Interior view of one of two mobile dentistry clinics coming to Surrey this fall as part of a City Dream Centre Society initiative. (Photo: submitted)

Free dental work coming to Surrey neighbourhoods in mobile clinics

Two retrofitted RVs prepped for use here this fall by City Dream Centre Society

SURREY — A mobile dental clinic will hit streets here this fall in an effort to help the city’s most vulnerable people.

A pair of 38-foot RVs, both loaded with the latest dentistry equipment, are being cleaned and prepped for use in Surrey and surrounding areas as part of a City Dream Centre Society initiative.

“We’ll go to a school or a park, park it there, and the families in that area would be able to get free dental,” said Loretta Hibbs, the organization’s executive director.

“We have dentists lined up, and obviously we’re looking for more dentists and hygienists who want to volunteer their time for this program.”

The mobile clinics, each with three chairs, were bought by the society from a seller in Alberta, Hibbs said.

“They gave us a really great deal and they don’t run the program they used to there,” she explained. “The dental trucks were really not being used, so now they’re ours to use here. They’re being inspected, right, because we want to do this right. There are X-ray machines, all the equipment that you’d see in a dentist office, full service.”

Hibbs says the society aims to give people dignity, self-esteem and improved health with access to free dentistry.

“We work with a lot of people in recovery, with a lot of families that are among the most vulnerable in our community, and we noticed that a number of them, probably the hardest thing is getting dental,” Hibbs said. “Dental work costs a lot of money. We’ve dealt with a lot of single moms who have decided that instead of them getting their teeth done, they get their kids done, because dental costs so much.

“Something like this gives people self-esteem,” she added, “because when they smile and their teeth are black and rotting, they’re embarrassed. I’ve had women say they barely open their mouths because they’re embarrassed by what their teeth look like. We’re all about giving dignity, and this is part of giving dignity back to people.”

To start, one of the clinics will first be pressed into service in Surrey sometime this fall, followed by the other as needs arise, Hibbs said.

The society’s City Care Dental program will be overseen by Wendy and Ron Gaudet, who run Wave Dentistry in White Rock. Certain aspects of the new-to-Surrey program, such as registry, are still being finalized, Wendy Gaudet said.

“We’re honoured to be involved, and it’s all Loretta’s vision,” she noted. “Certainly we’re not new to this, because we’ve done dental outreach work overseas, as part of humanitarian efforts, but this is more in our backyard, of course.”

The society’s plan is to unveil their mobile clinics at a dinner event – a $125-a-ticket fundraiser – on Sept. 24 at a farm in Chilliwack.

“The trucks are like small airplanes that are going to fly in and do dentistry work,” Gaudet said. “It’s very high quality – really nice chairs, brand new equipment, computerization, everything.”

In March, City Dream Centre Society opened a new boutique thrift store in Surrey to help raise funds to build a City Dream Centre here. The store, called For the Love of Thrifting, is located at #106-19211 Fraser Hwy., on the Surrey-Langley border.

Ultimately, the organization dreams of opening a facility at 104 Avenue Centre, a 260,000-square-foot brick building built in 1998 and relegated as vacant pretty much ever since. The proposed facility is modelled on Los Angeles’ Dream Center, founded in 1994 as a volunteer-driven organization that “finds and fills the needs of over 80,000 individuals and families each month,” according to its website.

As for the mobile clinics, Gaudet said local dentists and other dental professionals can contact her to get involved in the initiative.

“This is all so new, and it’s still coming together,” she said. “If someone wants to help, they can just text my cellphone number (604-418-1664), and just say dentist or something, and I’ll follow up.”

tom.zillich@ surreynowleader.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A surveillance camera in a photo posted to the Project Iris page on surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Quality surveillance video helps catch crooks, Surrey Mounties say

Charges laid in connection to break-and-enter in Guildford area

This year’s annual Lighted Boat Parade has been cancelled. (File photo)
White Rock’s annual Lighted Boat Parade cancelled

COVID-19 cited as main reason for cancellation of popular winter tradition

Signage outside of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in South Surrey advises of the drive-thru schedule. (Contributed photo)
Cold-weather clothing donations sought at South Surrey drive-thru effort

Weekly collection continues in Mount Olive Lutheran Church parking lot

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

IHIT has been called to a home on Nelson Court in Maple Ridge. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Homicide team investigating at Maple Ridge home

Investigators were called to home on Nelson Court

Most Read