Quiet and calm most days, as you’d expect, the waiting area at the Nanoose Family Dentistry explodes with laughter, chatter and lively antics on its annual ‘Kid’s Day’. This year the event will happen on Wednesday, April 18. Dr. Justin Holder and his staff of hygienists, dental assistants and receptionist play host to 40-50 children and their parents, mostly from Nanoose with some a bit further away.
“It’s a very busy day, there are kids everywhere in here, but we enjoy it”, says Dr. Holder who started his business in a renovated doctor’s office near Red Gap about nine years ago. Since the beginning, he has opened his office, free of charge, to children whose families could not otherwise afford to bring their kids in each year for a check-up and cleaning.
“There are families who are without dental insurance for one reason or another and they have several kids, so dental care becomes a big burden they can’t afford. They put off bringing their kids in for check-ups because they’re afraid it might lead to something major and unaffordable. Usually, it’s nothing serious and the parents are relieved”, he explains.
As a follow-up to the exams, he will perform simple procedures like a minor filling, if necessary, or if the treatment required is more complex he will refer the family to a specialist. He finds most people can afford the fees for minor dental work, but if not, he’s willing to “work something out”. Usually, though, the cleaning and polishing are all that’s required for the younger children. If follow-up is required, he will work with parents to come up with a plan they can afford.
“The same families usually return each year”, he says, “and newcomers show up as word of Kid’s Day spreads through word-of-mouth”.
In addition, Dr. Holder and his staff occasionally see people referred to them by the Nanoose Community Services (NCS). They may have lost their insurance or, if they are on disability, their coverage may be inadequate. He says sometimes people develop a problem because they have not had regular check-ups. He emphasises the importance of the annual check-up to the overall health of his patients, young and old. If there is a problem, he can flag it and patients can take the necessary steps to follow up with their doctor or another specialist as required.
“For me, Kid’s Day is a predictable and important way to help out the community”, says Dr. Holder. “It’s worth the effort to get the kids on the right track and to offer peace-of-mind to their parents”.
To book your child(ren) call Nerida at 250.468.18301.
Left to Right: Dr. Justin Holder (DDS), Sammi Schmidt (CDA) and Nerida Chandra (Receptionist)