Dentaid, Improving the World’s Oral Health

dentaid titleDentaid is a British charity and organisation which is based on improving the world’s oral health. Dentaid’s offices and workshops are based in Landford and consist of a team of five. Dentaid is supported by a large number of British volunteers who give up their time and conduct hard work for Dentaid’s reputable cause. Dentaid is also in partnership with Oral-B. 

The association targets poor oral health and promotes oral care provision and help for people all around the world. Dentaid has backed over 250 aid programmes in 58 countries. Originally, the charity mainly focused on supplying refurbished dental surgeries for various fundraising and charitable projects in the developing world. However, in recent years the charity has expanded by putting a major emphasis on oral health promotion and education.

Dentaid’s Chief Executive Peter Gardner first had a vision for the charity when visiting a prison. He realised that the facility lacked dental materials and care. This is where the idea for Dentaid was born and the charity was launched in 1996 with just one employee and a £10, 000 grant. Over the years, the charity has grown in numbers, reputation and success. When donations and funds began to increase Dentaid was able to employ specialist staff and experts in the dentistry industry. In 2004, Dentaid made a breakthrough with their approach to improving oral health for entire overseas populations. They realised a holistic approach was necessary which meant incorporating education and prevention into their main aims as a charity.

Some of Dentaid’s projects today include: The Cameroon tooth brushing programme, the Bunawona voluntary project in Uganda and the CDA Cambodia schools oral health work. In 2006, Dentaid provided a complete, fully furbished dental surgery, with complete equipment and a set of volunteers dedicated to supplying dental care and pain relief to the Bunawoma Medcare Clinic and its surrounding community in Uganda.

Dentaid also concentrates on gaining donated equipment and dental materials. These materials are taken to workshops where they are stripped, refurbished and rebuilt. In 2008, Dentaid designed and manufactured fifty, portable dental chairs to be used in rural areas and communities overseas. Dentaid needs regular financial support and people can contribute to Dentaid by regularly donating, putting on and getting involved with fundraising events and volunteering for overseas projects.

Many dental nurses have volunteered for the charity and DNN found out their stories and how it all came about. (See Louise Bambrick and Sarah Byrne articles)

Visit http://www.dentaid.org/

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