B.C.'s Community Dental Day 2004 Helps People in Need

February 9, 2004 — Ottawa — As part of National Oral Health Month, the 2nd annual Community Dental Day is slated for April 27, 2004, during which volunteer dentists across British Columbia will treat low-income working adults with no dental plan — free of charge.

In 2003, about 200 B.C. dentists treated over 750 patients who required urgent dental care, waiving more than $250,000 in fees for services rendered. "Of course, we hope that an even greater number of patients can be treated on Community Dental Day 2004," says Anita Caspersen, communications director at the Association of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (ADSBC), which is coordinating the province-wide initiative. "Many dental staff volunteer their services on that day as well."

Community Dental Day is the brainchild of Dr. John W. (Jack) Hutchinson of Richmond, B.C., who spends part of each year practising dentistry in Third World countries.

Logistically, Community Dental Day is quite a challenging operation. ADSBC has hired a part-time certified dental assistant to match patients with dentists and is also asking for volunteers in each dental society to help coordinate their area. This grass roots approach is absolutely essential, as B.C.'s rural population is scattered across many communities, Ms. Caspersen notes.

"Community Dental Day is a great way for dentists to give back to the community, while raising oral health awareness and enhancing the profile of dentistry," observes ADSBC's communications officer Brenda Austin. "The 2003 initiative gained us much media attention from The Vancouver Sun, The Province, community newspapers, Global News, City TV, Shaw Cable and CBC Radio."

For more information, contact:

The Association of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia
Suite 400-1765 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 5C6
Tel.: (604) 736-7202 or 1-888-396-9888
Fax: (604) 736-7588
E-mail: post@adsbc.com


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