• 06 FEB 19

    Helping the homeless: what can we do

    In recent years, there has been a big drive in dentistry towards helping homeless people in local communities. Not only do various charities such as Dentaid and Smile4Life strive to bring better oral care to this demographic, but there has been an increase in practices offering accessible dental treatment – and this is something that all of us as dental professionals should really consider.

    When evaluating one sample group of 728 homeless people, Smile4Life found that 98% of them had dental decay and that over half of them had extracted or missing teeth.[i] These figures just go to show how serious the problem of oral health complications is amongst homeless people, and how many of them are suffering due to not having access to dental treatment.

    Of course, when we think of providing treatment for the homeless it’s often about helping these people overcome oral pain. Understandably, homeless individuals are more prone to dental health problems. Not only do they not have easy access to essentials such as clean running water, toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss, but by living on the streets, they have a higher risk of being impacted by substances such as drugs and alcohol[ii] – both of which can negatively affect oral health in a number of ways. Together these factors go some way towards explaining why bad oral health is such a pandemic amongst this group of people, and why it’s so important that we, as dental professionals, reach out and help.

    Indeed, it’s important to remember that substance abuse and homelessness often have a two-way relationship, and one may easily lead to the other, forming a vicious cycle that is difficult for these individuals to escape. Alcohol has been proven to alter the bacteria in the oral cavity, leading to an increased chance of gum disease and other problems.[iii] Many narcotics commonly used by those living rough such as crystal meth and cocaine can both harm teeth due to their acidic nature. They may also encourage enhanced decay as they cause dry mouth and users to crave sweet treats.[iv] These drugs may also trigger people to grind their teeth as they experience a high, wearing down the enamel or chipping or loosening the teeth which can quickly lead to tenderness and further oral problems.

    Figures from homeless charity Crisis reveal that in 2017, as many as 4,751 people were sleeping outside every night in the country – a figure which excludes any homeless people who can find nightly shelter. In fact, the charity also suggested that as many as 57,890 households were accepted as homeless in 2017 – indicating how widespread the problem actually is. What we often forget is that homelessness doesn’t just mean people living on the streets, and there may be individuals who rely on squatting at B&Bs or sleeping on sofas, and these people cannot be excluded from the total number of people who are considered homeless within the UK.

    So what can we do to help these people? It really is as simple as following the example set by others in the industry. Perhaps you could open your practice for a day and provide treatment free of charge for these people, or maybe you and your staff can band together and do a fundraiser to earn some money to donate to charity. Treatment, in particular, can make a huge difference to these individuals, as many of them could be suffering from problems such as chronic pain caused by decay, and can only turn towards drink and narcotics to numb the problem.

    Furthermore, we cannot discount the effect that treatment may have on the road towards rehabilitating these people. A good smile is worth a thousand words, and by supplying these people with life-changing treatment such as dentures, we can inspire them to help get their self confidence back by restoring their smile aesthetics – something which society places so much value on today. In fact, research has found that offering lasting solutions for homeless people and helping them to maintain good oral health is actually an important step towards helping them regain a foot in society.[v] This is likely because of the increased sense of self-esteem good dental treatment can provide.

    Overall, it’s important that we as professionals extend our care as far as possible. Homeless people may not have the opportunity for dental treatment very often in their lives, so by choosing to help, even for one day, you can make a huge difference – proving that dentistry is, at the root of it, still first and foremost about care.

    For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

    [i] Smile4Life. The Oral Health of Homeless People Across Scotland. Link: https://dentistry.dundee.ac.uk/sites/dentistry.dundee.ac.uk/files/smile4life_report2011.pdf [Last accessed November 18].

    [ii] Crisis. Drugs and Alcohol. Link: https://www.crisis.org.uk/ending-homelessness/health-and-wellbeing/drugs-and-alcohol/ [Last accessed November 18].

    [iii] Medical News Today. Alcohol Promotes Disease By Altering Oral Bacteria. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321619.php [Last accessed November 18].

    [iv] American Addiction Centers. How Does Drug Abuse Affect Teeth Health? Link: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/health-complications-addiction/drugs-affect-teeth-health [Last accessed November 18].

    [v] Homeless Link. Empowering People to Bring Back Their Smile. Link: https://www.homeless.org.uk/connect/blogs/2017/may/05/empowering-people-to-bring-back-their-smile [Last accessed November 18].

Endocare Root Canal Specialist London - Embarrassing Bodies

Click on the link above to see what happened when we were invited by Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies to treat a patient who was suffering from an extreme case of  teeth grinding.

ENdocare Welcome Video

Click on the link above to watch an overview of what we do and to learn more about EndoCare.

Weekend Opening

We are now open on Weekends. If you need to see a Root Canal Dentist on Saturday or Sunday then we are now open. For details of our new weekend opening hours please contact us now.

Patient Testimonials

This is just to thank you for the root-canal treatment which you carried out on my tooth last Tuesday afternoon. All has now settled down and I can chew on the tooth as normal. I think that we both had a tough ninety minutes last Tuesday but for me it ...

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David Thomson
Thankyou so much for once again saving a difficult tooth!!  Another thankyou is due to you for your gift to my daughter of the recipe book written by your aunt. Noelle returned to Dubai with the book firmly tucked under her arm. She returns in July for the summer and ...

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Sheila Ferris
Thank you so much for looking after our nanny Noelia! Thank you also for offering her such a generous discount for your excellent treatment. She asked me to pass on her thanks also. With best wishes.

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Quentin McCoach
Thank you for treating my dental pain, it was a great relief! Thank you also for the care I received while visiting your practice.

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Fraser Gray
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and Mr. Sultan for the excellent patient care I received last week. My reluctance to proceed with the surgical treatment was apparent, but with your advice and reassurance, I am sure that I made the right decision. The procedure, though ...

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Anne
Thank you very much for the wonderful work you did for me. I can smile again!

Read More

Zita Drew
Just to say thanks for the coffees & friendly, supportive chats. You certainly helped to take the edge off a stressful time for us.

Read More

Rod & Sue Witheridge
Just a quick but BIG thank you all for making what was a frightening and miserable procedure into an experience I could hanle. If there had been more people like you all, I would have a much healthier mouth. It was a pleasure meeting you and your kindness is much ...

Read More

Georgia F

Our Clinic Locations

map1

Harley Street Root Canal Clinic
99 Harley Street
London
W1G 6AQ

Contact this Clinic:
Call us: 0207 224 0999
Email us: CLICK HERE

map2

Richmond Root Canal Clinic
4-6 George Street
Richmond
Surrey TW9 1JY

Contact this Clinic:
Call us: 0208 912 1340
Email us: CLICK HERE

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Endocare root canal specialist London - Contact us

EndoCare - Root Canal Specialist London - Post

  • Root Canal Treatment

    You may require root canal treatment if you have pain or swelling associalted with your teeth.

  • Root Canal Re-Treatment

    We can help if you are having problems with teeth previously root canal treated by other dentists.

  • Endodontic Microsurgery

    Using the latest surgical techniques we help save teeth even if root canal treatment is not possible.

    • 06 FEB 19

    Helping the homeless: what can we do

    In recent years, there has been a big drive in dentistry towards helping homeless people in local communities. Not only do various charities such as Dentaid and Smile4Life strive to bring better oral care to this demographic, but there has been an increase in practices offering accessible dental treatment – and this is something that all of us as dental professionals should really consider.

    When evaluating one sample group of 728 homeless people, Smile4Life found that 98% of them had dental decay and that over half of them had extracted or missing teeth.[i] These figures just go to show how serious the problem of oral health complications is amongst homeless people, and how many of them are suffering due to not having access to dental treatment.

    Of course, when we think of providing treatment for the homeless it’s often about helping these people overcome oral pain. Understandably, homeless individuals are more prone to dental health problems. Not only do they not have easy access to essentials such as clean running water, toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss, but by living on the streets, they have a higher risk of being impacted by substances such as drugs and alcohol[ii] – both of which can negatively affect oral health in a number of ways. Together these factors go some way towards explaining why bad oral health is such a pandemic amongst this group of people, and why it’s so important that we, as dental professionals, reach out and help.

    Indeed, it’s important to remember that substance abuse and homelessness often have a two-way relationship, and one may easily lead to the other, forming a vicious cycle that is difficult for these individuals to escape. Alcohol has been proven to alter the bacteria in the oral cavity, leading to an increased chance of gum disease and other problems.[iii] Many narcotics commonly used by those living rough such as crystal meth and cocaine can both harm teeth due to their acidic nature. They may also encourage enhanced decay as they cause dry mouth and users to crave sweet treats.[iv] These drugs may also trigger people to grind their teeth as they experience a high, wearing down the enamel or chipping or loosening the teeth which can quickly lead to tenderness and further oral problems.

    Figures from homeless charity Crisis reveal that in 2017, as many as 4,751 people were sleeping outside every night in the country – a figure which excludes any homeless people who can find nightly shelter. In fact, the charity also suggested that as many as 57,890 households were accepted as homeless in 2017 – indicating how widespread the problem actually is. What we often forget is that homelessness doesn’t just mean people living on the streets, and there may be individuals who rely on squatting at B&Bs or sleeping on sofas, and these people cannot be excluded from the total number of people who are considered homeless within the UK.

    So what can we do to help these people? It really is as simple as following the example set by others in the industry. Perhaps you could open your practice for a day and provide treatment free of charge for these people, or maybe you and your staff can band together and do a fundraiser to earn some money to donate to charity. Treatment, in particular, can make a huge difference to these individuals, as many of them could be suffering from problems such as chronic pain caused by decay, and can only turn towards drink and narcotics to numb the problem.

    Furthermore, we cannot discount the effect that treatment may have on the road towards rehabilitating these people. A good smile is worth a thousand words, and by supplying these people with life-changing treatment such as dentures, we can inspire them to help get their self confidence back by restoring their smile aesthetics – something which society places so much value on today. In fact, research has found that offering lasting solutions for homeless people and helping them to maintain good oral health is actually an important step towards helping them regain a foot in society.[v] This is likely because of the increased sense of self-esteem good dental treatment can provide.

    Overall, it’s important that we as professionals extend our care as far as possible. Homeless people may not have the opportunity for dental treatment very often in their lives, so by choosing to help, even for one day, you can make a huge difference – proving that dentistry is, at the root of it, still first and foremost about care.

    For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

    [i] Smile4Life. The Oral Health of Homeless People Across Scotland. Link: https://dentistry.dundee.ac.uk/sites/dentistry.dundee.ac.uk/files/smile4life_report2011.pdf [Last accessed November 18].

    [ii] Crisis. Drugs and Alcohol. Link: https://www.crisis.org.uk/ending-homelessness/health-and-wellbeing/drugs-and-alcohol/ [Last accessed November 18].

    [iii] Medical News Today. Alcohol Promotes Disease By Altering Oral Bacteria. Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321619.php [Last accessed November 18].

    [iv] American Addiction Centers. How Does Drug Abuse Affect Teeth Health? Link: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/health-complications-addiction/drugs-affect-teeth-health [Last accessed November 18].

    [v] Homeless Link. Empowering People to Bring Back Their Smile. Link: https://www.homeless.org.uk/connect/blogs/2017/may/05/empowering-people-to-bring-back-their-smile [Last accessed November 18].