Emergency charity dental clinics return to Suffolk

10 Oct 2022

Dentaid in Haverhill on 20 October 2022

Emergency dental clinics for residents of Haverhill who are not registered with a dentist and are suffering the misery of toothache will take place on Thursday, 20 October. 

Dentaid, the dental charity, is providing the service for people with severe dental pain and no other access to treatment.  Volunteer dentists and dental nurses will be on the charity’s mobile dental unit offering free oral cancer screening, dental health advice, fillings and extractions.

The clinics will take place in Haverhill Market Square outside St Mary’s Church on Thursday, 20 October. People don’t need appointments and are invited to turn up and wait to be seen.  Everyone will be triaged to assess their level of need.

Patients are advised to arrive early and be prepared to wait.  The charity’s volunteers will see as many people as they can but can’t promise to see everyone. 

This is Dentaid’s fourth visit to Suffolk.  The charity previously ran four clinics in Bury St Edmunds and two in Leiston, where hundreds of people in dental pain waited up to six hours to be seen. The charity is returning at the request of councillors on West Suffolk after they identified a lack of access to dental care as a priority for their community.

Cllr David Smith, Haverhill South and Cllr Pat Hanlon, Haverhill East, said: “People’s self-confidence so often rests in their smile and that can be shattered when they are living with often painful problems with their teeth and gums that they haven’t been able to get help for. We know how difficult many people find it in getting to see a dentist and getting that advice or treatment that they may need. The Dentaid sessions have been very successful elsewhere in West Suffolk and so we are very pleased to be able to help bring it to Haverhill and grateful to St Mary’s Church for their support in making their community room available. Our hope is that it will enable some of our local residents to get the help that they need to give them their confidence back and improve their quality of life.” 

Anyone planning to attend the clinics is asked to ensure they have eaten breakfast and bring plenty of water as there may be a long queue. 

Dentaid is asking people only to attend if they meet the criteria of living in the Haverhill area, are currently experiencing dental pain and have no other way of accessing dental care.  

“We expect there to be huge demand for our charitable dental service when we return to Suffolk,” said Dentaid CEO, Andy Evans. “On previous occasions we had long queues of people who were in terrible dental pain and our volunteers worked tirelessly to help as many as they could.  We do ask people to remember these are volunteers who are giving up their time to try to help those in greatest need. We know there are people in the Suffolk community who are suffering from untreated toothache and thanks to our volunteers and the local councils, Dentaid will help as many people as we can.”

Dentaid has four mobile dental units which travel the UK providing outreach dental care for people who struggle to access treatment, including those experiencing homelessness, asylum seekers and refugees, head and neck cancer patients, fishing communities and survivors of domestic abuse.   

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