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Patients trade their time for free dental work at University of Alberta

Dentists at an IV Conscious Sedation program event at the University of Alberta School of Dentistry on Feb. 24, 2024. (Galan McDougall/CTV News Edmonton Dentists at an IV Conscious Sedation program event at the University of Alberta School of Dentistry on Feb. 24, 2024. (Galan McDougall/CTV News Edmonton
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Edmontonians got the chance to get some free dental work done Saturday.

The University of Alberta School of Dentistry held its IV Conscious Sedation program, offering free services for patients willing to help dentists practice the procedure.

The program accepts around 100 patients a year, and is geared toward people who may require sedation in the dentist's chair, like those with dental anxiety.

"This is a pretty special program for us," said James Yacyshyn, director of Continuing Dental Education. "One of the things that makes it very special is that we're able to provide a lot of charitable care."

The six dentists at the clinic Saturday performed services like extractions, cleanings and fillings – all with patients resting comfortably.

"You have a nice little nap and you wake up and go," said Tony Robbins, who was there with his wife Laura Robbins.

Laura's dentist was a former instructor at the school, and the couple have attended multiple times.

"It's amazing," Laura said. "And it helps out a lot."

"They're awesome. Every time I come in it's a different dentist," Tony added. "I have not had a bad dentist yet, they've all been great."

Yacyshyn said the program not only helps patients get the care they need, it also helps dentists build specialized skills to take back to their practices and communities.

"Times are tough, and when you have the opportunity to make a program that's a win, win, win, that's obviously a great thing," he added.

The sedation clinics run in December, February and May each year. Anyone interested in participating can click here for more information

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