Dental experts donate time to help 20 low-income patients

by Lyonel Doherty

A free dental clinic in Oliver saved 20 people a lot of money on March 31.

One fellow walked out of Dr. Jordan Noftle’s office saving approximately $1,000 after having all his upper teeth removed to make way for new dentures.
 
The clinic hosted by Quota International provided free dental care to low-income adults and seniors, who might otherwise go untreated for significant pain and infection.
 
Application is made through the Penticton Salvation Army and the people chosen are contacted when a clinic is organized. These clinics are supported through the generosity of South Okanagan dentists and a dental access fund.
 
Quota International is a volunteer organization that helps disadvantaged women and children, and people with speech and hearing disabilities.
 
Certified dental assistant Greta Henning said it was fantastic that Dr. Noftle and three staff members donated their time and office for the cause. Dr. Amaal Ayoub also donated her dental expertise during the event.
Henning, president of Quota International of Penticton, said hearing impaired teacher Jill McCallum and local realtor Beth Garrish provided food and drink for the seven volunteers at the clinic.
 
Henning said patients had all manner of work done on their teeth, from fillings to extractions. The gentleman who saved $1,000 will now put that money towards new dentures, she pointed out.
 
Henning said there is such a need for this service, and unfortunately, many people fall through the cracks.
“Anyone on a fixed income has no money left over for dental work. Some people have suffered for a long time.”
Henning said this is the club’s fifth free dental clinic, and they hope to have more. To qualify for the service, people have to fill out an application and must not already have a family dentist.
 
Henning said her ultimate goal is to establish a free dental clinic in Penticton for low-income patients. “It’s slow to come, but I’ve been working on it for a year.”
 
The next event is a free chiropractic clinic at the office of Dr. Adam Konanz in Penticton.