Registered denturist Sarwar Sarwari has had the idea for a mobile denture clinic, but COVID-19 “expedited” that idea this year.
Sarwari, who owns True Fit Denture Centre in Newton, said he’s been going to care homes for appointments, but as the coronavirus pandemic hit, that all changed.
“But because of COVID, obviously, we’re not allowed to go into care homes,” said Sarwari. “Those people who were in dire, or desperate, need of a essential services, we can’t go in because we didn’t have a solution.”
He said cross-contamination became an issue if he was visiting multiple residents or facilities.
Then Sarwari went back to his idea of going mobile.
“What if we bring the patient out – we can’t bring him here (to the office) – so we come to them,” he explained. “It keeps the number of COVID potentials down. That’s number one because that’s our demographic. Our demographic is elderly, the most vulnerable of our society.”
It took Sarwari about three months to get the van, retrofit it and set it up as a mobile denture clinic.
Sarwari said the van has been on the road for about a month now, and he’s made visits to three facilities with it.
Originally, Sarwari said he wanted five vans on the road, but it would have been a “huge undertaking.”
He said he’s now got two other vans on standby, with this first one working as a pilot project.
Asked when he could potentially see another van up and running, Sarwari said he would know by Christmas.
He said it comes down to three things: Is the van fulfilling the need?; Does it make monetary sense?; and how will this second wave of the virus impact government protocols?
If businesses or operations start to shut down again, Sarwari said, “we might have to expedite that and be on the wheels in three different places.”
But so far, Sarwari said the mobile denture clinic is serving its goal, which was to “be a helping hand” to those who couldn’t come to him.