Nfld. & Labrador

More dentists needed in Labrador West, resident says

A Labrador City woman says the region is in desperate need of another dentist, after she and her husband were forced to drive seven hours for a dental appointment.
Shayna Jewell from Labrador City says the region is in need of more dentists. (iStock)

A Labrador City woman says the region is in desperate need of another dentist, after she and her husband were forced to drive hours for a dental appointment.

Shayna Jewell said she and her husband had to travel seven hours to Happy Valley-Goose Bay this week to see a dentist.

Given the high population and so few dentists, it would definitely be a lucrative business for someone.- Shayna Jewell

There is only one full-time dentist in Labrador West that has a waiting list that stretches into July. 

"It was definitely to the point where his tooth would sometimes bother him so much that he would get up in the middle of the night, and he was taking pretty high doses of ibuprofen to try and just stave off the pain as best he could," Jewell said.

Her husband was on a cancellation list, but appointments are so scarce they couldn't wait, she said. 

The long trip included two flat tires and hours of waiting for roadside assistance.

"Given the high population and so few dentists, it would definitely be a lucrative business for someone," she said. 

The region does have sporadic access to three other dentists — two orthodontists and a pediatric dentist — who fly in every month or so.

Some people travel to nearby Fermont for treatment, but those visits may not be covered by insurance

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