All around Australia, volunteer dentists and their teams, under the auspices of the Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF), regularly provide essential oral care for disadvantaged patients who face many challenges in their daily lives. Following is a snapshot of the Dental Rescue Days that a number of valued volunteers undertook during Dental Health Week, which ran from the 5 to 11 August this year.
In Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Dr Julee Birch and the team from More Smiles Dental Clinic welcomed 19 patients attending a Dental Rescue Day at the practice, to which local businesses donated food and coffee to keep the team going during the day.
Meanwhile, a little further south, Dr Tim Ng from Gumdale Dentists in Brisbane, Queensland, treated five patients referred from Anglicare – Women and Families Services, The Lodge Youth Housing and a local women and families safe house. The team from Gumdale Dentists are long term supporters of the Foundation’s volunteer dental programs.
At ADA NSW, St Leonards, 32 patients received treatment from volunteer dentists Drs Thien Nhien Nguyen, Ed McCudden, Helen McNaughton and Paul Gratiaen, who were assisted by Mia Chen, Frances Ershad, Wendy Liew and Shora Hasemi. Clinical Supervisor Dr Oliver Colman also volunteered his Saturday to ensure the day ran smoothly.
In Tamworth, NSW, Dr Chloe Sharp, Dr James Taylor, OHT Phoebe Cousens, OHT Hayley Press, Hygienist Jessica Aubeelaus and Therapist Louise Carriage treated 18 adult patients and a number of children, many from the local Indigenous community. Happy Smiles Dental Care hosts an annual Dental Rescue Day for the Foundation, which is supported by the whole practice.
Rebecca from Tamworth Family Support Services said of the day, “I hope there will be more days like this, it is a great initiative specially for our Aboriginal people who do not normally have access to dental services due to affordability, transport and other factors that restrict our people from accessing health services.”
In Victoria, the Foundation welcomed new volunteer, Dr Asha Muhammad, from Sunrise Dental Surgery in Endeavour Hills, Victoria. Dr Asha and her team provided appointments for patients referred by Camcare, WAYSS and Uniting Care and have committed to further volunteer days throughout the year.
In the lead up to Dental Health Week, Dr Niall Finlay and his team at the The Northside Dentist in Thornbury, Victoria provided appointments for five patients.
Over in Western Australia, the ADHF’s State Coordinator, Andrea attended the annual Homeless Connect Rockingham, Perth, an event which is run by the Salvos and connects people who are homeless or experiencing homelessness with the services and support they need. Volunteer dentists – Drs Bryan Lee, Shanash Bishsnulall, Zara Torre and Jonathan Lo provided treatment in the Dental Health Services van and were assisted throughout the day by a fantastic team of volunteers – dental student Ellie Knight, hygienist Whitney Melville, DA Bec Morganti from Henry Schein Halas, Andrea Andress from ADAWA and State Coordinator Andrea Paterson.
main image – Dr Asha Muhammad and her team