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Dental van rolls into Rainy River

The Northwestern Health Unit’s new “Healthy Smiles Ontario” mobile dental van rolled into Fort Frances in September, bringing smiles galore.

Under the program, children aged 17 and under who met the program’s eligibility requirements received dental treatment.

The Northwestern Health Unit negotiated a special pilot project status for the “Healthy Smiles Ontario” program.

As a result, services also can be provided to individuals who receive benefits under Ontario Works (OW), the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT), and the Federal Non-Insured Health Programs (NIHB).

The community of Rainy River was the next planned stop for the mobile dental van, where dental services started last week.

The 33-foot-long “smile mobile” is a fully-equipped dental facility fitted with a dental chair, X-ray and sterilizing equipment, and other features, making it a dental office on wheels.

It also is wheelchair accessible.

“We are pleased to be able to offer a high standard of dental services through this state-of-the-art mobile dental office to eligible children of the area,” said Dr. James Arthurs, medical officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit.

“As we travel throughout the region, we feel this will bring much-needed preventive and treatment services to people who have previously had problems accessing care due to the difficult geographic circumstances of Northern Ontario,” he noted.

Many area children do not have access to basic dental care, and dental decay is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases.

With the implementation of the mobile dental office, eligible clients will be able to receive a range of dental treatment that will help reduce the risk of serious dental health problems in the future.

To find out if you are eligible to access the dental services, call 1-855-40SMILE or visit the Northwestern Health Unit’s website at www.nwhu.on.ca

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