A local dental clinic in Niagara-on-the-Lake will be offering a Gift from the Heart, providing one full day of free dental care to those in need.
Dr. Daniela Matijevic, owner of Dental Care Niagara, is donating a day at her clinic, under the auspices of a national non-profit charity which provides vulnerable Canadians who encounter financial barriers to essential dental care.
Matijevic says even pre-pandemic, she was aware of local residents who were not looking after their dental care due to financial struggles, especially seniors on fixed incomes. However, she says, the situation seems to have worsened during the pandemic.
Matijevic says it is her way to give back to the community, and help those in need — the under-serviced, the neglected and those without dental insurance or on a fixed income.
“I think the pandemic has made us reflect on our lives in general,” she says, “and all of us have experienced some difficulties, even me. I worry about those who have fallen through the cracks. I feel for these people, and I want to help. Dentistry is expensive, and is out-of-reach for some people, now more than ever. If we all intervene, just a little bit, everyone could have access to basic dental care. Everyone has a right to that.”
Her services and that of her dental clinic staff will be donated, and there are other dentists and hygienists from Toronto and other areas coming for the day, Nov. 6, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to offer their help as well.
Services offered will include free teeth cleaning, tooth extraction, or fillings — the basics, she says.
The Gift from the Heart organization helps organize the day, and appointments must be made by emailing
If it turns out to be a successful day, Matijevic says, she would like to make it an annual event.