From bus to dental practice – helping the city’s homeless

Homeless bus
Credit: Eclipse Dental

Two refurbished London buses have now hit the streets, with one ready to offer free dental care to the city’s most vulnerable.

The buses will offer dental treatment, haircuts, GP appointments and hot showers to those who are homeless in 2022.

The project was put together by charity Change Please, a coffee shop and social enterprise – with help from sponsors HSBC, Colgate and their customers.

Eclipse Dental helped to fit out the dental practice on one of the buses. We hear from Chester Boyt about why they got involved and the most challenging parts of the project.

How did Eclipse Dental get involved with the project?

We were approached by Cemal last year to put a dental surgery in the front room of one of their buses. But we advised them that the space was too small. They decided to do a dedicated dental bus, which is what they have now.

This means we had the whole top floor as a blank canvas. We were able to design a layout to accommodate surgery and decontamination room.

How long did the fittings take?

We just had six weeks from when Change Please received the bus to the launch date. It initially seemed impossible but with the help of our suppliers and the willingness of everyone involved to help the charity, the bus was ready for the launch day of 7 October.

Credit: Eclipse Dental
Credit: Eclipse Dental

Did you face any challenges? How did you overcome them?

It was quite a challenge to figure out how to do the dental surgery, what equipment to include and also how to run the services needed. We had to keep size, weight and power requirements to an absolute minimum.

This has never been done before so we are pleased to have achieved a successful outcome that will help the homeless in London.

Credit: Eclipse Dental

What treatments can be carried out inside the bus?

The equipment that we have provided can provide for most dental treatments. They also have digital X-ray equipment.

Why was this an important project for you?

It was good to be able to assist the charity, and the challenge has been good for our own R&D advancements! It has also been good publicity. We have already had enquiries for dental surgery fit-outs in mobile situations such as buses or vans.

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