The mobile clinic features three dental work stations and all equipment necessary, including an X-ray machine. (Aaron Hinks photo)

South Surrey dentist restores smile of vulnerable clients

Ron Gaudet and a team of volunteers provided free dental work to low-income residents

Parked in the Horizon Church parking lot last Saturday, a team of dentistry professionals worked out of a custom-built trailer to restore the smile in Surrey’s vulnerable population.

Promoted as a dignified way to improve self-esteem and health, South Surrey dentist Ron Gaudet, hygienists Cheryl Luettger and Janel Cooper, and third-year dental students Joel Gaudet and Gurleen Boparai worked together to perform minor to surgical work – free of charge – to residents without, or with very limited access to dental coverage.

The doctor and his team performed dental work on one man and seven woman during the course of the afternoon. The man said he hasn’t been to the dentist in more than 20 years.

Each client spent at least an hour with a dental hygienist inside the 38-foot RV mobile clinic, which included three dental workstations.

By the end of the day, the dentist had performed two extractions because of pain, an absecess, a root canal and “very large fillings due to massive decay.”

Gaudet performed about $3,800 worth of work.

“Some of them do have provincial coverage, but most of them have what’s just called emergency. It doesn’t cover really anything. The two clients did have better coverage so we were able to recover about $800,” Wendy Gaudet told Peace Arch News Wednesday.

Wendy and Ron Gaudet, who run Wave Dentistry (1656 Martin Dr.), oversee the City Care Dental Society initiative.

In the end, Wendy said they “probably” did more work than what they expected.

“We can’t just let someone walk away with an active absecess and in active pain. You just can’t,” Wendy said. “We saw all adults instead of kids. If we saw kids, it’s hard to say, we would probably do more fillings and hopefully less severe interventions because we catch things earlier.”

Future programs of the initiative will be targeted towards schools and teaching prevention, Wendy said. They hope the mobile clinic will familiarize a routine for young children, and educate parents and schools about the importance of dental hygiene.

Wendy says poor hygiene is a common trend in the “lower socioeconomic working poor,” but also impacts families that face language barriers or general access barriers.

“Some of these kids do have coverage but they just don’t have access to use it. They don’t know how to get involved. We want to help educate the schools to help the kids and their parents get in these programs,” Wendy said.

Wendy said they will likely visit their first school in February, and hope to visit a school twice every year.

 

A volunteer of the City Dream Centre initiative works on a client in the mobile clinic Saturday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

The 38-foot mobile clinic used by dental professionals to provide care to vulnerable Surrey residents. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Just Posted

City of Surrey to remove eight dead trees along stretch of road where SUV was hit

Assessment confirms tree that fell was dead; others to be removed ‘early this week’

New Surrey Police force ‘swallowing up’ city’s funds, Annis says

City councillor says draft city budget shows new force coming at expense of ‘everything else’ in the city

Guitar ‘swap & sale’ planned at Cloverdale’s Shannon Hall

40-plus vendors are signed up for event on Saturday, Nov. 23

Panthers storm to playoff victory over Hyacks

Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir stuns New West in big win in B.C. high school football AAA playoff semifinals

CCTV cameras help Surrey RCMP arrest two bank robbery suspects

The robberies were in North Surrey on Nov. 7 and Oct. 1

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read