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McGill dental faculty teams up with Welcome Hall to provide dental care for low-income patients


McGill University's Faculty of Dental Medicine is partnering with the Welcome Hall Mission to help provide free dental care to those who need it the most.

Dental care is low on the priority list for many facing financial difficulties.

"There are homeless poor. There are very low-income poor. And then there's the middle class, which struggles with paying for dental care," said Sam Watts, executive director of the Welcome Hall Mission.

 Dentists, students, and professors from McGill's dental medicine faculty will provide dental care to those most in need.

"This is the first permanent outreach clinic in Montreal and Quebec, even, I believe," said volunteer dentist Dr. Paul Sweet. "So when the opportunity came along to be involved in this project, I jumped at the opportunity."

The clinic has existed for over a decade, but it is always a very small-scale operation. Because needs have exploded recently, the Welcome Hall Mission has decided to turn it into a full-time operation.

Each doctor will be paired with four dental medical students, providing services five days a week.

"That got us to the point that we're at today where instead of three chairs or three operators, we now have six," said Watts. "We have more modern equipment, everything is updated, and the range of services will be relatively wide."

Oral health is the goal, said Sweet.

"We try to limit the scope to essential treatments, nothing elective," he said. "So we're focused on preventative care, cleaning sealants, that sort of thing. Education. A lot of times there's a little bit of an education gap or just a lack of knowledge about dental care."      

 The Welcome Hall Mission said its long-term plan includes providing similar services, such as psychologists, again with the help of universities wanting to give back to their community. Top Stories

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