For many Central Albertans access to dental services are almost impossible because of the high cost associated with any procedures. Now, Low-income Albertans living in the Central Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS) now have improved access to dental services with the opening of a new public health dental clinic in the city.
AHS, GreenShield and Red Deer Street Connect have partnered to create the AHS Public Health Dental Clinic. The clinic is staffed by dentists and registered dental assistants with two fully equipped dental treatment rooms to serve the area’s high demand for dental needs.
“This is a wonderful example of how partnerships can truly make a difference, ensuring that every Albertan gets the essential healthcare they deserve,” says Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health and MLA for Red Deer-North. “This clinic will enhance the quality and accessibility of healthcare in Red Deer and its neighbouring communities, while also helping to relieve the capacity pressures on our emergency departments.”
The clinic is for Alberta residents without dental insurance of any kind, individuals with income under low-income cutoff limits, and/or with a direct referral from the hospital emergency department for a specific dental emergency.
“The Public Health Dental Clinic in Red Deer is helping to bring oral healthcare to Albertans who have difficulty accessing health and medical support,” says AHS President and CEO Mauro Chies. “We are grateful to the generous support of GreenShield for helping to bring this vital service to those vulnerable to poor oral health outcomes in central Alberta.”
The clinic is supported by a $1.5-million grant from GreenShield, a not-for-profit health and benefits company, and represents an opportunity to mitigate oral health inequities in Alberta.
The clinic has supported more than 300 appointments since it began operating in June.
Clients will be referred to the clinic through services like Street Connect, the Primary Care Network Street Clinic, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and other services, such as the opioid dependency program. The clinic will provide basic care to patients, responding to common dental concerns such as cavities, toothaches and the need for extractions.