Mission's Dental Clinic Tapping Into Desperate Need

Even before the doors open, the Al Quesnel Dental Clinic at the Downtown Mission is backlogged.

There are still a few finishing touches to be made on the facility and the hope is to begin seeing patients next week.

The clinic was announced last week and already the number of cases to be seen is building.

Sue Pellerito is a Registered Dental Hygenist and Team Leader at the clinic.

She says the waiting list is growing rapidly.

"We are at about 90 right now and it grows daily, it grows quickly, we are getting email and phone calls and we have people coming to the practice now and kinda hunting us down really. We have had people from as far as Sault Ste. Marie looking for help."

Pellerito says it's clear already there is a huge need in the community for this service.

"These are people who are reaching out that kinda crying out that they are watching their son cry in pain at night because they can't help them, it is desperation truly."

She says a full time dentist will be joining the clinic August 13th and that will make a huge difference.

"We are providing service five days a week, we are going to be able to help so many more people than just having a volunteer dentist come in, one or two days a month, right it is just gonna quadruple the service we can provide."

Pellerito says they've created a triage type of process with the waiting list so that the most urgent cases get treated first.

The clinic was made possible through a $1-million donation from local philanthropist Al Quesnel.