Toronto Public Health's mobile dental clinic rolls into Rexdale

Community Dec 06, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Pastor David Lewis knows his community will be all smiles on the first Wednesday of every month.

That’s because that’s the day Toronto Public Health’s (TPH) Mobile Dental Clinic rolls into the parking lot of Rexdale Alliance Church for its monthly visit to provide free dental care services to his congregation and the wider community.

“When I walked onto the bus for the first time, it blew my mind. It’s like a dentist’s office on wheels — it’s so cool,” Lewis said of the mobile clinic, which is funded by the Healthy Smiles Ontario program to provide exams, x-rays, fillings, root canals, extractions, and other emergency and urgent dental care services to eligible clients who have difficulty accessing dental services in the customary manner.

“We do six, 45-minute appointments once a month — mostly high-needs appointments for people who are economically challenged.”

Since first becoming a regular monthly host to TPH’s Mobile Dental Clinic on its city-wide circuit last February, Lewis said the feedback he’s been getting from Rexdale clients has been overwhelmingly positive.

“One of the ladies who used the bus summed up the experience very succinctly — and I think very poignantly — when she said that if she didn’t have access to the dental bus, she would’ve just let her dental needs go so that she could feed her children,” he said.

“She said she was always reluctant to go to the dentist before, because oftentimes people who are on social assistance aren’t necessarily treated the best. But on the dental bus, she was treated with love and respect.”

Dr. Melvin Hsu, manager of TPH’s Dental and Oral Health Services, said the TPH Mobile Dental Clinic serves many such clients who simply don’t feel comfortable attending one of the City of Toronto’s 24 “more traditional” clinics.

“Some of our clients have barriers that make them uncomfortable going to one of our other clinics for whatever reasons, be they mental health, addiction, and other issues that make it difficult for them,” he said.

“So, with the Mobile Dental Clinic, we try to bring our services to them in the hopes of bridging that gap.”

To be eligible for dental care at the Mobile Dental Clinic, Lewis said clients must fit four criteria: they must live in Toronto; they must demonstrate financial need and a lack of dental insurance; they must be on some form of social assistance (Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, Noninsured Health Benefits, etc.); and they must have a pressing need for dental care (cavity, pain, etc.).

He urged anyone fitting that criteria to give him a call.

“These guys are amazing — they’re incredibly professional, very understanding, and they don’t make people feel bad because they can’t afford to go to a dentist,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of people let their dental health go, because of the money — but now they don’t have to.”

The Mobile Dental Clinic is scheduled to visit to Rexdale Alliance Church, 2459 Islington Ave., on Jan. 3, Feb. 7, and March 7.

Contact Pastor Lewis at dlewis@rexdalealliance.ca or 416-741-1110 ext. 2314 to make an appointment.

Toronto Public Health's mobile dental clinic rolls into Rexdale

Community Dec 06, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Pastor David Lewis knows his community will be all smiles on the first Wednesday of every month.

That’s because that’s the day Toronto Public Health’s (TPH) Mobile Dental Clinic rolls into the parking lot of Rexdale Alliance Church for its monthly visit to provide free dental care services to his congregation and the wider community.

“When I walked onto the bus for the first time, it blew my mind. It’s like a dentist’s office on wheels — it’s so cool,” Lewis said of the mobile clinic, which is funded by the Healthy Smiles Ontario program to provide exams, x-rays, fillings, root canals, extractions, and other emergency and urgent dental care services to eligible clients who have difficulty accessing dental services in the customary manner.

“We do six, 45-minute appointments once a month — mostly high-needs appointments for people who are economically challenged.”

Since first becoming a regular monthly host to TPH’s Mobile Dental Clinic on its city-wide circuit last February, Lewis said the feedback he’s been getting from Rexdale clients has been overwhelmingly positive.

“One of the ladies who used the bus summed up the experience very succinctly — and I think very poignantly — when she said that if she didn’t have access to the dental bus, she would’ve just let her dental needs go so that she could feed her children,” he said.

“She said she was always reluctant to go to the dentist before, because oftentimes people who are on social assistance aren’t necessarily treated the best. But on the dental bus, she was treated with love and respect.”

Dr. Melvin Hsu, manager of TPH’s Dental and Oral Health Services, said the TPH Mobile Dental Clinic serves many such clients who simply don’t feel comfortable attending one of the City of Toronto’s 24 “more traditional” clinics.

“Some of our clients have barriers that make them uncomfortable going to one of our other clinics for whatever reasons, be they mental health, addiction, and other issues that make it difficult for them,” he said.

“So, with the Mobile Dental Clinic, we try to bring our services to them in the hopes of bridging that gap.”

To be eligible for dental care at the Mobile Dental Clinic, Lewis said clients must fit four criteria: they must live in Toronto; they must demonstrate financial need and a lack of dental insurance; they must be on some form of social assistance (Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, Noninsured Health Benefits, etc.); and they must have a pressing need for dental care (cavity, pain, etc.).

He urged anyone fitting that criteria to give him a call.

“These guys are amazing — they’re incredibly professional, very understanding, and they don’t make people feel bad because they can’t afford to go to a dentist,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of people let their dental health go, because of the money — but now they don’t have to.”

The Mobile Dental Clinic is scheduled to visit to Rexdale Alliance Church, 2459 Islington Ave., on Jan. 3, Feb. 7, and March 7.

Contact Pastor Lewis at dlewis@rexdalealliance.ca or 416-741-1110 ext. 2314 to make an appointment.

Toronto Public Health's mobile dental clinic rolls into Rexdale

Community Dec 06, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Pastor David Lewis knows his community will be all smiles on the first Wednesday of every month.

That’s because that’s the day Toronto Public Health’s (TPH) Mobile Dental Clinic rolls into the parking lot of Rexdale Alliance Church for its monthly visit to provide free dental care services to his congregation and the wider community.

“When I walked onto the bus for the first time, it blew my mind. It’s like a dentist’s office on wheels — it’s so cool,” Lewis said of the mobile clinic, which is funded by the Healthy Smiles Ontario program to provide exams, x-rays, fillings, root canals, extractions, and other emergency and urgent dental care services to eligible clients who have difficulty accessing dental services in the customary manner.

“We do six, 45-minute appointments once a month — mostly high-needs appointments for people who are economically challenged.”

Since first becoming a regular monthly host to TPH’s Mobile Dental Clinic on its city-wide circuit last February, Lewis said the feedback he’s been getting from Rexdale clients has been overwhelmingly positive.

“One of the ladies who used the bus summed up the experience very succinctly — and I think very poignantly — when she said that if she didn’t have access to the dental bus, she would’ve just let her dental needs go so that she could feed her children,” he said.

“She said she was always reluctant to go to the dentist before, because oftentimes people who are on social assistance aren’t necessarily treated the best. But on the dental bus, she was treated with love and respect.”

Dr. Melvin Hsu, manager of TPH’s Dental and Oral Health Services, said the TPH Mobile Dental Clinic serves many such clients who simply don’t feel comfortable attending one of the City of Toronto’s 24 “more traditional” clinics.

“Some of our clients have barriers that make them uncomfortable going to one of our other clinics for whatever reasons, be they mental health, addiction, and other issues that make it difficult for them,” he said.

“So, with the Mobile Dental Clinic, we try to bring our services to them in the hopes of bridging that gap.”

To be eligible for dental care at the Mobile Dental Clinic, Lewis said clients must fit four criteria: they must live in Toronto; they must demonstrate financial need and a lack of dental insurance; they must be on some form of social assistance (Ontario Works, the Ontario Disability Support Program, Noninsured Health Benefits, etc.); and they must have a pressing need for dental care (cavity, pain, etc.).

He urged anyone fitting that criteria to give him a call.

“These guys are amazing — they’re incredibly professional, very understanding, and they don’t make people feel bad because they can’t afford to go to a dentist,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of people let their dental health go, because of the money — but now they don’t have to.”

The Mobile Dental Clinic is scheduled to visit to Rexdale Alliance Church, 2459 Islington Ave., on Jan. 3, Feb. 7, and March 7.

Contact Pastor Lewis at dlewis@rexdalealliance.ca or 416-741-1110 ext. 2314 to make an appointment.