Going to the dentist these days is a positive experience for Gerry Juzenas.
For the British Columbia self-advocate, the fact he found a dental office in Burnaby where staff treat him with dignity has made all of the difference in the world for Gerry and his oral health.
“I used to be afraid to go to the dentist,” Gerry says.
“Now I’m glad I went to the dentist. They treat me with respect now.”
Gerry recently shared his thoughts and experiences about his dental health care during a Burnaby Association for Inclusion (BACI) self-advocate meeting. The self-advocates invited Dr. Amin Salsami from the UBC School of Dentistry to attend.
Amin is researching the real-life experiences of people who have a developmental disability and their families with the dental health system.
Amin says he was delighted with the outcome of the Jan. 28 meeting.
“It was much better than I could have hoped for,” Amin says.
“People were very communicative and shared their experiences — some negative, some positive.”
Amin is in the data collection phase of his research project and is meeting with different B.C. service organizations and self-advocates in the coming months.
“BACI has been a part of this research project from day one,” says Tanya Sather, BACI co-executive director.
BACI is involved because of its interest in supporting the examination and research into the lack of dental care for people who have a disability and its impact on all aspects of their health and well-being. BACI hopes there will be social policy changes and increased access to dental care as a result of Amin’s work.
Those interested in sharing their stories and suggestions for improving dental health care in B.C. can do so by attending an upcoming meeting.
Read more about the research project in this story.
If you have feedback on this article, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.ca or call Axiom News at 705-741-4421.