The Fort Frances Dental Centre has added another dentist to its staff, bringing the complement there to four.
Dr. George House, a 1996 graduate in dentistry from the University of Manitoba, joined Drs. Brent Danylchuk, Mike Gerstner, and Steve Kuzdenyi in the practice Aug. 10.
Prior to his arrival here, Dr. House, 25, took part in an elective one-year residency at the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton.
"I was involved in the [dental] treatment of medically-compromised patients," he noted, which included HIV and transplant patients, accident victims, and seniors requiring chronic care.
"I did it to get more experience," added Dr. House, who has aspirations to expand his interests in dental surgery down the road.
On a humorous note, Dr. House reflected on the early days of university when he and his classmates had to learn first-hand how to give a needle to a patient requiring dental work.
"I’ve heard people say we practised on oranges. There were no oranges in my school," he mused.
"We had to practise on each other. It was a bit nerve-racking because at first you didn’t know where [in the mouth] to put it or how far to go in," he smiled.
Dr. House also noted, with some amusement, that training sessions always seemed to be scheduled right before noon so that when everybody went to eat lunch, they couldn’t chew their food.
Meanwhile, moving to small-town life here from the hustle and bustle of Edmonton is not as big an adjustment for him as one might think.
In fact, Fort Frances is larger than Dr. House’s hometown of Reston, Man., a farming community with a population of about 700 located near the Saskatchewan border.
And as far as he’s concerned, the big city is not always the best place to start a dental career.
"I’m used to small-town life and I eventually wanted to end up in [one]. And from the business aspect of it, the big city can have a lot of competition," he reasoned.
"New grads can often find better opportunities in small places."
He also noted the benefits of working with a team of dentists as opposed to being on his own.
"I really like being in a group practice. We can talk and get [medical] opinions from one another," he said. "It’s a good learning situation."
On a more serious note, Dr. House offered some sound dental advice to parents of small children--don’t let a child go to sleep with something to drink at the ready, and bring them in early in life for a check-up.
"There is nothing worse than seeing ‘baby bottle caries’ in children," he stressed.
("Baby bottle caries" is a term dentists use to describe the tooth decay caused when a child sucks on a bottle of mild or acidic juice while they go to sleep).
Starting Sept. 3, Dr. House will be working two of his five days a week at the Emo Dental Clinic, located downstairs in the Emo Health Centre.
For more on the Emo Dental Clinic, please see the story on B1.