This is an article by Kelsey Munro that was recently published in The Sydney Morning Herald – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

YOU may not want to see your dentist all that often but it would be worse if you couldn’t see one at all.

More than 650,000 Australians are on dental waiting lists, with an average waiting time of 27 months, according to latest figures.

Now, in an effort to tackle what has been called a silent epidemic of poor oral health, dentists are volunteering their time and skills to treat people in need as part of a new program.

Healthy Smiles for Life aims to provide more than $100,000 worth of free treatment this year to patients most in need, from simple cleans to braces and more involved orthodontic treatments.

Program co-ordinator Katherine Barbeler said more than 220 dentists have volunteered nationally, with more signing up each day.

“We’ve had one dentist offer $5000 worth of orthodontics over two years, and a dentist in Brisbane has committed to 48 appointments over the next two months,” she said.

The patients are found through charities including the Salvation Army, Youth off the Streets, Barnardos and the Benevolent Society.

Epping dentist Beng Lee participated as a volunteer in the successful pilot program Bright Smiles, which targeted disadvantaged children. He has also signed up for the new program. Recently he treated Matthew*, a six-year-old living with his mother in a women’s refuge, who had serious tooth decay.

“He was initially nervous, but he coped very well,” Dr Lee said. “He was a happy boy and even happier when he left us.”

Dr Lee treated Matthew in two free sessions, worth about $250 each.

“He was a changed patient and the gratitude came from his heart,” Dr Lee said. “He actually made up a thank-you poster … with lots of stickers and a thank-you note. It was very heart-warming.”

Matthew called Dr Lee a “cool monster” in his note. Dr Lee will now treat Matthew’s mother.



Source by Dion Kramer

https://media.healtharticlesworld.com/2017/04/free-dental-care-for-poor-leaves-happy-smiles.jpghttps://media.healtharticlesworld.com/2017/04/free-dental-care-for-poor-leaves-happy-smiles-150x150.jpgDocDental HealthThis is an article by Kelsey Munro that was recently published in The Sydney Morning Herald – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.YOU may not want to see your dentist all that often but it would be worse if you couldn’t see one at all.More than 650,000 Australians are on...Your premium health articles source