Oral Health is a Basic Human Right

Poor oral health is a major global public health challenge. Research has shown there is an association between oral disease and other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, respiratory illness as well as pre-term and low birth babies.

The main obstacles for prevention of oral disease are accessibility and cost of dental care. Many people cannot afford care and the delay results in drastic treatment such as surgery. Many simply do not have access and require extensive travel to receive care.

  • Saskatchewan has the highest decay rates in Canada.
  • Indigenous people have decay rates that are 2-3 times higher than non-Indigenous.
  • The highest decay rates in all of Saskatchewan (over twice the rates in Regina) are in the community of La Loche.

The most vulnerable segments of our society lack the oral health services they need.

Meeting the Need for Care

What began in 2012 as Dental Day, in response to the obstacles people in the Regina community face in accessing oral care, has grown into Health & Wellness Days - a holistic approach to client care including free dental and health care services.

Health & Wellness Day takes place each April at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina campus. Over 100 dental and nursing students, faculty, and dental and health professionals volunteer their time and expertise to provide free services to clients. Services include oral assessment, treatments, hygiene and education; denturist and dental therapist services; diabetic screening, blood pressure monitoring, mental health support and nutrition education.

A partnership with the Regina Food Bank and the Regina Open Door Society ensures that those most in need of these free services are included.

“Dental Day provides service to many low income and newcomer families who are in need of dental care. 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.” Regina Open Door Society

In 2018 the Dental Days initiative was expanded to include Northern Saskatchewan. Organized by the Sask Polytech Dental program in collaboration with the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists Association, and the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants Association, the initiative will now have further impact as the Northern Health & Wellness Day.

Each September, the Northern Health & Wellness Day is led by a volunteer inter-professional team of health professionals and Sask Polytech dental and nursing students to provide holistic care to the residents of La Loche, Clearwater, Ile-a-la-Crosse and Buffalo Narrows. 100 clients were provided free dental and health care services in the inaugural year; the 2019 goal is to assist 200 clients over the 2 days.

Make your donation today to help students in the prevention of oral disease and the serious health conditions it can lead to.

 

 
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Donations of $10 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt. Saskatchewan Polytechnic Official Charitable # 10795-7540-RR0001
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Thank you! "We believe improving oral health conditions of those with financial barriers within the community is very important. We hope to help clients create a smile that they will appreciate." Jada G. and Gina Y., Dental Assisting students