The Calgary Centre for Newcomers has partnered with Nation’s Dental to provide primary dental care to new Calgarians and other marginalized communities.
Jon Yee, the centre’s vice-president of strategy, says the teams will provide basic dental hygiene and assessment.
“Anything you do normally with a dental hygienist. So that means cleaning, fluoride inspection, x-rays and education about oral hygiene,” Yee said.
“We’re creating a toolkit so that newcomers know how to develop best preventative hygiene practices.”
Nation’s Dental is a mobile team of registered dental hygienists and assistants dedicated to providing affordable dental services to underserved populations.
The partnership was made possible through a grant from the Calgary Foundation.
Yee says while some new immigrants will be using the services, he expects the majority of the clinic’s clients will be Calgarians who otherwise cannot access dental care.
“There are programs that newcomers have access to for dental hygiene through the province,” Yee said.
“A majority of that grant that we received from the Calgary Foundation will be used to pay for those services for the marginalized people in the community.”
Yee says many people have difficulty navigating the medical-dental care system, especially those for whom English is not their first language.
“It could be whether they trust the organizations, or they just don’t know the information, where to find the dental clinics, or there may be language barriers, or there may be transportation barriers,” Yee said.
“So we have a good relationship with the community, so they trust us to come here, and that’s why we have on-site dental clinics for newcomers.”
Yee says the clinics are expected to be operational in the next few months.
Case managers from the Calgary Centre For Newcomers will contact clients when clinic bookings become available.
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