Diana MacFeeters never goes to the dentist anymore. Instead, the dentist comes to her.
MacFeeters, 78, lives at Central Park Lodges Thorncliffe in Toronto. She uses a wheelchair, which makes it difficult to get to certain appointments.
For years, she has relied on Direct Dentistry, a service available in 130 long-term care and retirement facilities in southern Ontario. "It certainly means I could have services that are as good as getting to the dentist," MacFeeters says.
"Good dental care is a great addition to the general health of a person," says Liz Scott, president of Direct Dentistry. "It gives one a better sense of well-being and needs to be recognized more as a health issue than as a hygiene issue."
Scott, along with business partners Jan Zalewski and Dr. Peter A. Brymer, started Direct Dentistry 13 years ago. Typically, a team that includes one dentist, a chair-side assistant and a manager head to each facility twice a year and set up a temporary clinic. They will do a complete cleaning and checkup, screen for oral cancer and provide denture care and repair. Emergency and bedside service is also available. All these services follow the Ontario Dental Association fee guide, and patients with extended health-care insurance can have their Direct Dentistry costs covered.
Scott says patients are grateful to be able to receive such an essential service, and her team takes pride in being able to provide it. "Giving a person a clean mouth makes them feel so much better. You see them visibly brighten. It's great."