As part of National Volunteer’s Week in the UK, Neil Sikka, dentist at Bupa Dental Care recently spent a day with the Dentaid team in Southampton. Here he helped provide free dental care to the residents of a shelter in the city. Neil explains what happened during the day.
On arrival, a friendly team greeted Neil, including a dental nurse, driver, patient co-ordinator and CEO Andy Evans who was part of the briefing that day.
Working with Dentaid
This well-drilled unit showed him around and went through the daily protocols. This included an interesting discussion around consent. All prospective patients were residents of the shelter and many would be drug and/or alcohol dependant. We would need to be sure they had full knowledge and understanding of the treatment provided!
The patients were all pre-screened and medical histories recorded. The Dentaid team then escorted them to the mobile van where the team would confirm their details and commence treatment.
The treatment given ranged from simple scaling to multiple extractions. Some had not seen a dentist for over 20 years.
Neil says: ‘It was a pleasure to treat them. What impressed me most was their up-beat disposition and gratitude for the treatment provided.
‘Being in a position to help those less fortunate is a privilege. However, having the skills to be able to physically reduce suffering and pain is truly life enhancing.
‘It was a wonderful experience. It’s great to work for an organisation that actively promotes volunteering.
‘I’d encourage all my colleagues to give it go. We have some great opportunities to help through our work with Dentaid.’
For more information on Dentaid, visit www.dentaid.org.
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