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Dentistry students practicing at their work stations
Photo by Noreen Ahmed Ullah

How U of T Dentistry Is Helping Patients in Need

Sadia Sharif was a single mom who couldn’t afford a root canal. Then she learned about the Access to Care Fund

A lingering toothache brought Sadia Sharif to the Faculty of Dentistry’s clinic in 2016. There, a student dentist told the single mother of three that she needed a root canal – and that she had several cavities that needed filling.

U of T charges about half the market rate, so Sharif, 33, paid for immediate work to relieve her pain. But she couldn’t afford the root canal.

The student suggested Access to Care, a donor-supported fund at the faculty that covers treatment for 50 to 80 patients a year. It will soon help more people thanks to $500,000 from George Christodoulou (DDS 1985, MBA 2007) and $250,000 from Lynn Tomkins and Dan Kmiecik (both DDS 1981). “We help patients who are most in need to get dentistry that will significantly improve their quality of life and help them get back into the workforce,” says James Posluns, director of patient clinics. 

Sharif eventually got her root canal – and a new crown. “I still cannot forget that student,” says Sharif. “I pray that she has a bright future.”

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