Dental Day YXE: College of Dentistry hosts first free day of dental care

NATASHA HAUSERMANN

Dental Day YXE, the first ever free dental day in Saskatoon, will be hosted by the University of Saskatchewan and the College of Dentistry. This event will bring together dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental therapists, denturists and specialists who are volunteering their time to offer free dental care to those who do not have dental insurance and cannot afford dental services.

The College of Dentistry is collaborating with a community of oral-health professionals in Saskatoon to make this first-time event possible and free for those in need of dental services. Dental Day YXE is part of the College of Dentistry’s vision to reach out to the community and engage the public.

Alyssa Hayes, an assistant professor of dental public health with the College of Dentistry, further explains Dental Day and who qualifies to take part in this event. “Dental Day YXE represents a collaborative between all [of] the oralhealth professionals to provide free dental care for those who report financial barriers to accessing oralhealth care,” Hayes said, in an email to the Sheaf. The event will take place on Apr. 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Dental Clinic Building at the U of S, where a range of oralhealth professionals will offer their time to provide services that some cannot afford. According to a CBC News Saskatoon report, some of the services the oral-health professionals will offer include exams, fillings, tooth extractions, root canals, cleanings and basic denture work. The goal of the college is to see around 200 patients during the event.

Dental Day YXE is open to anyone in Saskatoon, and Hayes explains that all U of S students can get involved in the future, if they feel they qualify for the event. However, Hayes also notes that the event has had overwhelming success with the public in Saskatoon and that it has already reached its capacity.

“Dental Day YXE is targeted to those who do not have any dental insurance of any form. If U of S students feel this applies to [them], they would be welcome. However, we are no longer accepting patients, as the day is currently over capacity,” Hayes said.

Because of the overwhelming popularity of the event, and as there is no other event like Dental Day in Saskatoon, Hayes states that the college already has plans to create an annual event in the future. She explains that this event also aligns with the College of Dentistry’s strategy to engage the Saskatoon public. “[An annual Dental Day YXE] is the hope of the College [of Dentistry], as this initiative will represent part of our outreach strategy,” Hayes said.

Hayes is enthusiastic to see the collaboration between Saskatoon oralhealth professionals who have come together to make this first-time event a success and to reach the goal they set for the day. “I am most excited about the collaborative nature of the event and the ability to provide to 200 people in need,” Hayes said. Hayes further explains that this event is important for College of Dentistry students to get involved with, and she notes that the event would not be as successful without their help.

“This event allows for the College of Dentistry students [to take] part [in] this day in various forms as volunteers,” Hayes said. “Without their participation, I am certain the day would not be as successful as we know it is going to be.”

Laura Underwood / Layout Manager

Laura Underwood / Layout Manager