Community Outreach Dental Clinic gives Karen a reason to smile again

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, volunteers and staff the Community Outreach Dental Program is continuing to thrive.

Helping 900 people in need in 2016, the demand is expected to rise to 1200 in 2017.

The Community Outreach Dental Program was established in 2011 by the University of Adelaide to provide essential dental care for those who have difficulty accessing health and dental treatment.

The clinic’s patients are among the most vulnerable in our society – people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, as well as those who have arrived in Adelaide as refugees.

The dental clinic is located at ‘Common Ground’ in Adelaide’s CBD, which provides accommodation and a range of other services to Adelaide’s homeless and those at risk of homelessness. Karen’s story is one of struggle and survival, but the Community Dental Outreach Program gave her and her family the support they needed to dramatically change their circumstances.

Karen was living at Common Ground juggling a full-time study load and raising her son when she accessed the dental clinic through the Community Outreach Program at the University’s Dental School. She credits the clinic with changing not only her life, but her son’s.

“I was suffering from severe jaw pain resulting from teeth clenching – a result of the high levels of stress and anxiety I was experiencing at that time in my life,” says Karen.

“They have helped me and my son, and so many others. I witnessed people smiling for the first time in years”.

The Community Outreach Dental Program provided Karen with free treatment when she needed it, meaning she was able to direct her energy into full-time study and caring for her son, to ultimately change her circumstances.

“My son and I received treatment at the dental clinic at no cost which enabled me to direct my finances to other things we needed while I studied,” says Karen.

Today, Karen has a PhD in Public Health and she is a proud ambassador for Common Ground and the Community Outreach Dental Program.

You can make a gift  to support the Community Outreach Dental Program.

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