Today is World Oral Health Day – an opportunity to talk about NHS dental services that help patients to accomplish a healthy smile.
For some patients who are born with abnormalities, achieving oral health requires dental expertise and assistance. The Eastman Dental Hospital at UCLH has been providing comprehensive oral health services with a focus on specialised treatment for over 60 years and is currently treating around 85,000 outpatients annually. The centre helps patients like Joe Palmer, featured at the bottom of this page. Joe has a rare condition called hypodontia which means that when he loses his baby teeth, many will not grow back and he will require implants. Joe is receiving the help that he needs from the Eastman Dental Hospital at UCLH and is very happy with the support he has received so far.
We want to make these services even better to help more patients like Joe, and are currently in the process of building a new facility which will bring together the services offered at the EDA with those offered at The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear. The facility will be on Huntley Street, in close proximity to our main hospitals and décor will match the overall modern feel of UCLH.
We need your support to make this facility the best it can be. Your funding could provide more cheerful and comforting environment for patients which could help improve the hospital experience for patients.
Funding could also provide play areas and facilities for children at the hospital. Play can significantly reduce anxiety for children and make hospitals seem friendlier and less scary.
Read more or donate to the fund here.
“Hello my name is Joe Palmer.
I am an ordinary 14-year old boy. I live in East Sussex with my parents and two brothers. I love all sports, with my favourites being hockey and cricket.
I suffer from hypodontia, a relatively rare condition which means I have don't have adult teeth growing behind my baby teeth. In my case, I’m missing ten adult teeth so when some of my baby teeth do eventually fall out, there won’t be anything coming behind to replace them. I need special braces and, in time, I will apparently need teeth implants.
As my case was so special, I was referred to the Eastman Dental Hospital and have been going every six weeks for three years. At first I was looked at by a number of consultants from different parts of the hospital who thought about how they could all help me. But for most of the time I have been seeing a lovely consultant called Priti Acharya.
I struggle from heightened anxiety. When I first started my hospital visits, I would even cry at the thought of what Priti might have to do but she has helped me get through this. She has an incredible way of talking to me throughout my treatment. She’s always been so thoughtful and patient and she always helps to make me smile. We talk a lot about cricket.
Priti knows that I have to travel about two hours each way for each appointment. This is tiring for both mummy and me and it means that I have to miss a lot of school. Priti always makes sure that I am comfortable and that we get the most out of each visit.
I would suggest to anyone who is offered the chance to be treated at the Eastman to take the opportunity straight away. Although it has been tough and there is still a very long way to go, I know how incredibly lucky I am as without their help, I wouldn’t be able to smile or eat properly and I’d have no confidence. My life would be very difficult.”