Durham College (DC) hosted a free dental clinic in partnership with the Health Mission Outreach (HMO) at the Oshawa campus on June 17. While, over the past five years, students from the Dental Hygiene program have volunteered their skills learned in the classroom to provide free dental care clinics in Toronto and Brampton, this is the first time the service has been offered in Durham Region, catering specifically to those without insurance or living on a fixed income. The HMO is a medical outreach organization that provides health care services to the disadvantaged.
The one-day clinic saw 45 DC students and a few from University of Toronto work alongside 18 volunteer HMO dentists from across Ontario to provide free fillings, extractions and other dental hygiene care for 162 local patients – one of the largest dental outreach initiatives in the Durham Region.
While students receive ongoing experience and skill-building in DC’s Dental Clinic as they perform dental examinations and cleanings under the supervision of faculty and staff, the free clinic with HMO also gave them the opportunity to give back to the community in which they live and study before they finish the final semester of their program.
A second, larger free health clinic with HMO will be offered in November for those that missed out, with participation once again from the Dental Hygiene program, as well as a few others in the School of Health and Community Services.