More vulnerable patients received vital dental treatment as part of Filling the Gap

Posted on November 20th, 2019

More vulnerable patients received vital dental treatment as part of Filling the Gap’s latest successful Dental Rescue Day.

The event, in the north-west NSW city of Tamworth, was the latest in Filling the Gap’s efforts to improve access to dental treatment for those who need it. Held at the city’s Darling Dental clinic, the event saw patients receive emergency dental care totalling about $10,000.

“Through the dedicated efforts of caseworkers, partner charities, volunteer dentists and dental assistants and other team members, we helped patients receive treatment they would otherwise struggle to access,” ADA NSW vice-present and Filling The Gap Board member Dr Michael Jonas said.

“Good oral health is key to overall well-being so it is vital patients get help when they need it. The day again underlined the generosity of everyone involved with Filling the Gap and their willingness to help patients in need.”

NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson also showed his support for Filling the Gap by attending the clinic to visit patients, dentists and staff.

A total of 20 patients received treatments including extractions, fillings and pain relief at the event, which took place on Saturday, November 16.

More than 300 patients received pro bono treatment as part of the Filling the Gap program during the 2018-19 Financial Year. The program’s goal is to improve the health and quality of life of vulnerable people with poor oral health through the provision of pro bono dental treatment, education programs and advocacy. It prioritises those most in need who are unable to access mainstream dental services.

Asylum seekers and refugees, Indigenous Australians and people with complex and chronic health conditions such as mental health, addiction, homelessness, disability and domestic violence are among those receiving care.

“We were delighted to host this vital clinic and help patients receive the treatment they need,” Darling Dental principal dentist Dr Paul Hagley said.

“By working together, we are improving the health of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“Filling the Gap is a terrific program and I would recommend every dentist and dental assistant get involved.”

More than 50 volunteer dentists and dental assistants currently support the program free of charge. Filling The Gap is always looking for dentists and dental assistants to participate in its dental rescue clinics on a volunteer basis. For dates of forthcoming clinics, more information and how to take part, click here.

Filling the Gap is grateful for the generous funding support provided by NSW Health, which funds staff to coordinate the dental aid programs. Without this, dental clinics such as the one in Tamworth, wouldn’t happen.

Filling the Gap also thanks Kevin Anderson for being part of this benevolent project supported by the local dental community.

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