Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Over 100 students and professionals volunteer at seventh annual Dental Day

Program supports community while providing students with valuable applied learning opportunities

April 16, 2018 – Regina was all smiles at the seventh annual Dental Day and Dental Hygiene Day. The event saw Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting diploma students partnering with the Regina Food Bank and the Regina Open Door Society, to open a dental clinic for those in the community who need a checkup, cleaning and other dental work including fillings, root canals and extractions.

"We believe improving oral health conditions of those with financial barriers within the community is very important," says Katie Atherton and Kelsey Prychak, Dental Day coordinators. "We hope to help clients create a smile that they will appreciate.” Jada Guest and Gina Yourk are dental assisting students helping coordinate this event and added, “"As dental assistant student leads and representatives of our class, our goal is to provide everyone with a smile they would be proud of. Dental Day is a great opportunity for those in need.”

Dental Hygiene students, Edyn Keith and Alison Leinweber, coordinated Dental Hygiene Day which runs alongside Dental Day. “As future dental hygienists we are excited to be able to help our community by providing preventative care and educating individuals on its importance. We hope to prevent oral disease before occurs and prevent its effects on our clients’ overall health.”

“This event gives individuals the opportunity to take control of their oral health and ultimately help them to create a better quality of life”, says Keith and Leinweber. “With the help of our volunteers we carry on the legacy of Dental Hygiene Day and continue to make it better and better each year."

A major contributor to the success of Dental Day and Dental Hygiene Day are the community-based partnerships with organizations and dental professionals. Dentists, dental therapists, denturists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and more than 100 students, faculty and staff volunteers came together to provide care.

"The support from students and faculty in collaboration with professionals, is great to see. This day would not run without their help," says Dean Lefebvre, an instructor in the Dental Hygiene Program.

“Dental Day provides service to many low income and newcomer families who are in need of dental care,” says Dhaka Tiwari, health facilitator and educator at the Regina Open Door Society. “The partnership between the Regina Open Door Society and the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Dental Clinic has made a significant impact in the lives of newcomers by promoting dental health education, prevention and providing access to much needed dental care.”

The Henry Schein Cares Foundation is donating all the dental supplies required for the dental treatment, and Dentsply are donating supplies that will be used to provide dental hygiene care. The Saskatchewan Dental Hygiene Association (SDHA), Saskatchewan Dental Assistants Association are sponsoring snacks for all participants, and Conexus Credit Union, Starbucks, Sherwood Coop, and Sobeys/Safeway are providing in-kind support to the event. Chartwells Café have generously sponsored the lunch for the day.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 28,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.