New dental clinic open on Big River First Nation

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People living on Big River First Nation will now have better access to dental care.

In partnership with the University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Dentistry, a new dental clinic opened at the Big River First Nation Health Centre this week.

Read more: Star Blanket Cree Nation balances pandemic pressures to open new health services centre

“Access to care is a barrier in rural and northern communities all across Saskatchewan. We as a college identified it as one of the problems that we decided to focus on,” USask College of Dentistry inclusive community outreach director Dr. Amrinderbir Singh said.

Different services will be offered 10 to 12 days a month, with hours potentially expanding based on demand.

A USask dentist, dental assistant and aid will work at the clinic. As of right now, there are no plans for College of Dentistry students to train or work there.

Read more: How to safely visit the dentist during the pandemic

Oral health can impact other aspects of health.

“Any type of oral pain, infections or a missing tooth, for example, impacts the way we eat, sleep and socialize. There is a large impact on overall physical, mental and social health,” Singh explained.

USask’s College of Dentistry also has clinics in Saskatoon, La Loche, Cumberland House First Nation, Yellow Quill First Nation and Kinistin First Nation. Another is being built in Prince Albert.

Singh hopes the university can partner with other First Nations communities in the near future to provide care to more patients who need it.

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