Students will now have more options for selecting a fully licensed dentist on campus following the opening of Clinic 120, a new General Practice Residency clinic that offers a wide variety of services ranging from teeth cleanings to more complex treatments.
Clinic 120, located in the Dental Clinic Building, is a community clinic open all year round. It opened in September 2017, but it was conceived of in 2010. The clinic provides high-quality health care to the community and supports the GPR program.
Dr. Jessie Zoorkan, a resident in the GPR program and one of the three dentists at Clinic 120, explains that new patients are welcome to make an initial appointment and that the clinic can provide dental services both in-clinic and through referrals, if necessary.
“This is open to everybody,” Zoorkan said. “Patients can email us if they want to come and have a new patient exam. They can have a treatment plan formulated, and we can carry out whatever treatment they would need.”
The clinic supports the GPR program, a one-year residency program offered to any graduates from dentistry programs to further develop their clinical skills and gain work experience. The residents are fully licensed and accredited dentists who are given the opportunity to utilize new technology and treat complex cases before working in a private practice clinic.
Zoorkan explains that the clinic offers on-call dental emergency services that tend to be frequently used during hockey season. She says it is important to wear mouthguards in contact sports to avoid dental injuries. “We see way too many young men that come in late at night [who] have had their teeth knocked out.
Often times, we get called at 10:30 or 11 o’clock at night to come in and put some teeth back in people’s mouths,” Zoorkan said.
The dentists in the clinic focus on educating patients about their oral health care, with the use of state-of-the-art technologies like an intraoral camera that carries a dentaldecay- detection feature, Zoorkan says.
“If there is a little cavity starting, we can show you on the screen so that patients can see, and understand as well, what’s going on in their mouths. I think that’s such a fantastic educational tool that gives us an opportunity to have a conversation, … [and] it really gets them involved in their own health care,” Zoorkan said.
The University of Saskatchewan student health and dental plan covers up to $500 in dental visits for undergraduate students and up to $750 in dental visits for graduate students per policy year. Clinic 120 accepts all dental insurance and payment methods and is able to bill insurance companies directly.
Because students have limited coverage for dental, Zoorkan explains that they may need to access services that are beyond what is covered by their dental insurance.
“Dental insurance … is a great way of helping you pay for your dental care, but it should not be what dictates [the services] you receive,” Zoorkan said. “To have a healthy mouth … sometimes requires going beyond that plan. Unfortunately, $500 can be used up pretty [quickly].”
The Clinic 120 staff is available to serve students and the broader community, Zoorkan says, and she emphasizes that all are welcome to book an appointment.
“We’re here, we’re convenient, [and] we can work around your schedules to get you in and to see you before any problems start,” Zoorkan said. “An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.”
Gabriel Siriany Linares
Photo: Gabbie Torres