Kingston charity secures Dentaid mobile unit visits for estate residents
A charity based in Kingston has secured a series of visits from Dentaid’s mobile dental unit to help the residents of a local estate to access services.
RBKares has teamed up with The Brothers Trust to arrange a series of visits to Cambridge Road Estate. The move is part of RBKares’ weekly Well-Being events, which are held on the first Tuesday of the month.
Dr Kate Kenyon has worked tirelessly to try to find solutions to improve access to dental services for the estate residents. She asked local dentist, Dr Munir Ravalia, to assess standards of oral hygiene among residents and the results were alarming. The estate is ranked in the top 20% of England’s most deprived areas. Most residents didn’t have an NHS dentist and 67% admitted to taking painkillers up to five-times-a-day to deal with oral pain. Some said they drank alcohol to numb the pain. Half of patients assessed by Dr Ravalia had gum disease, evidence of tooth loss or oral infections.
In June 2023, RBKares secured funding worth £5,000 from The Brothers Trust, which is run by Nikki and Dom Holland. The donation meant that Dr Kenyon was able to organise dental visits for four months. Kingston Council has now injected extra funding to pay for two further visits starting in February 2024.
Robin is one of many residents who have already benefited from the Dentaid visit. He was mugged in 2015 and left with wobbly front teeth. He has been eating soft foods since and felt uneasy about showing his smile, which made it virtually impossible to get a job. He recently attended the mobile clinic and said that for the first time in eight years, he would be able to eat a biscuit.
Dr Kenyon and Dr Ravalia spoke of their joy at being able to help residents, many of whom haven’t been to a dentist in years and most of whom are on low incomes. Poor oral health, they said, has a profound impact on physical health, mental well-being and the ability to lead a full life.
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