Dental visits set to resume in six NWT communities

Ollie meets dental hygienist Sasha
Cabin Radio's Ollie Williams with dental hygienist Sasha Zeiler in April 2019. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Dental services are resuming in six NWT communities, the territorial government announced on Wednesday.

Health facilities in Fort Providence, Sambaa K’e, Fort Simpson, Norman Wells, Fort Resolution, and Aklavik have been cleared to once again host visits from private dentists.

On Wednesday, the GNWT said facilities in the six communities had met standards and been approved by the chief public health officer.

Private dentistry clinics in Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith and Inuvik had all kept services open throughout most of the pandemic, but all non-urgent dental travel to smaller communities was suspended by the federal government in March.



“The remaining NWT communities that previously received visiting dental services will be able to resume operations when facility upgrades are complete, contracts are in place, and facilities are inspected and meet Covid-19 safety protocols,” read a statement from the territorial government.

“The necessary assessments and required work are expected to continue throughout 2021-2022. Further updates will be provided as health facilities in additional communities are confirmed to be able to accommodate visiting dentists.”

In communities where dental services remain unavailable, the federal ageny Indigenous Services Canada will support travel for Non-Insured Health Benefit clients to receive services elsewhere.