London dentist offers free treatment for the homeless

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A dentist from London is offering free dental advice and treatment to help homeless people in the city.

Hussam Lane first started volunteering when he finished studying for his master’s degree. At the time, he helped his brother out at a local Crisis shelter and this sparked an interest in doing more for homeless communities. Over the course of the last few years, he has visited shelters and community facilities, dropping in to offer advice and hand out free dental supplies, including toothbrush and toothpaste kits. He also adds patient names to practice lists and provides treatment for them in his spare time.

Hussam decided to devote more time to helping the homeless after noticing that the same patient missed an appointment several days in a row. He questioned why the man kept turning up late and found out that he was walking from North London and could never make it in time for closing at 5pm despite setting off early in the morning. The man said that he had to turn back and start walking again to make sure that he got back to the arch where he slept before somebody else took the place.

During the pandemic, Hussam set up an email address to help those who needed advice or guidance and he regularly helps local charities out. When he visits, he sometimes uses his own money to buy dental kits and food for people who rely on shelters.

The cost of living crisis has made the situation worse and it has become increasingly difficult for people who don’t have any money or a fixed address to access dental care. Kind-hearted dentists like Hussam and charities and shelters play a critical role in enabling people who don’t have a home to get help and access dental treatment. Since living costs started to rise, more and more people are visiting community centres and foodbanks because they can’t afford to buy food and pay bills, despite having a job and a home.

Hussam is committed to the work he does with homeless people and he is hoping to develop a mobile app in the future, which provides quick, easy and free access to dental advice.

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