Vernon Community Dental Access Centre’s board of directors Bob Kersey, from left, Shannon Horton, Lesly McMillan, Mark Loland, Sharon Melanson, RObyn Rossworn, Laurie Vanderhorst and Vic Lepp celebrated the opening of their newest operatory on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

New Vernon operatory opens doors for more affordable care

Vernon Community Dental Access Centre knocks down barriers for low-income citizens

The Vernon Community Dental Access Centre (CDAC) celebrated the grand opening of its operatory on Wednesday with special guests Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and Mayor Victor Cumming.

The non-profit, low-cost dental clinic’s newest addition will offer patients shorter wait times and offer dentists more space to work allowing the CDAC to work more efficiently, board member Robyn Rossworn said.

Over the past seven years, thousands of patients have been helped by CDAC. Seniors, working poor and members of the street community have been able to access affordable basic dental care such as cleaning, examinations, fillings and extractions that they may not have had access to elsewhere.

“There are many low-income citizens in our community who have barriers to dental care,” she said. “Patients are asked to pay a reduced fee and if unable to pay, treatment is done at no cost using the Angel Fund.”

Now, with the completion of its newest operatory room, the CDAC can help even more people.

“We will do limited root canals. We do not offer crowns or bridges. We treat patients for pain. In addition, we help patients get to the point where they qualify for a referral,” Rossworn said.

The CDAC’s goal at 3107C 31 Ave. “is to help more low-income patients in Vernon and area,” Rossworn said.

The newest operatory wouldn’t have been possible to open without the help of many volunteers and donations and generosity from sponsors. Many of the CDAC’s own board members spent countless hours in the renovations of the back half of the clinic creating the newest addition.

With the opening of the fifth operatory, the clinic expects to be able to help 3,402 patients between April 2019-March 2020.

“I have social anxiety, but feel very comfortable here and like the way I am treated,” one patient said. “I can actually smile now. This clinic has changed my life.”

“I had major pain and couldn’t find a dentist I could afford,” another said. “I came in an they were amazing, fixing my problem.”

CDAC will be hosting its annual fundraiser Feb. 28, 2020, at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. The event will feature live performances from Kinda Kenny — a Kenny Rogers Tribute band — and have a live auction with a bounty of items to bid on. Businesses interested in donating items for bid can contact the office 778-475-7779.

READ MORE: Homeless camp concerns crop up in Vernon council

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Vernon Community Dental Access Centre’s front office staff Loris Halvorson, from left, Dr. Carmel Hopkins, Wendy Wildeman, Ruth Urbatis, Renata Listor, Natasha Naten, from bottom left, Linda Lutz and Sheri Miller celebrated the opening of their newest operatory on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

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