Leeds dentist helps Syrian child refugees in Lebanon

A Leeds dentist has praised Syrian child refugees following a trip to give emergency care.

Graham Temple. Photo by Naoki Takyo for the Syrian American Medical Society.

Graham Temple, who ran his own practice in the city for many years, is now semi-retired and went on his fourth foreign aid mission this month.

Mr Temple travelled to various camps in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon as part of the Dental Mavericks charity, where he and others gave pain relief and checks to around 1,500 children who had fled war-town Syria.

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He said: “The people themselves are fantastic. They’re so amazing, in a way they are far more compliant than some of the English kids.

Graham Temple treating a young girl. Photo by Naoki Takyo for the Syrian American Medical Society.

“There is the appreciation but some of those kids have been though all sorts. Compared to what they’ve seen, somebody having a look at their mouths didn’t seem to bother them.”

Despite many of them never having seen a dentist before, many were feeling the effects of sugar in-take on their teeth.

Mr Temple, 66, has made four trips abroad to help those in need, previously heading to the Greek island of Lesbos.

“I think when you see things on the news, no matter how much of an impact it has, it’s gone afterwards,” he said.

“Whereas if you go over there, even if it’s only a week, it’s a lasting impression.”

His most recent week trip ended on October 7, after working with fellow dentist Guatam Sharma and hygienist Rachel Tsang and in association with the Syrian American Medical Society.

Mr Temple set up The Temple Practice in Chapel Allerton in 1977, but it has since been bought and now operates in Moortown, which he uses as a base.

Semi-retired, he has also given Leeds Rhinos fan tours around Headingley Stadium in his spare time.