DENTIST Jonathan Gollings has spoken out about his day in "the jungle" providing emergency dental care for dozens of refugees.

Working with the charity Dentaid, Jonathan, who lives in Wimborne, saw patients "back-to-back" during a day-long visit.

He is now helping to supply the camps with dental equipment and arrange for other dentists to travel there.

"I still can't really remember how many people we saw on that one day the line outside the caravan was just constant," said Jonathan, who works at Whitehall House dental practice in Wimborne.

"I don't even think we stopped to eat all day.

"At some points it was quite distressing because the patients that came to visit us were suffering from really serious dental needs and were in a lot of pain.

"Most of them had not seen a dentist for years and had been in acute pain for months, if not longer.

"One case was so severe that an untreated abscess had begun eating away at the man's jaw bone and was draining through the side of his face.

"But thankfully we were able to help many of them and treat their pain."

Jonathan, who is a trustee of Dentaid, was joined at the French port city on Friday, November, 20, by Poole-based colleague Will Gough.

The pair were working out of a caravan parked in the middle of "the jungle" and only stopped treating when they ran out of equipment.

"The conditions are really bad out there and there is nothing for people with dental problems.

"To see thousands of people almost in squalor was hard but the thing that really got me was when two of the refugees come up to us and said they were dentists back home.

"It really hit home to think these two men were professionals just like me not that long ago and now they are living in a tent in Calais just trying to find a better life."

Qualident dental supply company, which has a shop in Christchurch, donated an autoclave so that instruments can be sterilised and the two dentists took hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpastes.

"Hopefully we can raise awareness of the dire situation out there so other colleagues sign up to offer their help and support," added Jonathan.

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