Our Story

Dentaid improves oral health around the world

We provide access to safe, affordable and essential dental care for people in many of the poorest countries in the world and in the UK.

 

WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?

In 1995 the UK charity Hope Now was approached by a prison governor in Ukraine. His inmates were in urgent need of dental care and a local dentist had agreed to come to the prison if they could set up a surgery there. A UK dentist who was upgrading his surgery donated his old equipment and the clinic was a great success.

Hope Now recognised the need for a dental charity and in 1996 Dentaid was formed with one member of staff working from his garage supported by a £10,000 grant.

At first the charity concentrated on refurbishing donated equipment and sending it to charitable dental clinics across the world. But as funding increased Dentaid started oral health education projects, dental engineer training and volunteering trips.

In addition to providing equipment, volunteers and training, Dentaid has become a respected voice in international dentistry. In 2007 an ongoing action group was set up to study and combat the traditional African practice of tooth gouging, known as infant oral mutilation (IOM).

The charity is also involved in fluoride advocacy, oral health projects in schools and initiatives that provide toothbrushes and toothpaste to deprived communities. In the UK Dentaid developed its Bright Bites education resource for Key Stage 2 pupils which includes teachers’ packs, an educational game, experiments and lesson plans.

One problem with sending large pieces of dental equipment around the world was high shipping costs and the length of time it took for chairs to be installed in surgeries. But Dentaid’s engineers came up with a solution. In 2009 the charity devised the DentaidBox – a portable dental surgery complete with a chair that can be operated without access to water or electricity. And the whole thing fits into a wheelie bin! Not only did this allow the charity to help more projects around the world but an entire surgery could be built and sent overseas for £1,800.

The first DentaidBox was sent to Uganda in 2012 and they are now being used in countries all over the world.

The DentaidBoxes were soon followed by a DentaidBag a special rucksack that allows dental equipment to be taken by areoplane as carry-on luggage. This fully portable surgery can be transported easily to outreach clinics in rural areas and to regions affected by natural disasters.

OUR TIMELINE

1996

Dentaid launches in a garage with the help of a £10,000 grant and lots of great ideas.

1997

First surgery donated, reconditioned by volunteers and sent to a prison in Ukraine

2000

Dentaid moves to new headquarters in Landford with a much larger warehouse.  Volunteers help in the warehouse to recondition donated equipment and produce Dentaid's portable chairs.

2003

Dentaid launches its first oral health education programmes.  Our volunteers visit schools around the world to talk about toothbrushing, the importance of fluoride and how to avoid tooth decay.

2003

Dentaid designs a fully portable dental chair.  This lightweight chair means that dental clinics can be set up in schools, community buildings, churches, prisons, orphanages and remote locations.

2004

Great Wall of China Trek raising £50,000

2005

First major sponsor Denplan became involved

2006

Introduction of Bright Bites education pack

2007

Introduction of training programmes to local health workers

2009

Dentaid delivers full surgeries and portable equipment to more countries than ever before

2012

The newly designed DentaidBox is introduced.  A fully portable dental surgery fits into a wheelie bin so it can be shipped and set up in some of the most remote places in the world.

2014

Dentaid was awarded a Global Grant from Rotary International to train a new generation of dentists in Timor Leste.  The grant also provided much needed dental equipment in a country where there were only 6 dentists and a desperate shortage of facilities.

2015

Dentaid starts working in the UK and launches the Real Junk Tooth Project in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. The project has helped 120 vulnerable people who found it difficult to access NHS dental care.

2015

A Dentaid team and portable equipment goes to The Jungle Camp in Calais where there is a desperate need for dental care.

2016

Dentaid purchases a mobile dental unit that will offer outreach clinics for homeless and vulnerable people in the UK.

2016

Dentaid sends its first volunteering team to the refugee camps in northern Greece

OUR TEAM

Andy Evans

Strategic Director

Kerry Crook

UK & European Projects Manager

Jacqueline James

Overseas Projects & Volunteering Manager

John Elkins

Finance Director

Jill Harding

PR & Marketing Officer

Naomi Roche

Administration Officer

Stuart Bassham

Workshop Manager

Tracy Hayter

Administrator

Barbara Koffman

Volunteer Advocate

Joshua Rodgers

Business Admin Apprentice

OUR TRUSTEES

Jeremy Hett

2016 is a momentous year for Dentaid as we celebrate 20 years since the founding of the organisation. Much has been achieved during this time and the charity’s impact in providing resources and support for the relief of dental pain in a number of countries around the world, has been considerable. There is a new vibrancy about the activities and recent initiatives in the UK, which is reflected in a new, fresh website. The excellent team who work at the Old Sawmills are well placed to ensure that Dentaid’s outreach and impact will spread and increase in the years ahead.

May I take this opportunity of thanking all our volunteers and supporters for the effort and enthusiasm that you have brought to Dentaid over the last 20 years and for all that you have helped us achieve.

Richard Guyver

My first experience of using my dental skills outside of a ‘Western’ environment was in 1999 when I went on my dental elective to Yap in Micronesia. I spent 4 weeks assisting the local dentist in providing emergency and simple restorative dental care to the local population. It was a steep learning curve for me as I was still a student, but it’s a time that will be forever etched in my memory as one a highlights of my life.

I am passionate about increasing awareness on the impact dental health can have on general health, and have published a book on this topic. I predict over the next 5-10 years we will see this aspect of dental care taking on more and more significance.

When I became aware of the dental need around the world through a friend who was a trustee at Dentaid, I was delighted to be able to offer my input in helping to evolve this amazing charity. It’s clear that the passion and commitment that volunteers and the team at Dentaid have towards improving the lives, dental health and general health of people they have never met is fulfilling and inspiring and I am humbled to be a part.

Jane Lelean

I work as an international business coach and trainer specialising in dentistry, working with practice owners and their teams, helping them make their good practices great. I am passionate about dentistry and its capacity to change lives. Since the age of eight I was determined to have a career in dentistry, assisting people improve their dental health, beauty and happiness. Before working as a dental business coach I ran my own successful practice in Buckinghamshire.

I am passionate about dentistry and I’m always keen to put on a pair of rubber gloves and pick up a mirror and probe. I currently offer dental care for the local out of hours emergency service, Crisis at Christmas and as a dental volunteer for Dentaid.

I recently transitioned from non-runner to marathon runner within nine months and completed the London Marathon in April to raise money for Dentaid.

Jon Gollings

I am a dentist at Whitehall House Dental Practice in Wimborne. I graduated from Bristol University in 2005, where I was awarded the BDA medal for clinical dentistry, before completing further training in restorative dentistry and an implant diploma at the Eastman Dental Institute, London.

I am passionate about the work that Dentaid does, recognising the need for dental projects in so many areas of society, both at home and further afield. I have conducted studies on Infant Oral Mutilation (IOM) and helped lead an action team for Dentaid on this work. I joined the board of trustees in 2012 and have a desire to see more communities suffering from dental related problems have access to care, and more to be done to help educate children in preventive care.

Mark Inman

I have been a supporter of Dentaid for 10 years. I am a practising NHS dentist and Vocational Trainer and have been on many Dentaid Overseas trips to carry out outreach dentistry in several developing countries.

I have seen the desperate need so many people have in countries where there is no access to dental services. This results in people having pain for months and years, sometimes with severe medical complications. Also I have seen how each country has different needs and there is no single cure. Dentaid seeks to discover and address these needs for the benefit of all our patients.