dental care for some time.
Crisis Christmas is running from 23-30 December and nine temporary centres will be set up across the capital by Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people.
The Crisis Christmas Dental Service is desperate for qualified volunteers to provide a range of routine dental treatments – check-ups, scale and polish, fillings and even extractions under local anaesthetic, as well as giving basic dental health advice and education.
And Crisis is putting out an appeal for qualified dentists, dental nurses and hygienists to help in a bid to improve on the success of last year when 120 patients received dental treatment.
Ian Jones is a dentist who currently volunteers as the Dentistry Service Organiser at Crisis Christmas.
He first volunteered with his wife, Trisha, in 2006 and the experience had such a powerful impact on them both, they now come back to volunteer each year.
‘Volunteering in the dentistry service is probably the most professionally and emotionally rewarding experience of my entire year. I’d like to think that all dentistry volunteers will make the most of this opportunity and enjoy helping people without the normal hindrance of having to make a living out of it! For many of us, practising dentistry for nothing is an immense, if somewhat strange, pleasure.’
Ian is doing it all again this Christmas because ‘working within the Crisis Dentistry Service is an opportunity to regain something that many of us lose in our day jobs – the true satisfaction of knowing we’re offering a vital service and really helping someone.’
Leslie Morphy, Crisis CEO, said: ‘Crisis Christmas would not be possible without the help of the 6,500 volunteers who generously donate their time and skills over the Christmas week.
‘Volunteer dentists will play a key part in the process, so if you know anyone with relevant skills and experience, please spread the word!’