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Kelowna dental community saves free clinic

Kelowna’s free dental clinic has been given a new lease on life thanks to volunteer support.

<who> Photo Credit: Kelowna's Gospel Mission.

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission Dental Clinic, located at 259B Leon Ave., has had a full-time dentist on staff for two years but can no longer take on that cost.

Randy Benson, executive director of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, said they were offered the dental residency program by UBC this year, but they need a fully licensed dentist in the clinic at all times to oversee everything.

Early on Thursday afternoon, Benson announced that there wasn’t enough support and that the clinic would be closing its doors.

This didn’t last long, though, and just a few hours later he said they received enough response in the dental community to have supervisors all summer, and UBC will soon be sending out a resident.

In the span of a few minutes, many dentists signed up to volunteer, although most can only do so for one day only.

“So the good news is the clinic will continue through the end of August,” said Benson. “During that time we’ll be working on strategies and plans to keep it going.”

Since 2004, the clinic has provided necessary dental care to over 30,000 people with dental pain or infections who couldn’t afford treatment in a private clinic.

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