Avens, Adam Dental create satellite dental clinic at seniors home

Accessibility to dental care problems for some of Yellowknife's seniors are a thing of the past, after a unique dental office opened Tuesday inside the Avens seniors' centre.

Dr. Hassan Adam paid for construction and equipment of new clinic after seniors complained about accessibility

Dr. Hassan Adam, Shariff Adam's father, says 'When I saw the text saying: 'We found him. He's OK,' it was the happiest moment of my life.' (CBC)

Accessibility to dental care problems for some of Yellowknife's seniors are a thing of the past, after a unique dental office opened Tuesday inside the Avens seniors' centre.

The new addition is a satellite office of the Adam Dental Clinic, and is fully equipped to do X-rays, filings, cleanings, and provide complete dental care.

Dr. Hassan Adam, the owner of Adam Dental Clinic, was approached by the board of directors at Avens about setting up a satellite clinic in order to address the accessibility issues seniors have with getting to the dentist.

Many seniors, especially those in wheelchairs, complained of difficulties accessing a dentist. The family of one Avens resident even filed a complaint to the territorial minister of health. 

"They weren't able to get into the building," said Kathryn Youngblut, who lives at Avens. "They weren't able to get out of their chair into the dental chair."

The centre provided the space for the new clinic, while Dr. Adam paid for the construction and equipment.

"A lot of the patients are friends of mine who were my patients years ago," he said. "So it's great to come back and help them out."

The new clinic "would certainly make a big difference for [the seniors]," said Adam, who acknowledged the difficulty of having to walk to his downtown office. 

Jeff Renaud, the centre's executive director, agrees, saying that the population has a higher degree of cavities and mouth infections that Avens staff are "just not able to care for."

The Canadian Dental Association doesn't know how many long-term health centres have on-site dental clinics, but said that what Avens is doing is fairly unique in Canada.

Dr. Adam, though, isn't concerned with uniqueness — just the dental health of his new clientele.

"I think it's great for the community," he said. "Great for Avens."

A celebratory cake welcomes Avens' newest resident: the Adam Dental Clinic. (CBC)


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