Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Finding an Accessible Dentist Requires Persistence and Many Questions

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 4:51 pm on Friday, November 25, 2011

A quick update on my dental dilemma…finding a suitable dentist involves dealing with three accessibility requirements:

  1. Physical access: Can I get to the dentist office, preferably without spending half a day on public transit? Can I get to the dentist chair? Needing to park my scooter and walk 8 feet to the chair does not count as accessible (for me); for others, it might pass.
  2. Staff attitudes: A dentist and staff who communicates directly with me and can work around my jerky cerebral palsy are essential.
  3. Directly bill the Ministry: Surprisingly (or not) many dental practices do not directly bill the Ministry, which is an obstacle for those of us on social assistance. The mere thought of attempting to be reimbursed after paying myself sends me shivers up my spine. (I’d love to hear from others who have succeeded and how they did it.)

A big thank you to my persistent virtual assistant Lori-ann for making umpteen phone calls. I now have an appointment at the Riverside Heights Dental Group – which appears to meet all three requirements – next Wednesday at 11:15am.

Fingers crossed!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Comment by Barbara

November 25, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

Whew! *fingerswipesbrow*

Comment by Ute-s

November 26, 2011 @ 3:34 am

The internet has databases for everything. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to start one for accessible doctors, dentists, etc.? Just list them with name and postcode and have checkmarks or symbols to indicate whether their office is accessible for wheechairs, etc.
Who knows what gems might be found that way. Apart from accessibility without stairs, there might be nurses speaking sign language, not because of her job but because of someone in her family – you never would find out. Etc. etc.
But I don’t know whether such a database would be considered as “advertising” which might be legally forbidden in some countries.

Comment by Chris

November 30, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

Great point on the database. This is something the ABSCD has GOT to be working on developing if not refining and updating an already existing platform.

The dentists are there, the technology is available, and the patients are here…we just need to connect it all!

Looking forward to the follow up post after the appt Glenda!

Comment by Tim Wilson

February 7, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

You make such good points. All of those things certainly need to be considered when choosing a dentist. I think 2 out of 3 on the list can still win, as long as the two are really strong reasons.

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