Camosun’s Dental Clinic Providing Newcomers the Chance at Affordable Dental Care

The Camosun College Dental Hygiene Program at the Lansdowne Campus in Victoria is a helpful tool for newcomers in terms of dental care, and we conducted an interview to learn more. We interviewed Mandy Hayre, the Chair of Dental Programs at Camosun College. On top of being a program offered to teach dental hygiene and other dental careers, the school also does work with the community. The program has a clinic located right on campus, where students are learning through working on actual patients. Because these are students and not yet fully qualified, the clinic is able to offer a lower cost to people for the longer amount of time it may take to have their work done. This presents an opportunity for organizations like the ICA to help link them with newcomers who may benefit from lower cost dental services. Even for local residents, this clinic is an opportunity for people of a lower socioeconomic status, or even retired people to get low-cost dental care. People of all backgrounds, ages and financial abilities are accepted here and no one is turned away. Students from the program also do outreach work in the community, going to elementary schools, and Our Place to provide care and education on oral health. ICA has partnered with the Camosun College dental clinic to offer two dental screening and cleaning clinic for resettled refugee children.  
An important aspect of the students learning at the Camosun College dental school is the impacts of social determinants of health, and the students are educated on how to make a patient as comfortable and knowledgeable about the care being provided. Additionally, students are educated on how to interact with people from other cultures and countries, and those who have English as a second language. Even though the clinic only offers preventative care measures, this can mean all the difference for someone who may have never even seen a dentist before coming to Canada. Further, the clinic is able to refer patients to other dentist offices if they need treatment for things outside the clinic’s abilities.

Told by: 

Kristy Irvine


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