Recent refugees to Saskatoon can get their smile back, thanks to free procedures from Kenderdine Dental in collaboration with the Saskatoon Open Door Society. Newcomers will receive work like fillings, root canals and extractions thanks to the program called “Give Back a Smile.”
All of the work is approved by clinic staff and carried out by practicum dental students from the University of Saskatchewan.
“They haven’t had access to dental care for quite a long time, so usually it’s gotten to the point where it’s so bad they’re in a lot of pain,” dental student Sara Rayner said.
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In some cases, patients need immediate treatment to manage pain. For those who need multiple procedures, it could cost thousands of dollars.
“There’s either infection or pain due to trauma some times,” Rayner said.
The federal government’s Interim Federal Health Program covers some dental procedures. However, many refugee patients at Kenderdine Dental can’t wait.
Every day, the clinic has treated four to five refugees brought in by Open Door staff. The patients are primarily newly-arrived Syrians.
“It’s really humbling to see their reactions. They’re very happy afterwards when you can even save a tooth for them,” said Kenderine’s other practicum student Brendon Reynaud.
Give Back a Smile runs until June 10.