The directory of community and business organisations in Broadstone Dorset


Residents Association MagazinearrowWinter 2001/21

THE FLYING DENTIST

Dr Jan Mamak BDS., Dr Alec Shearer BDS., Dr Tony Scott BDS.

The Demand for domiciliary dental care is increasing rapidly. In Rural Dorset alone, there will be an estimated 85,000 people aged over 65 by the year 2010. It is very often impractical for people who are housebound or who live in nursing or residential care to attend a Dental surgery for treatment, however their oral health needs remain just as great. Many people are surprised when they find out there is an NHS dentist that will visit them in their homes - finding a dentist that will take on new NHS patients is often not as easy as Government figures would suggest, let alone finding one that will provide dentures on a NHS basis and will treat all patients in their own homes! The Flying Dentist was initially set up in 1993 in the Dorset area, recognising the need for this vital service. It has grown to now cover most of Dorset and currently provides care to thousands of full denture wearers.

Domiciliary care services are still widely unheard of- many people's first comments are "I never knew you existed, how marvellous!"

The Flying Dentist was conceived and developed primarily as a service by Dr. Tony Scott, originally a single handed practitioner, who began by visiting patients in their homes using his motorcycle as transport! The name "Flying Dentist" became associated with this rather odd sight, and seems to have stuck with us ever since! Dr. Mamak, who is now the principal dentist in this area, lives locally in Merley with his wife and family. 'Treating the elderly in their homes is both enjoyable and rewarding. We have a relaxed atmosphere to work in. Being away from the surgery, which patients often find stressful and unpleasant, our patients find they actually like the dentist !"

The main branch is nestled in the village of Lytchett Matravers, and services offered range from simply giving advice to the complete replacement of dentures that can be duplicated or made from scratch.
Patients are taken into NHS continuing care scheme, which means that fees are set by the NHS, therefore all treatment is free for those in receipt of income support. "We are dedicated to continuing to provide the service in the way it is now, with an ethos that all people should have access to, and be able to, receive dental treatment - regardless of means." Private treatment, whilst justifiable is often disproportionally high to a patient that has had a lifetime of NHS care. "We are constantly surprised how many patients do not realise they are entitled to help with health care costs. There is a form called an HC1 that you can get from your dentist or the Department of Social Security, which entitles people with a low income/savings to help with costs of both dental treatment and optician's charges. Patients are often not aware of their entitlement to help, and endure old, uncomfortable dentures as they feel they would not be able to afford replacement."

Anyone who would like to find out more about The Flying Dentist should contact the office directly on 620977 or for any other dental enquiries contact The Dorset Health Authority's Dental Helpline on 893000. The flying dentist have asked the Residents Association to make it clear that they can only provide care to people who no longer have their own teeth.

Dorset Branch: 14a Hannams Close, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6DN

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