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Posted: December 20, 2021

Invermere inquires further about free dental care clinic

By Erin Knutson

The District of Invermere is drafting correspondence to further inquire about the needs of a free dental service provided by Cranbrook-based Mouthminders after discussing a letter from the organization at their Tuesday (Dec. 14) regular council meeting.

“It’s good work, and I wouldn’t mind getting more information on what that request is and the specific area of the request – if they wanted to put in a particular requisition, I would be willing to have a look at it” said Coun. Ute Juras.

The volunteer dental group thanked the Salvation Army in the letter for the opportunity to establish a free clinic for eligible adults across East Kootenay over the past eight years with the explicit desire to continue their work.

“We want to express our gratitude to the Salvation Army for its vision and commitment in establishing and supporting our unique dental clinic that has offered free urgent pain and dental infection services,” said Mouthminders staff.

The essential nature of the service and expenses associated with proper dental care have left people without adequate resources to receive necessary treatment.

According to the group of volunteer dentists, emergency rooms have taken the place of dental chairs, with the influx of untreated dental problems shifting to hospital settings.

“Hospital emergency rooms are not equipped to offer more than pain or antibiotic medications. However, our clinic has been able to help people who suffer pain and avoid seeing a regular dental office due to a lack of funds.”

A call to action to local municipalities to help secure funds for the organization is outlined in the letter as the group calls to their government representatives to help them strategize for sustainable funding to continue their operation.

“Perhaps with the support of all our communities, we can sustain this very cost-effective and valuable service to our vulnerable population,” said Mouthminders staff.

Mouthminders seeks to utilize available resources, including charitable service organizations, government resources, and professional volunteers.

According to the organization, collaboration with all stakeholders is beneficial, resulting in a healthier population.

“We’ll draft a letter asking for a little bit more information; it certainly sounds like they do some great work,” said Mayor Al Miller.


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