Community Papers

Clinic staff volunteer their expertise to help others

(Left to right) Dental hygienist Shelbi Anderson, certified dental assistant Lana Healy and dentist Dr. Matt Osepchook are ready to see people in need of dental care at their next West Kootenay Community Teeth Clinic on August 11. - Eric Ramsden photo
(Left to right) Dental hygienist Shelbi Anderson, certified dental assistant Lana Healy and dentist Dr. Matt Osepchook are ready to see people in need of dental care at their next West Kootenay Community Teeth Clinic on August 11.
— image credit: Eric Ramsden photo

Is dental care beyond your budget? The West Kootenay Community Teeth clinic has been working hard for the last few months, and are now up and running.

Dr. Matt Osepchook and his staff are  ready to welcome more patients at their third clinic on August 11.

Thanks to the volunteer work of local dentist Osepchook, who was recently honoured by Rotary Club of Nelson Daybreak, Dr. Bill Saliken and Dr. Mona Makortoff; hygienists, certified dental assistants (CDAs) and reception staff, they are able to provide affordable, accessible dental care to the community.

Mara Sand, community dental hygienist for the Interior Health Association was aware of the need and was the person who got them going. The next clinic is at Dr. Osepchook’s office at 300 Baker Street.

Osepchook said they saw 18 patients at the last clinic and they had space for more. He added that he feels blessed that they have been able to provide this service, especially with donations from the public.

Janette Mulloy visited the clinic on July 7  as she said she had been in need of dental care that she could not afford for years.

“The wall of fear is very high, but very thin,” she said.

“This is an important thing to remember when you are sitting in the dentist chair. Not the needles, that will pass. Nor the uncertainly, that too will pass, but what remains is the smiles, the surcease of pain, the moment when you know things will be fixed, that things will be all right.”

The Nelson and District Seniors Co-ordinating Society (NDSCS) is one of the sponsoring societies who supported the application for Society status.

NDSCS’ Joan Reichardt said, “Our group see this as a much needed way to make dental health more affordable to all ages. Although at present the project is focused on basics, we will address the issue of access to dentures, where many seniors face costs they cannot afford.”

For an appointment to complete an application, call the NDSCS at 250-352 6008.

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