Demand for our emergency and referral dental services is at an all-time high, and access to dentistry in Cornwall, particularly for vulnerable and hard to reach groups, is especially challenging.

Thanks to Smile Together Non-Executive Director Mark Johnstone, we acquired our MDU in 2022. It came all the way from Kent where it was surplus to their requirements, and we were thrilled as an MDU had been on our wish list since our inception in 2016.

Thanks to Fuel and No2TheSame, our MDU is very clearly branded Smile Together and is unmissable both out on the road and in the various coastal and rural locations that we visit!

As a dental community interest company and certified B Corporation, being able to take our own MDU into the heart of local communities enables us to make even more of a difference to those who need us most, underpinning our mission of tackling oral health inequality. With a dedicated Dental Outreach team often working in partnership to deliver effective integrated healthcare initiatives, our current MDU delivery focus is upon:

  • Smiles at Sea, providing urgent and emergency care harbourside from our MDU each year, helping to improve the oral health of fishermen and their families who so rarely get to see a dentist due to the demands of their work and remote locations
  • Health for Homeless, taking our MDU to key locations across Cornwall, supporting regular pop-ups and providing immediate dental treatments on-site
  • Children in schools and early years settings, complementing our Smarter Smiles oral health promotion programme, taking our MDU along for the children to experience the inside of a dental surgery (albeit it on wheels), some for the first time

Our MDU, as a mobile dental surgery, falls under the same compliance regulations as our dental practices – CQC, Health & Safety, contractual arrangements for all our dental equipment repairs and maintenance, RIDDOR and legionella compliance. There are also special vehicle maintenance regulations for the MDU that we adhere to, along with driver operational checks and procedures.

Working in our MDU gives our teams such variety from the ‘normal’ surgery environment and is always a rewarding opportunity to genuinely make a difference to people who rarely get to see a dentist. In many Cornish coastal locations, the view from our MDU can be pretty spectacular!

We were pleased to feature as the only case study in the Government’s ‘Plan to Recover and Reform NHS Dentistry’ launched in Feb 2024, which generated significant interest in our business model for delivering dentistry.

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