New dentist to start practising in RR in March
By Ken Johnston
Rainy River and surrounding residents will soon have something to smile about! A dentist will soon be practising in Rainy River.
After several years of no dentist in the area, Mike Christensen of Kenora, will begin offering dental services in the community later in March.
A dentist for just over 20 years now, Christensen is no stranger to the Rainy River area. He is married to Cindy Gates of Bergland (Bill Gates daughter). He and Cindy also have a cabin in the Bergland area that he has been returning to every fall to hunt.
Christensen and Gates met while both attending Brigham Young University in Utah. They settled in Kenora after school where he has been practising dentistry ever since. “A few years ago Bill’s brothers told me they needed a dentist in Rainy River so I began exploring it,” said Mike.
A few years ago he was ready to come and set up a satellite practise but it didn’t work out. Then a couple of years ago Town Clerk Veldron Vogan contacted Mike and asked if he would still be interested. “We have been working on it ever since and now we are really close to getting things going!” said Mike.
It was hoped that all the ducks would be in a row for this coming Thursday and Friday, but there have been delays in getting equipment repaired or replaced. So now he is looking at March 21st and 22nd to have the first full days of dentistry here.
Mike said that he will be bringing an assistant with him and that people wanting to book an appointment can call 852-4678. It will forward the calls, at no charge to locals, to Kenora, when they are not in Rainy River. “Please tell them you would like to book an appointment in Rainy River,” said Mike.
They will be offering a full line of services, including exams, fillings, crowns, partial dentures, root canals and kids dentistry. They will do referrals for services they do not do.
He is also very excited to be offering dental technology never used before in Rainy River. “We are bringing down an intra-oral camera so that patients can see what we see!”
They will also be employing digital radiology equipment. “We can find problems much earlier and smaller ones. Plus it uses 1/10th of the radiation and the records are permanent. Film technology deteriorates over time.”
Electric drills will also be used as they are more powerful and do not vibrate as much. A Valo Curing light will also be used to cure fillings. “It is much faster. We can cure a layer in 3 seconds, versus 40 seconds,” said Mike.
As for insurance they will be accepting dental insurance, but patients will have to put it on a debit or credit card. However, “We submit all claims electronically and they usually refund the payout within 48 hours.”
If it gets busier they will add more days of practise in Rainy River.
“I think it is neat to get to come down there and practise. I have never done a satellite practise and am very excited to work in the area where I have been visiting for over 30 years.”