Sask. Polytech in Regina provides free dental care for Ukrainian immigrants

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Sask. Polytech provides free dental care for Ukrainian immigrants
For those fleeing a warn torn country, having your teeth cleaned might not be at the top of the list, but as Andrew Benson tells us, it might just be what helps Canada feel like home. – Apr 1, 2023

New Ukrainian immigrants were offered free dental care and wellness strategies at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus in Regina on Saturday with the help of over 160 students and volunteers.

Each year, the campus chooses a different group of people in need for its health and wellness day.

The day included presentations by nursing students on different health topics, table clinics about smoking and nutrition, and oral hygiene instruction.

“We’re just trying to eliminate barriers for them so Canada can be as comfortable as possible,” said Robin McKay Ganshorn, dental clinic programmer for Sask. Polytechnic.

“Watching the clients get what they need and watching my students grow as they participate in this project is super rewarding for me and also being able to create partnerships with organizations in the city is fantastic.”

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The event involved approximately 70 patients on Saturday. For many, it was the first time having their teeth cleaned since they moved to Canada.

The day’s events also help students practice what they have learned.

Third year dental student Claire Fischer said the day gives clients the opportunity to learn about available access to different health-care programs in Canada.

“As a student it is very eye-opening, especially to see all of these people who don’t have access to dental care regularly as well,” said Fischer.

She said that in previous years, the annual event was specifically focused on dental hygiene, but has recently moved to overall wellness.

“Dental health is not just dental health,” said Fischer. “It’s also overall health. We learn all about people’s general health and we have to do comprehensive health histories with our clients so we know that other certain conditions can play a role in the mouth as well.”

She said that the day was a rewarding experience.

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“It’s great to see people showing up and getting the care that they need.”

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