Toronto Rehab Dental Clinic
Dr. Robert Schlosser (R) and dental assistant Jason McIntosh perform an oral check-up on patient Lewis Boles. (Photo: UHN)

The fun and uplifting classics that play at the clinic may partly have to do with the fact that not many people look forward to visiting their dentist.

For Dr. Robert Schlosser, one of five dentists on the 12-member team at the dental clinic at Toronto Rehab's University Centre, it's a part of the tone he sets. His approach to the patient experience is not just their oral health, it involves their overall well-being.

"We play music like this to make the atmosphere livelier for when our patients come in," he says.

Lewis Bowles, a patient of Toronto Rehab and the dental clinic for more than 25 years, can attest to this.

"They're highly qualified and friendly professionals that have a way of setting you at ease," he says.

"All of my procedures are done in my wheelchair; they understand and work well with patients' needs."

Role of dentistry in rehab

The connection between dentistry and rehabilitation may not be immediately obvious. But Dr. Schlosser says oral health plays an essential role in a person's health and well-being.

And, the Toronto Rehab dentistry team recognizes that there's a lot more to a great smile than face value.

"We enable our patients to eat properly, stay well-nourished, and restore their smiles," he says Dr. Schlosser. This enhances and supports their overall rehab experience.

"There's a lot of joy that comes with food that many of us take for granted," he says. "Enabling patients to have the opportunity to enjoy those smaller pleasures again adds to their overall quality of life."

Making dentistry more accessible

The Toronto Rehab clinic is open to patients across UHN, referrals from other hospitals and nursing homes, as well as medically compromised patients in the community.

As a result of their specialization in medical conditions related to rehabilitation, a majority of the patients are from Toronto Rehab at all stages of their treatment. Many of them haven't seen a dentist in years due to their medical history.

Dr. Robert Schlosser and his team
The staff of the Toronto Rehab Dental Clinic are beloved amongst patients for their friendly and welcoming nature. Members of the clinic include (L to R) dental assistant Kim Lacombe, dental hygienist Jason McIntosh and Dr. Robert Schlosser. (Photo: UHN)

Self-esteem is an important factor in rehabilitation. Restoring a patient's smile makes them feel a little closer to the person they were before they were confronted with an illness or injury.

Not only is the clinic's role unique to Toronto Rehab but the approach to dental care is also unique to dentistry.

"We can treat patients in their wheelchairs and stretchers," says Dr. Schlosser.

Promoting teamwork

The open-concept layout of the clinic allows all staff to play a role in patient care.

"Staff dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and receptionists prioritize the comfort and safety of the patients," says Dr. Schlosser. "Providing an oral cavity free of infection and pain while ensuring the comfort of our patients is our priority."

The team works directly with various medical teams across UHN and within the community to create a care plan that is effective and safe for each and every patient who comes through their doors.

The clinic prioritizes educating health practitioners on the importance of oral health. Throughout the year, a number of dental residents from local institutions come in to get the hands-on experience and practice of dentistry.

In addition to their efforts in educating students, the clinicians also educate caregivers about oral hygiene specific to their patient.

Dr. Schlosser credits the success of the clinic to the support it receives from the physicians and staff across Toronto Rehab. The significance of oral health in rehabilitation is widely recognized by everyone on the team.

"Seeing outpatients and the family members of patients come back for visits with smiles well after their stay at Toronto Rehab is always the most rewarding," says Dr. Schlosser.

"Not many look forward to seeing their dentist. So knowing that our patients do, we're motivated to continue doing what we do."

For more information please contact: 416 597 3422 ext. 3048

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