Dr. Geetika Saini (left) and Dr. Shammi both volunteer their skills and time at H.E.C.K to provide dental care to vulnerable adults and seniors in the South Okanagan. Following a recent clinic day, the doctors were able to donate 47 extracted teeth from 7 patients to assist an area search and rescue group with their human remains recovery training. (Contributed)

South Okanagan volunteer dental clinic donates rotten teeth to good cause

H.E.C.K. recently gifted 47 rotten teeth to a search and rescue group in the area

  • Dec. 7, 2019 12:00 a.m.

The Henning Emergency Clinic of Kindness (H.E.C.K.) recently made an odd donation to the one of the area’s search and rescue groups.

The clinic provides dental treatment to vulnerable adults and seniors living in the South Okanagan through dentists who volunteer their time.

“Dental decay is preventable but for our patrons, poverty, addiction, mental health, fear of dentists and procedures are just some of the many reasons why they have not been able to access dentistry or have avoided dental treatment their whole life,” states a release from the clinic.

READ MORE: South Okanagan low-income dental clinic honoured as community hero

“Founder and volunteer, Greta Henning is extremely proud to be part of the board of directors who, despite many challenges, has managed to keep the H.E.C.K. Dental Clinic open for business!”

Recently, the clinic received an odd request from a search and rescue group in the area that is working with dogs and their owners to train them in human remains recovery.

The request was for any of the rotten teeth the clinic extracts from its patients.

“When it comes to search and rescue and in particular, the specialty of human remains recovery, how else can you use human remains for training,” states the release.

“Providing scenarios with real teeth is a huge asset to assist SAR dogs in their practice of being able to detect small amounts of human remains that they can then alert their handlers! The smellier the better!”

The team was in luck when the clinic recently held a treatment day and extracted 47 teeth for 7 patients in need, which were then donated for training purposes to certify the dogs and owners in this type of recovery.

H.E.C.K. is looking for more dentists to volunteer their services and donors to help offer the service on more days in the area.

“The ultimate goal of the clinic is to have the resources in place to offer prevention of decay and restorative procedures for low income families,” states the release.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter

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