Filling the gap in dental care for Minoru Residence seniors
It’s been a year in the making, but thanks to financial support of the Richmond Hospital/Health Care Auxiliary, seniors in care now have access to a state-of-the-art dental clinic on-site at Minoru Residence.
Officially opened Tuesday, the new Minoru Residence Dental Suite will operate in partnership with the UBC Geriatric Dentistry Program. While auxilians have outfitted the space with more than $100,000 worth of dental equipment, the UBC program will provide the clinical expertise (dentists, hygienists and assistants) to residents who require regular dental care.
“Providing this service was important to our membership,” said Christa Schneider, president, Richmond Hospital and Health Care Auxiliary. “Not every resident has a family who can take them to the dentist, and not all dental offices are accessible to people in wheelchairs.”
The new Minoru Dental Suite is fully equipped with a new dental chair (donated by the UBC Faculty of Dentistry), lighting, a mobile drilling and digital radiography units. The space is also outfitted with a ceiling lift to enable residents to be safely positioned into and out of the reclining dental chair.
Dental care close to home
Now all but the most complex treatment can be provided directly from the Minoru Dental Suite, lessening the need for residents to travel to UBC to access specialized geriatric dental care. It’s a new service, according to Dr. Chris Wyatt, director of the UBC Geriatric Dentistry program, that “just makes sense.”
“Care will be provided here by experienced clinicians with state-of-the-art equipment,” Dr. Wyatt added. “This means Minoru residents will get the best care possible, just as if they were accessing it from a dentist office in the community.”
Prevention is good for patient flow
Although the new clinic will initially treat Minoru residents, access will be broadened eventually to include residents from other care sites in Richmond because regular dental care is not only good for residents’ health, but it is also good for the Richmond continuum of care.
There’s a patient flow aspect to providing residents with regular dental care,” said Nicky Dhugga, manager, Minoru Residence. “We know that dental infections can result in an ED visit and, if severe enough, can require hospitalization. By providing access to regular dental care, we hope to sustain resident good health and prevent unnecessary trips to Richmond Hospital.”