The McGill Outreach Program is the only dental outreach program in Quebec that uses mobile equipment to go directly into community centers and offer free quality dental care. The basic treatments available include oral examination and preventive care, diagnosis and cancer checks, radiographic examination, cleanings, adjustments to prostheses, simple fillings and extraction, and education on the prevention of oral disease. The Outreach Program is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteer dentists, students and auxiliary support personnel.
Eighteen clinics are run each year, including twelve “mobile clinics” which utilize van equipped with portable dental equipment. Locations are reviewed annually, with primary consideration given to maximizing the ability of needy populations to access the clinics safely and comfortably. Six other clinics are regularly held at the McGill University Undergraduate Student Dental Clinic at the Montreal General Hospital. There, clinicians can provide a greater range of services, including radiographs and complicated extractions. Patients are referred by health care workers and community agency leaders who are most able to identify those in greatest need who would not otherwise seek care.
The Outreach Program relies primarily on private support from alumni and friends to purchase much-needed supplies and equipment. Support is also provided by dental supply companies, and a truck was recently donated to transport the portable dental units. Dental students also play an active role in organizing a number of fundraising events each year, with proceeds directed towards the Program.