Dentists on the NHS offer homeless people free care


Becky Joyce visits her dentist once a week on Wednesday.

However, the founder of the Leeds homeless charity is not concerned about her own dental issues.

In an effort to "give them their smile back," she has been taking vulnerable clients for "life-changing" free NHS dental care for the past year.

Her nonprofit, Homeless Street Angels, provides homeless people with food, clothing, and toiletries in addition to assisting them in finding housing.

Nevertheless, for the majority of the beneficiaries of the charity, having a roof over their heads is not the end of the story.

Additionally, Homeless Street Angels assists clients with application completion, getting furniture for their homes, and getting access to assistance for drug abuse.

Teeth are the "last piece of the jigsaw," according to Ms. Joyce.

Becky Joyce
Together with her sister, Becky Joyce established Homeless Street Angels in 2016.

People who are homeless frequently have dental issues and frequently have trouble getting medical care.

Dentist Munaf Qayyum of Aldwoodley's High Ash Dental Surgery claimed to have observed homeless patients who had endured "years and years" without receiving care.

Four to five clients of Homeless Street Angels and Saint George's Crypt, another homeless charity in Leeds, receive free care from him every Wednesday.

Some patients return for dentures and bridges after their initial appointments, which frequently involve extractions, fillings, and restorations to relieve pain.

In an effort to increase access to dentists for those who are underserved, NHS England is funding the sessions.

After months of treatment, some clients, according to Ms. Joyce, who initially had "no teeth at all" or rotting teeth, had "amazing smiles.".

They have tears in their eyes by the time their treatment is over, she continued.

"It's giving them their lives back because drugs, alcohol, and other vices have taken them away from it. They are receiving a smile in return. ".

After having dentures fitted at High Ash last year, John Nicolson, 53, said he felt "like a new person.".

After having a stroke in 2011 and spending a year in the hospital, Mr. Nicholson claimed he lost his privately rented apartment.

Before Homeless Street Angels assisted him in this month's search for a council apartment in Middleton, he spent a year living in transitional housing.

I hadn't taken care of my teeth in a long time, the single father admitted.

"I wasn't taking care of myself because I didn't think I was valuable enough to take care of. They have merely changed my attitude at this point. ".

John Nicholson's teeth before and after treatment
After receiving dental care, John Nicholson claimed to feel "like a new person.".

Since receiving dental care, another client has gotten a job and begun working as a mentor, according to Ms. Joyce. She continued, "Before that he wouldn't have had the confidence, he used to talk with his hand over his mouth. " .

Without the care he received, another person told her he would have been "too ashamed" to attend his father's funeral.

The work was "really rewarding," according to Mr. Qayyum, whose surgery is one of two in Leeds involved in the project.

It's almost like weaning them back into society, he continued, not just coming in to get their teeth done and leaving. "This is a really good thing.

. "

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