I represent a front line volunteer with an organization called Volunteer Dental Outreach for Haliburton County. We are a registered charity who provide free dental care to low income residents of Haliburton County Ontario. Our community experiences a high poverty rate and hundreds of people cannot afford dental care and have neglected their oral health. Until we opened in 2011, their only options were to suffer, or attend hospital emergency departments where they were given prescriptions for pain meds, antibiotics and told to seek dental care. This would buy them time until the next flare-up but not prevent reoccurrences. These individuals are living at or slightly above the poverty line and cannot afford proper shelter and food- dental care is not possible. Our organization funds and runs the clinic where dental professionals come to volunteer and provide care to this group of people who have no access to care due to financial barriers. Having neglected their oral health most are in need of substantial amounts of restorative dentistry. We have hundreds of stories of how improved dental health has made substantial improvements in the lives of these patients. Our organization has just completed its sixth year and has provided over $2 million dollars in free dental care to people suffering in many ways due to poverty. Please see www.dental-outreach.com for more information including a document that explains how to go about establishing a clinic in your own community. Our volunteers constantly remark that there is a need to establish clinics everywhere to help people without dental insurance or sufficient means to pay for dental care.
Once patients are out of pain and have more pleasing smiles they are more able to eat and sleep properly and have greater success in the workplace. Many graduate from our clinic and obtain jobs with benefits and have greater success in personal relationships
Consultation has concluded