Two Sikh dentists open non-profit dental clinic in Canada

The clinic - the brainchild of Dr. Harpreet Dhillon and Dr. Belrup Patrola - will help ‘under-served and socially disadvantaged families’ as well as donate profits to charity

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Dr. Belrup Patrola (left) and Dr. Harpreet Dhillon have founded Strive Dental Clinic in Newton, at the corner of 128th Street and 88th Avenue, in an effort to help people who have a hard time paying for their dentistry – Photo: Amy Reid / Surrey Now Leader
By Amy Reid | CANADA |

A non-profit dental clinic that provides discounts on dental care to those in need has opened in Newton, and it’s said to be the first of its kind in Surrey.

Located at the corner of 88th Avenue and 128th Street, the clinic’s mission is to “provide affordable and accessible dental care to under-served and socially disadvantaged families.”

It’s been eight years in the making and is the brainchild of Dr. Harpreet Dhillon and Dr. Belrup Patrola, who say it’s their way of giving back.

While the dentists say there are other models that provide discounted or free dental care in the region, they say the others are mostly student-driven and dentist-supervised.

Strive Dental, on the other hand, is run exclusively by professional dentists.

“We know that there’s a tremendous need for dentistry, generally speaking,” said Dhillon. “It’s not covered by general provincial health care, you either have funding from work-related insurance or you have to buy private insurance and most people can’t afford it. So if they’re not with a good job, they’re either paying out of pocket or looking for subsidized care, or not going at all.”

The clinic will offer a 20 per cent discount to those who can’t afford dental treatment.

“There’s a large immigrant population here so with that a lot of them don’t have coverage,” said Patrola. “We ask them verbally, and we take them for their word.”

Patrola himself was unable to pay for dental care while he was in university. He was looking at a large bill for a root canal and crown, or, for much less money, have the tooth pulled. He chose the latter due to his financial limitations at the time.

“That kind of made me realize how many other people must have to make the same decision. It was tough on me. When I got into dentistry, I was talking to Dr. Dhillon and said once we’ve established ourselves, we have to find a way to give back.”

Read the full story, ‘Non-profit dental clinic opens in North Surrey’ (Surrey Now Leader, 4 March 2019), here.

 

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