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After shutting its doors six weeks ago, the Kelowna Gospel Mission’s free dental clinic will reopen Monday.
For more than a decade the clinic has been offering free treatment to clients who need dental work but don’t have the means to pay for it
On Oct. 7 the Mission was forced to temporarily shut the clinic’s doors as it searched for a new dentist to take it over.
That search ended this week when the Mission hired a recent graduate of the UBCO residency program to work full-time.
Executive Director Randy Benson says that, starting Monday, the clinic will once again be open “pretty much five days a week.”
That’s good news for the scores of patients who relied on the care the clinic provides.
Benson says the clinic focuses on basic restorative work and pain and infection relief. An clients suffering from a dental emergency are ushered in as soon as possible, and given follow-up treatment as needed.
“If somebody’s in dental pain it affects their whole life: their ability to work, their ability to eat, their ability to do anything,” Benson says. “For people who can’t afford it, or have to choose between the dentist and groceries, this is an incredibly important service.”
Benson says that, while the new hire will allow the clinic to remain open, any local dentists willing to volunteer their time are more than welcome. More volunteer help, he says, means they will be able to serve more people.