The dentist who's spent his retirement fixing teeth across the world

BACK HOME: David Daniels and, below, working in East Timor

BACK HOME: David Daniels and, below, working in East Timor

First published in News
Last updated

A DENTIST who has dedicated his retirement to helping improve third world tooth care has returned from his latest expedition.

David Daniels, of Forest Corner in Ringwood, set off to East Timor on July 2 with five fellow dentists to oversee and coach trainees in the war-ravaged country.

The trip, organised by the Rotary Club and charity Dentaid, saw the 77-year-old supervise fledgling dentists who had no previous clinical experience.

David said it presented a number of challenges, not least the language barrier, with Tetun the first language of many.

“There are a lot of subtleties to the treatments,” he added. “They had had no exposure to a clinical environment before.

“They tended to follow everything by rope – if it didn’t go one, two three etc then they were lost.”

However, armed with five wheelie bins filled with dental equipment, including a light, suction device and other tools, David feels the team were able to make a significant difference.

Between 200 and 300 patients were treated under his watchful eye during the course of the visit and he said he was delighted with the progress the protégés made.

“The students did examinations in schools as a practice under supervision,” he added.

“At the start some were terrible but after 12 days of our being there some were really quite competent.”

This will means thousands of people in the poverty-stricken region will now receive a standard of care for their teeth they otherwise would never have received.

David, who worked in Bournemouth for 45 years, has also visited the likes of Mongolia, Ethiopia and Brazil since retiring in 2005.

Comments (2)

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5:21pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Lord Spring says...

David cured my phobia of dentist also he was a complete gentleman when he practiced in Holdenhurst Road, it was a sad day when he retired for us locals
David cured my phobia of dentist also he was a complete gentleman when he practiced in Holdenhurst Road, it was a sad day when he retired for us locals Lord Spring
  • Score: 3

7:33pm Wed 6 Aug 14

PurpleBiker says...

I worked with David at Holdenhurst Road a few years ago. He is a thoroughly nice gentleman. Nothing was too much trouble. His patients loved him too! I often think if him and wondered if he was still practising. Well done Mr Daniels!
I worked with David at Holdenhurst Road a few years ago. He is a thoroughly nice gentleman. Nothing was too much trouble. His patients loved him too! I often think if him and wondered if he was still practising. Well done Mr Daniels! PurpleBiker
  • Score: 2

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