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Canada

New Kelowna community service taking a bite out of high dental costs

A non-profit society in Kelowna is taking a bite out of the high cost of dental hygiene.

On Thursday, Hands in Service announced the launch of its newest community service program, a mobile dental hygiene clinic.

It’s a program that has been in the making for almost five years.

Inside the new Hands In Service mobile dental hygiene clinic.

Inside the new Hands In Service mobile dental hygiene clinic.

Travis Lowe

READ MORE: Canadians support publicly funded dental care for those without insurance, Ipsos poll finds

The $300,000, 39-foot Winnebago is fully and completely done up for taking dental work on the road and to the patient.

The new dental RV outreach program will service those with financial situations that prevents them from accessing regular dental services.

WATCH MORE: Kelowna’s free dental clinic in jeopardy

“If you are not looking after your oral health, it impacts your entire body,” said Hands in Service executive director Patricia Goertzen.

The newly minted Hands in Service mobile dental hygiene clinic is a family affair.

Patricia’s two daughters, Alicia and Ariana, will run two of the RV’s three dental chairs, as the clinic’s hygienists.

WATCH MORE: B.C. boosting funding for low-cost dental care

The two sisters are excited about the opportunities and the rewards of giving back to those less fortunate.

“This will be completely new for them,” said Ariana Goertzen. “There is no service like this available; I just think it’s huge.”

Down the road, Hands in Service will be looking to fill the third chair.

“With a dentist that would volunteer, even if we had eight dentists that come once a month, we would be able to provide additional services,” said Patricia Goertzen.

WATCH MORE: Dalhousie teams up with Phoenix Youth to make dental hygiene more accessible

The mobile clinic still has a few logistical hoops to navigate, but Goertzen is hoping to get the program on the road, starting in September.

“We’ve got free [services] for those who don’t have any capacity [to pay],” said Goertzen.

“And we hope to grow to a place where two days a week we will actually be offering low cost [services] and that will be open to the public.”

For more information about Hands in Service, such as donating to help with operational costs, click here.

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