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DIRECT Dental volunteers officially launched the new clinic on October 20, 2018. Photo courtesy of Stacey Schewaga.

DMD students launch Saskatoon’s first student-run emergency dental clinic

Members of the media and the public were invited to join students the College of Dentistry, when they officially opened Saskatoon’s first student-run dental clinic offering emergency dental care.

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A little dental floss was all that was needed to keep the wind from wreaking havoc on the opening day balloons for DIRECT Dental. Photo by Stacey Schewaga.

Members of the media and the public were invited to join students from University of Saskatchewan (U of S) College of Dentistry, when they officially opened Saskatoon’s first student-run dental clinic offering emergency dental care.

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE OPENING HERE. (Courtesy of Global News)

CTV NEWS ARTICLE AVAILABLE HERE.

DIRECT Dental is an initiative founded by four fourth-year students in the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program at the U of S: Christopher Bertsch, Kristen Kezar, Christy MacPherson and Mary Tait.

“We want to be able to address any barriers patients might have to oral health, and connect them with resources.” said Bertsch.

Operating out of the College of Dentistry’s Saskatoon West Dental Clinic facility, DIRECT Dental will focus on bridging the gap between those who face financial barriers to receiving dental care and the students nearing the end of their dental training who are able to provide treatment in a supervised environment.

The walk-in clinic will provide emergency dental care to people who are uninsured and can’t otherwise afford it. Services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis where patients are triaged and treated according to their needs. Treatments will be offered at no cost to the patient if certain criteria are met. No appointments are necessary.

“We are focused on delivering treatment for dental issues that are causing pain for the patient but, more importantly, in addition to our clinical services this program will provide advice and education on how to maintain oral health.” said Kezar.

This clinic has been made possible by the all-volunteer staff formed by College of Dentistry students as well as local dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dental therapists who donate their time in order to provide professional support and supervision services.

DIRECT Dental will be open on select Saturday afternoons between October and March of the academic year. For more information on clinic hours and dates of operation, please visit www.directdentalclinic.ca.

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