Students offer free dentistry

20 December 2021
1 min read

The University of Portsmouth Dental Academy has been offering free dental care to homeless people.

It is believed to be the first university to do so.

ITV News reported that one such person being helped by the dental students is Tony, who suffers from intense tooth pain because of neglected oral health. He told volunteers that for the last 10 years, ‘he’s often been in too much pain to eat’.

He said, "I've been sleeping rough in Southampton, I've been sleeping rough in Portsmouth. For the last ten years I've found it really uncomfortable to eat almost anything."

Barry Wilson, who has also been sleeping rough, has also received care. The network shared that when he was asked what caused his teeth to be in their condition, he replied, "Fights, neglect, drug abuse, addiction, drinking, alcoholism.

"Now I'm in sobriety I feel a lot better physically, mentally, spiritually. Without no teeth my mental health plays up."

ITV News also spoke to the dental students behind the scheme, who said they are “determined to get their patients as healthy and as comfortable as possible”.

Dental student Melissa Morgan said, "Everyone deserves to be out of pain and to be able to eat and drink normally.

"It's not really fair regardless of the state they're in or their living situation, they should be entitled to dental care."