Saanich dentist Dr. Ross Crapo is participating in Dentistry from the Heart once again this year.

Free dental care fills ‘great need’

Four dentists donate their services for annual program

Dr. Ross Crapo is accustomed to dealing with people in physical pain.

But as he prepares for an annual free day of dentistry at his practice, Crapo is reminded of the emotional scarring he often discovers at his operating chair.

“We see situations where folks have got more life than they have money left,” said Crapo, who along with Dr. Win Nyugen, Dr. Peter Liem and Dr. Michael Bennett will donate their time to Dentistry from the Heart at Crapo’s office tomorrow.

The philanthropic program began 13 years ago in Florida and has since grown to include more than 200 dental practices across North America.

Some staff donate their time, while other expenses like sterilization and the cost of fillings and X-rays are incurred by the practice.

“Most of the time, we’re helping people in pain, who have been living with this pain for a long time,” Crapo said. “And it’s something that’s become emotional for them as well.”

Last year, Crapo and his team treated about 80 patients, and they hope to increase that number on Saturday. The program provides reprieve for people who otherwise can’t afford out-of-pocket medical expenses, which recent StatsCan numbers show is a growing demographic across the country.

Medical expenses like prescription drugs, insurance premiums and dental care have increased significantly in Canada between 1997 and 2009, according to StatsCan.

Out-of-pocket health-care expenses for low-income Canadians rose by 63 per cent during that period after being adjusted for inflation. An average low-income resident now doles out $380 per person annually on dental care. Crapo’s staff are scheduling patients for morning, while afternoon appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. “We’ll take as many people as we can,” he said. “It’s open to everyone who needs help.”

The event runs all day, beginning at 9 a.m. For more information, call Crapo’s office at 250-383-3368.

– Daniel Palmer

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Goldstream Avenue development on schedule to open next winter

Pacifica development adds 150 units of affordable housing

SCREECH: Transportation service will give residents and businesses a say in improving the system

Transportation issues are top of mind across the Capital Regional District. If… Continue reading

Artists find showcase at Coast Collective gallery

Art from the Attic showcases forgotten treasures

Drop off your old branches in Colwood

Program helps keep city yards tidy

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike in Victoria delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Most Read