A TEAM from a Swindon dental practice has just returned from putting a smile on the faces of more than 1,000 Kenyan villagers.

Peter Yesudian, the oral surgeon from One Wood Street Advanced Dental Care in Swindon’s Old Town visited Kenya with three members of his dental team to provide treatment to those desperately in need.

In Kenya dental care is only available in the large cities like Nairobi and for many who have no cars and often no shoes, reaching dental care can take many days of walking.

Commitments such as family, work and finding food mean that often Kenyan villagers don’t get the dental treatment they desperately require.

Dentists Peter and Alison Redford and dental nurses Clare Morrison and practice manager and dental nurse Kelly Wills spent 11 days with three other dental specialists from around the world in six makeshift clinics set up in schools across the Rift Valley and the Masai Mara providing routine dental treatment, extractions and fillings to 1,000 Kenyan villagers.

During their time there, the dental team had to contend with different challenges such as an hour and a half commute on dusty tracks to reach the surgeries every day.

They built their own portable dental chairs for each new surgery and had a single generator to provide power for their dental tools and lights.

Daylight hours dictated the hours worked by the team so that villagers visiting the clinics and the dental team themselves could get back to their homes or lodgings before sundown, as most roads in Kenya are unlit.

And while many Kenyans spoke English, the team worked with a translator to communicate with their patients.

Peter said: “It was quite strange because the first day in any new village would be quiet.

“Despite being told through the usual channels, people there didn’t seem to believe we would be there until we had actually arrived and opened our doors.

“Then, as word got around that we were there, the villagers would travel for several hours to see us.”

Peter has been out to Kenya five times. He said: “This is my opportunity to give something back. Working in Kenya and seeing the hardships these people endure is enlightening.”

“The whole experience is very rewarding and gives me a different perspective on life.”

Clare, who hand’t visited Kenya before said: “Before we left for Kenya I was scared of everything – spiders, the basic, hole-in-the-floor toilets, even flying.

“When I got there I loved it. One of the moments that will stay with me forever was seeing a small boy playing with a toy that someone had made him. It was literally a bottle on a piece of string with two lids attached to it, and this little boy was so absorbed with his toy, he played with it for hours. The whole experience was very humbling.”