Here’s something to smile about. A generous $50,000 donation from Green Shield Canada will help ensure that more patients at St. Peter’s Hospital have access to professional oral care.
Patients at the hospital will benefit from care right at their bedside, which will be particularly helpful for patients with mobility issues who would experience difficulty visiting the dentist’s office. Dental care can easily become a low priority during an extended hospital stay, when access to professional care becomes more difficult. Since the oral health of a patient can be impacted significantly by other medical issues, maintaining the oral care of patients who suffer from multiple or complex illnesses is particularly important.
Many patients lack the benefits or personal resources to afford dental care, or must choose between dental care and other financial commitments. Green Shield Canada’s donation, which will be gifted over a two-year period, will fund a dental hygienist and supplies needed to provide bedside dental care for this patient population.
“The presence of our staff on the units will hopefully bring awareness to the importance of keeping one’s teeth clean and healthy,” explains Dr. Laszlo Szoke, Director of Dentistry, Dr. James Morreale Dental Clinic at St. Peter’s Hospital. “The donation will help provide better care for patients by supplying our staff with new tools to enable more thorough cleanings.”
Poor oral health prevents patients from eating properly, potentially causing other health issues. The dental team at St. Peter’s Hospital expects an increase in both oral health and general health with the introduction of this program. Poor oral hygiene also contributes to low self-esteem, leading patients to become socially withdrawn. Thanks to this new program funded by Green Shield Canada, the dental team estimates a tremendous increase in patients’ social interaction.
“Thank you to Green Shield Canada for supporting this initiative and for recognizing the urgent need to maintain oral health for the elderly,” says Dr. Szoke. “Our hope is that this increased assistance will have a positive impact on how patients feel, reduce the need for extractions of teeth or fillings, and maintain natural teeth for as long as possible.”