A chance encounter while on holiday in Burma in March 2012, has led to the foundation of a new UK charity thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of practice owners Sharon Bierer and her husband, dentist Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen.
Sharon and Henrik’s 2012 holiday took them to Inle Lake where they were granted access to the Mein Thauk orphanage.
The levels of caries and decay they found in the mouths of the children shocked the couple into organising a return trip to the area in November last year, with the aim of providing a programme of dental care to the orphans.
The couple were joined on the trip by the head nurse at their London practice, Zar Ni, and his wife, May Myat San, as well as support manager at Software of Excellence and trained dental nurse, Lesley Naismith.
The trip was fully supported by Software of Excellence and Henry Schein Dental.
Sharon explained: 'Making a trip like this happen requires commitment and resources and, whilst we had plenty of the former, we needed the support of a dental company to provide the latter.
'We are indebted to Simon Gambold (Henry Schein Dental) and Brian Weatherly (Software of Excellence) for their confidence and unquestioning support, as well as the tangible materials and equipment they provided, all of which made our return trip to Burma a reality.'
Sharon, who along with Henrik, Lesley and Brian is a trustee of the Charity, added: 'The aim of Burmadent is to encourage the dental community to take their much-needed skills to this most fascinating country, to work with charming, but desperately poor people, and make a huge difference. It is dentistry in the raw and rewarding beyond your wildest imagination.'
Burmadent has been granted charitable status by the Charities Commission in double quick time thanks to the documented evidence that the organisation has already carried out important voluntary work.