Dental Clinic renovations enhance safe patient care

By Communications

The Dental Clinic at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry will soon be receiving a new look.

When the pandemic struck, quick changes were required at the clinic. The traditional open operatory model had to be enclosed to provide treatment rooms where aerosols generated during treatment could be contained. Through the hard work of staff and faculty, the School quickly retrofitted existing operatories and offices to provide temporary space to continue student training.

Now further renovations, including floor to ceiling glass walls, sliding glass doors, and state-of-the-art ventilation, will create 35 permanently enclosed treatment rooms in the main clinic. And by reducing some areas with three operatories to two, patients requiring wheelchair accessibility can now receive treatment more comfortably. These renovations will enable Schulich Dentistry to further comply with ongoing regulatory changes and, in most cases, achieve a clinical environment that goes beyond regulatory requirements.

“The pandemic created many challenges and regulatory changes with delivering oral healthcare, one of which was our existing patient clinical space that limited certain procedures from being done,” said Sylvie Danielle Richer, Manager of Clinic Operations at Schulich Dentistry. “This renovation will increase our enclosed treatment rooms allowing us to adapt quickly should new variants of concern or future pandemics emerge. This will also support the clinical experience for our students and allow us to continue serving our community’s needs.”

Renovations at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Dr. Carlos Quiñonez, Vice Dean and Director of Schulich Dentistry, and Sylvie Danielle Richer, Manager of Clinic Operations, stand in front of renovations underway at the School’s Dental Clinic.

Dr. Carlos Quiñonez, Vice Dean and Director of Schulich Dentistry, said the renovations demonstrate the School’s ability to adapt to change while enhancing the delivery of care. He also commented, “Such an investment further demonstrates Western’s strong commitment to its dental school.”

At the Clinic, dental students gain experience in all facets of clinical care. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, the Clinic saw approximately 25,000 appointments.