Free dental clinic returns later this month for those in need

Dr. Reenu Sandhu, Dr. Kuldeep Sandhu, and Charlene Insley take a quick break from patient care during the Picton Dental Centre’s seventh annual Dentistry from the Heart promotion. The dental team provided free services for 72 adults worth in excess of $30,000 in 2018. (Adam Bramburger/Gazette file photo)

SARAH WILLIAMS

STAFF WRITER

For nine years,  Picton Dental Centre has been providing a free dental clinic each year. Though last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic, the clinic will carry on this year and is scheduled for February 25th from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is operating in partnership with Build Your Smile Dental Foundation (BYSDF), a registered Canadian Dental Charity.

“Picton Dental Centre, in collaboration with the Build Your Smile Dental Foundation (BYSDF), believes in the provision of dental care when needed,” stated Claudia Martire of BYSDF, “The partnership between the two organizations first began with Ugandan outreach a few years ago and continues now with local initiatives, such as the upcoming dental clinic day at Picton. This partnership is based on trust and professionalism, and we look forward to treating people in need, not only today but in the future.”

Patients are required to pre-register, complete a medical history form, complete a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire and retrieve a number on a first-come, first-served basis. Patients can choose one of the following services during the clinic: a cleaning, a filling, or an extraction.

When speaking about the impetus for the event, Martire emphasized the need for dental care despite the pandemic, noting dental emergencies wait for no one.

“Last year, we opted to postpone our free dentistry day due to the COVID-19 restrictions,” she said. “We quickly realized that dental emergencies wait for no one and are further exacerbated by rising costs of living and lost wages.”

Patients will be required to wait in their cars during the event to facilitate proper distancing.

When asked whether there was a limit to how many could be treated during the free dental clinic, Martire responded that they hope to serve as many as possible.

 “We hope to treat and offer free dentistry to as many Prince Edward County residents as possible, while abiding to our strictest COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and volunteers. “

The free dental event will take place at Picton Dental Centre, located at 7 McFarland Drive in Picton, Ontario.