Volunteers provided tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of dental treatment for vulnerable patients at what’s believed to have been one of Australia’s biggest ever dental charity events, held last month.
About 90 patients received pro bono dental treatment at Bella Dental Care at Baulkham Hills in Sydney’s north-west as part of a five-day Dental Rescue Clinic.
Patients referred from 20 charities were treated during the week, which was run with assistance from ADA NSW, the Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF) and Filling the Gap charities.
“It was incredible to see the generosity and hard work of everyone involved with the clinic,” coordinator Claire Rawlinson said.
“Dental Rescue clinics ensure patients receive dental treatment which they would otherwise be unable to access.”
Dental treatment including extractions, fillings and dentures was provided during the five-day event, which ran from 15-19 March.
About 15 patients were also ‘adopted’ by the practice and will have further treatment provided at a later date.
A program of the ADHF, run in partnership with Filling the Gap, dental rescue days provide pro bono dental treatment to vulnerable patients who are unable to access mainstream dental services, usually because of complex social and health barriers.
Filling the Gap and the ADHF also hold other clinics and programs for patients referred by partner charities.
“These programs improve the health and quality of life of vulnerable people with poor oral health,” Filling the Gap general manager Dr Sarah Raphael said.
“Many of these patients will have been unable to access dental treatment and may have been enduring pain and suffering.
“Through the kindness and hard work of volunteers with these programs, patients are able to live pain free and eat again. They restore people’s dignity by enabling them to speak and smile with confidence.”
More volunteer practitioners and clinics are always welcome, together with program sponsors and donations.