Image Credit: Regina Food Bank
Image Credit: Regina Food Bank

Student-run dental clinics help those in need

Clinic is held at the Regina Food Bank and Regina Open Door Society multiple times a year

For more than seven years, second-year dental hygiene students have been visiting the Regina Food Bank up to six times a year to provide oral health evaluations and provide oral hygiene instruction, to support those in need, free of cost.

“This is an essential service as many of these clients do not access dentistry because of the many barriers they encounter,” says Dental Hygiene instructor and organizer of the dental clinic info days, Dean Lefebvre. “We go to them and provide them with free aids.”

The program also offers a similar service at the Regina Open Door Society, twice a year. Coupled with the on-campus dental clinic, which offers services at low costs, and the annual Dental Day, which provides services for free one day a year, Lefebvre says students gain an understanding of the barriers people face when accessing care.

“They learn how they can provide valuable information to prevent disease and make a difference in someone’s life,” says Lefebvre. “It allows students to demonstrate all of their learning and communications skills necessary to be successful health professionals.”

For the Regina Food Bank, the service provided by students is one more way the organization can support its clients and participate in building a healthier community.

“Our partnership with Sask Polytech results in improved access to dental care for our clients. Often ongoing dental care and treatment is a luxury when you are living on a reduced or limited income,” says Laura Murray manager of Community Programming, Regina Food Bank. “The opportunity to connect with students and find out about the low cost (or free) services that are available allows our clients to find an end to their oral pain and discomfort.”

Lefebvre says the partnership is one way Sask Polytech contributes to the community and gives back in a meaningful way.

Learn more about Sask Polytech’s Dental Hygiene program.

Published February 2018.