Special to the Review
Revelstoke residents can now have major dental surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital, thanks to community fundraising efforts.
These services have not been available locally for over two decades. This mean that residents requiring dental surgeries will no longer have to make the trip to larger centres, which can end up taking an entire day or two.
According to Steven Hui, chair of the Revelstoke District Health Foundation, fundraising began as a result of the Easy Rock Have a Heart Fundraiser in 2018. This fundraising campaign raised over $30,000 for the equipment and the foundation donated an additional $15,000.
In the end, the hospital was able to purchase over $50,000 worth of new dental surgery equipment.
There were some noteworthy donors who deserve some extra appreciation, Hui said. The largest donation of $16,000 was came from the Revelstoke Masonic Holding Society, with the Hospital Auxiliary donating $5,000 as well. The remainder of the funds were donated by community members.
The equipment was purchased at the end of 2018 and includes three extractors, two restoration sets, and a complete dental cart including drills, suctions and other tools.
This will enable local and traveling dentists to perform dental surgeries in Revelstoke that would have otherwise been performed in larger centres.
Hui believes that there are many benefits to this, for one thing, he said it will save on overall travel time and cost when either a local dentist or a single traveling dentist is able to perform a surgeries in Revelstoke. Patients used to have to spend a considerable amount of time and money in order to get the treatment and care that they required.
Not to mention, Hui said, the danger associated with having many people travel for surgeries in winter weather driving conditions. Having local access eases a lot of that burden and may remove some barriers to care for patients. Hui also mentioned that having local surgeries will ease the patient load for dentists and surgeons in major centres and may free up some surgery times in those places as well.
At this time there is one local dentist, Dr. Schadinger, also known as Dr. Steve, who has hospital privileges to perform dental surgeries at the hosptial.
Schadinger, who works at Selkirk Dental, expressed his enthusiasm about being able to offer this service to the residents of Revelstoke. He has already done two days of surgeries in the past two months and has more lined up. He feels this is an important service for the community and noted that it is often paediatric patients who benefit the most from it. With the resources now available at the hospital, Schadinger is able to treat paediatric patients with complex needs in one visit which makes the process much less stressful for them.
There are two other dentists who have hospital privileges, one is a dentist from Golden, Dr. Shane Van Biezen and the other is an oral maxillofacial surgeon from Kamloops, Dr. Peter Stefanuto. Stefanuto will be available for local Revelstoke residents who may need more complicated oral surgeries than a general practitioner dentist would provide.