Helping the globe to smile

January 18th, 2015

With the New Year now here, many of us are looking forwards to the opportunities challenges that 2015 will bring. For Ock Street’s Imogen Wood, this Spring is set to be a particularly exciting time: Imogen is setting off for Uganda as a volunteer for national charity Dentaid, who to improve the oral health of disadvantaged populations.

Back in 1995, a UK charity called Hope Now was approached by a prison governor in Ukraine. The governor was looking for support with treatment for inmates at the prison, who were suffering with a variety of oral health problems. He had found a local dentist willing to help, but had no surgery or equipment to use. Hope Now found a UK dentist who was updating his practice, and who was willing to donate his old equipment to Hope Now, who then used this to help set up a new clinic in the Ukraine. From here, Hope Now set up Dentaid in 1996, recognising the need for greater support with dental care in many areas of the world.

Dentaid is now an influential UK charity, which has worked in over 60 countries on approximately 260 projects. Their vision is to create a world whereby people of disadvantaged communities are ‘able to achieve an optimal level of oral health’. Dentaid have worked on a huge array of projects from refurbishing dental surgeries, renting equipment kits, providing oral health education resources, and undertaking treatment missions.

Here at Ock Street, we are very proud that this Spring will see Imogen heading off to Uganda on a Dentaid volunteer treatment mission. Imogen will be in Uganda Feb/March 2015 as a volunteer dental therapist and hygienist. The team that Imogen is joining will be setting up mobile dental clinics in remote parts of Uganda, areas where no other dental care is available. As well as providing dental treatment for the people of Uganda (which will be provided to them for free), Imogen will also be helping to educate locals about oral health and how they can look after their teeth themselves.

Although the treatment provided in Uganda is free to those who receive it, there are obvious cost implications for Dentaid. For example, each dental extraction in Uganda costs the charity approximately £3. To support the work of this important charity and to ensure as many people as possible can be reached, Imogen is also fundraising as part of her mission. If you would like to support Imogen in this way, more details and the option to donate can be found on her fundraising webpage: You can also find out more about Dentaid and the important work they do by visiting their website:

We would like to wish Imogen the best of luck in her mission to ‘help the globe to smile’ and look forward to hearing about her experiences on her return.

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