The mobile clinic features three dental work stations and all equipment necessary, including an X-ray machine. (Aaron Hinks photo)

South Surrey dentist restores smile of vulnerable clients

Ron Gaudet and a team of volunteers provided free dental work to low-income residents

Parked in the Horizon Church parking lot last Saturday, a team of dentistry professionals worked out of a custom-built trailer to restore the smile in Surrey’s vulnerable population.

Promoted as a dignified way to improve self-esteem and health, South Surrey dentist Ron Gaudet, hygienists Cheryl Luettger and Janel Cooper, and third-year dental students Joel Gaudet and Gurleen Boparai worked together to perform minor to surgical work – free of charge – to residents without, or with very limited access to dental coverage.

The doctor and his team performed dental work on one man and seven woman during the course of the afternoon. The man said he hasn’t been to the dentist in more than 20 years.

Each client spent at least an hour with a dental hygienist inside the 38-foot RV mobile clinic, which included three dental workstations.

By the end of the day, the dentist had performed two extractions because of pain, an absecess, a root canal and “very large fillings due to massive decay.”

Gaudet performed about $3,800 worth of work.

“Some of them do have provincial coverage, but most of them have what’s just called emergency. It doesn’t cover really anything. The two clients did have better coverage so we were able to recover about $800,” Wendy Gaudet told Peace Arch News Wednesday.

Wendy and Ron Gaudet, who run Wave Dentistry (1656 Martin Dr.), oversee the City Care Dental Society initiative.

In the end, Wendy said they “probably” did more work than what they expected.

“We can’t just let someone walk away with an active absecess and in active pain. You just can’t,” Wendy said. “We saw all adults instead of kids. If we saw kids, it’s hard to say, we would probably do more fillings and hopefully less severe interventions because we catch things earlier.”

Future programs of the initiative will be targeted towards schools and teaching prevention, Wendy said. They hope the mobile clinic will familiarize a routine for young children, and educate parents and schools about the importance of dental hygiene.

Wendy says poor hygiene is a common trend in the “lower socioeconomic working poor,” but also impacts families that face language barriers or general access barriers.

“Some of these kids do have coverage but they just don’t have access to use it. They don’t know how to get involved. We want to help educate the schools to help the kids and their parents get in these programs,” Wendy said.

Wendy said they will likely visit their first school in February, and hope to visit a school twice every year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A volunteer of the City Dream Centre initiative works on a client in the mobile clinic Saturday. (Aaron Hinks photo)

The 38-foot mobile clinic used by dental professionals to provide care to vulnerable Surrey residents. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Just Posted

Cloverdale businessman funds wells in Cambodia

Revive Washing in Clayton Heights donates three per cent of profits to charity

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old boy found, Surrey RCMP say

Landon Vangeel-Morgan was last seen 9:14 p.m., May 30 near 96 Avenue and 150 Street

COVID-19: Daily update on pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

Provincial Health Officer officially bans overnight kids’ camps this summer

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read