Sask Polytech students and dental professionals volunteer at Northern Health and Wellness Days presented by Cameco
Free dental care provided to 167 individuals giving students valuable applied learning opportunity
October 17, 2022 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic Dental Hygiene advanced diploma and Dental Assisting certificate students, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic/University of Regina Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) students helped bring smiles to the faces of people in La Loche, Clearwater River Dene Nation and Buffalo Narrows. During the Northern Health and Wellness Days presented by Cameco on October 14 and 15, more than 167 community members were treated to dental and health clinics in their communities.
“The Northern Health and Wellness Days are an opportunity for our students to provide outreach support and assistance to members of the community,” says Sharman Woynarski, academic chair, Dental programs.
The community outreach events were developed after the Saskatchewan Dental Hygiene Association approached Sask Polytech to expand an existing event in Regina up to northern Saskatchewan. Woynarski explained that the communities were chosen based on need.
“Northern Saskatchewan has limited access to care and the highest rates of dental disease,” she said. “Studies show that oral health impacts overall health. The hope is that the health and wellness events contributes to improve both.”
Members of the community are not the only ones who benefit from the events. Students have the opportunity to practice their skills in a different setting and learn the value of community health.
A total of 57 volunteers, including Sask Polytech students in partnership with Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Indigenous Services Canada, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Saskatchewan Dental Hygiene Association (SDHA), Saskatchewan Dental Therapists’ Association (SDTA) and dental health professional volunteers ran the clinics in the three northern communities. Dental professionals and students provided oral exams, restorations, routine extractions, hygiene care and education. Nurses and students provided health screenings, education and mental health support. Local elementary and high schools received visits from Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and SCBScN students, providing valuable information on hand washing, oral hygiene care, nutrition and mental health.
This event is made possible through the generosity of presenting sponsor Cameco, which also supported this event in 2019, and Sinclair Dental which provided supplies and sent a technician to assist with the event.
Northern Health and Wellness Days interprofessional team included four students from the Dental Hygiene program, three students from the Dental Assisting program, eight students from the SCBScN program in addition to 12 Sask Polytech faculty members. Volunteer dentists, dental therapists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, nurses and a dietician joined the students and faculty to share their skills and knowledge to provide education, oral health assessments, hygiene care, restorations, extractions, nutritional and oral health education to 167 people and completed $84,079.50 worth of dentistry work.
Northern Health and Wellness Days is dependent on the generosity and financial support of many sponsors to whom we are thankful. Presenting sponsor Cameco. Sinclair Dental, Dentsply Sirona, Kavo Kerr, Septodont, Premier NSK, Medicom, 3M, SDI, Voco, Kulzer, SciCan and Vista donated all the dental supplies required for the dental treatments. Sask Union of Nurses, Saskatchewan Dental Therapists Association, Saskatchewan Oral Health Coalition and Sask Polytech made financial contributions to assist with costs such as travel, accommodations and food for the volunteers. Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists' Association helped facilitate the planning of this event and donated oral care aids for this event.
Learn more about Sask Polytech’s dental clinic at Regina campus. Dental care is provided by licensed dental therapists, dentists and dental assistants who are assisted by Sask Polytech dental assisting students. Dental hygiene care is provided by Sask Polytech students, under the supervision of licensed dental hygienists and dentists. To schedule your appointment, call 306-775-7531.