HUMBOLDT — A local dental office gave those that usually couldn’t afford their services something to smile about.
Humboldt Smiles Dental Studios took part in a Day of Giving, where they volunteer their services to members of the community who can’t access dental services due to cost. The program runs one day a year across participating dental clinics in Saskatchewan.
“Basically what we did was provide basic dental care to people who are in need totally free of charge,” said Dr. Michele Ackerman, a dentist with the clinic.
“We did no billing insurance; we did no billing of social services. These were people who may have slipped through the cracks a little bit, who didn’t have any additional support financially.”
This year’s Day of Giving was on Saturday, Nov. 23.
“This is the very first time we’ve ever done this. It’s the very first time it’s been available for us to do across the province. It was great,” Ackerman said. “Everybody did it differently but we booked appointments and did walk-ins and everybody who walked through our door we were able to treat.”
This resulted in over 30 members of the community getting dental care.
Ackerman said by the end of the day they were pretty tired.
“My whole entire staff volunteered for that day and everyone was here. My hygienists, our dental therapist, all of our assistants, our receptionists, everyone was here, everyone volunteered to do this.”
Some of the work the team did included fillings, extractions, cleaning and examinations.
Ackerman said they might have done things a little bit differently with their clinic compared to the rest, because they did some pre-assessments for the day.
“If they wait there may be active infection, and we wouldn’t be able to do anything if there was a severe infection,” she said. “So we did pre-assessments ahead of time. We knew what their main concerns were, we took x-rays when we needed to and we were able to sort of treatment plan them before the day.”
She said in some instances it’s just “putting out fires.”
“We couldn’t do everything on every person so it was really what their chief complaint was.”
Overall, Ackerman said it went well.
“The fact we were able to see everyone who walked through the doors – I think that that’s a success.”