King’s students are providing free primary care dental treatment and check-ups to local people in south London who struggle to access oral healthcare.
Final-year dental students from the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences undertake part of their training within the Maurice Wohl Dental Centre at West Norwood Health and Leisure Centre. Under the supervision of experienced clinical dentistry teachers, they treat up to 4,000 patients annually at the Centre, which opened in 2014. Treatments offered include all aspects of general dentistry, including preventive dentistry, fillings, root canal treatment, gum disease management, crowns and tooth replacement.
The majority of patients who visit the Maurice Wohl Dental Centre are unable to afford dental care. On several occasions, referrals from King’s students to specialist dental services at King’s College Hospital and Guy’s Hospital have helped to identify potentially life-threatening conditions such as oral cancer and ensure early treatment.
One patient treated by King’s students said, ‘The treatment I had gave me back my smile and confidence. I am not scared any more to go out in public and talk to people.’
West Norwood Health and Leisure Centre was selected as a base as the surrounding area was identified by local health groups and Lambeth Council as an area of high dental need with insufficient primary care dental provision.
‘The services provided by the Centre have a huge impact on local communities, particularly in helping unemployed, vulnerable and less-privileged residents gain access to dental care they might not otherwise receive,’ said Dr Igor R Blum, Director of the Maurice Wohl Dental Centre, Lead for Dental Outreach and Reader in Primary Dental Care & Advanced General Dental Practice.