Alpha Omega establishes new geriatric dental centre with a $500,000 donation to Baycrest

Alpha Omega, dentist, dental care, seniors, senior, oral health

TORONTO, CANADA – The Toronto Chapter of Alpha Omega announced today a $500,000 donation to the Baycrest Foundation to establish the Alpha Omega Dental Centre for Geriatric Care at Baycrest Health Sciences. According to the Ontario Dental Association, adults over the age of 65 are the fastest growing potential patient group in Ontario, many of whom are physically and medically unable to access dental care in private practice settings.

Gary Elman, Garry Foster, Steven Millman

Gary Elman, immediate past president of Alpha Omega (left), and Steven Millman, president of Alpha Omega (right), present a cheque to Garry Foster, president & CEO of the Baycrest Foundation, for the new Dental Centre at Baycrest.

“This new Dental Centre will be tailored to the unique needs of adults over the age of 65. We’ve done a tremendous amount of research to determine the best way to build a geriatric dental centre that will meet the needs of patients today and well into the future,” says Dr. Steven Millman, president of the Alpha Omega Toronto Chapter. “Giving back to the community is at the heart of everything we do at Alpha Omega. Supporting Baycrest is a natural fit for our organization.”

Scheduled to open in the winter of 2017, the Alpha Omega Dental Centre at Baycrest will fill a void in comprehensive dental services for seniors, helping to address the needs of older adults with cognitive or physical impairments and complex medications.

“Good dental hygiene is important at all ages, but as we age, the impact of losing a tooth or fighting an infection can harm other parts of the body,” says Dr. Millman. “If patients, for example, cannot chew their food, this can lead to malnutrition and a loss of independence. Studies have shown that good oral hygiene habits can help prevent more serious health problems, such as heart disease, pneumonia, and complications related to diabetes.”

The new Dental Centre will include four large private operatories, two wheelchair lifts, lab and sterilization facilities, a comprehensive imaging suite and a private patient and family consultation space. The new space and equipment will allow the Alpha Omega Dental Centre to treat close to 1,500 patients each year and will draw patients from Baycrest and accept referrals from long-term care homes, assisted living residences, hospitals and local dentists.

“With the help of our donors, Baycrest is constantly growing and advancing our facilities to help older adults receive care and age in the setting of their choice and to maintain their cognitive, emotional and physical well-being and independence for as long as possible,” says Garry Foster, president and CEO of the Baycrest Foundation. “We are grateful to the Alpha Omega Fraternity for their generous donation which will enable the creation of this new Dental Centre and provide an underserved population with greater convenience, comfort and care. Our goal is to make this facility North America’s premier geriatric dental clinic.”

Henry Schein Canada, a worldwide distributor of medical, dental and veterinary supplies, shared expert insight and research to help draft the blueprint of the Dental Centre. Construction is now underway on the Alpha Omega Dental Centre for Geriatric Care at Baycrest. Donations are still needed to purchase specialized equipment for geriatric patients. To support the clinic, make a donation online at www.baycrest.org/give or call 416-785-2875.

About Baycrest Health Sciences
Baycrest Health Sciences is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. As an academic health sciences centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides an exemplary care experience for aging clients combined with an extensive clinical training program for students and the Rotman Research Institute, one of the world’s leaders in cognitive neuroscience. Through its commercial and consulting arms, Baycrest is marketing its sought-after expertise and innovation to other healthcare organizations and long-term care homes, both in Canada and internationally.

About Alpha Omega
Alpha Omega is the oldest international dental organization and was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1907 by a group of dental students originally to fight discrimination in dental schools. Now with headquarters in Rockville, MD, it is primarily an educational and philanthropic organization. In Toronto, home to the largest Alpha Omega chapter in the world, the undergraduate chapter and alumni chapters were founded in 1921 and 1924, respectfully. There are chapters and members in cities and dental schools in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia/New Zealand. Alpha Omega represents about 6,000 active dentists and dental students worldwide.

For media inquiries:
Jonathan MacIndoe
Baycrest Health Sciences
416-785-2500 ext. 6579
jmacindoe@baycrest.org