After more than a year of hard work, the Minoru Residence Dental Suite opened on Tuesday. Pictured (left to right) are Christa Schneider, president, Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary; Paula Rozanski, former interim manager, Minoru Residence; Dr. Chris Wyatt, director, UBC Geriatric Dentistry program; Colleen Kason, past president, Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary.

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.”

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Richmond Hospital & Health Care Auxiliary members, some of whom are pictured above, donated more than $100,000 to outfit the new dental suite with state-of-the-art dentistry equipment, including portable drilling and radiography units.

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.”

2 comments

  1. Lisa Enns says:

    Congratulations to the Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary for their hard work! Oral health contributes to overall health at all ages, but it is especially important for elders. Oral health conditions are linked to many general health conditions elders might have, and poor oral health can have a direct influence on elder’s quality of life and lifestyle.

  2. Nedeen Boon says:

    Way to go auxillary team! As someone who also works in a dental clinic and knows how great the need is for geriatric residents to have access to dental care, my hat goes off to you! Nice work. We can only hope this is something that can continue to happen in other areas of the province as well!

    Nedeen

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