By now you’ve probably noticed a sign in downtown Slave Lake that reads ‘Jack Pine,’ and something else harder to make out as you zoom by in your car. ‘Dental Hygiene’ is the rest of it, plus a tooth-shaped image and a phone number.
We’ve got a good view of it from across the street at The Leader, so we popped over last week for a visit. Jacqueline – ‘Jacky’ – Krokis is the proprietor of Slave Lake’s first independent dental hygiene service. She is just open and is taking appointments for next month.
“Reception has been very good so far,” she says. “Everybody I talk to has been very supportive.”
Dental hygiene clinics (as separate from dentistry practices) are a fairly recent thing in Alberta. Krokis says, dating back to 2006. There are around 100 such independents in Alberta now, with hers being one of the newest.
Dental hygiene is of course the cleaning of teeth, but the practice covers more than that. Krokis mentions ‘complete oral assessment including head and neck, review of medical history, assessment for cavities and periodontal disease, and x-rays.’ Administration of anesthetic and nitrous oxide are coming as well, pending approval from the College of Dental Hygienists.
So how did Krokis come to set up in Slave Lake?
“We moved here two and a half years ago,” she says. “To be closer to family.”
Krokis grew up in Fort McMurray and her family is mostly around Edmonton. She qualified as a dental assistant in 1996 and worked for a decade in that field. She returned to school in 2006, studying dental hygiene at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, B.C. After working in B.C. for a time, she and her husband (he’s a tradesman and can work anywhere) chose Slave Lake.
As for the decision to go into business for herself, Krokis says, “I always kind of wanted to do it. It’s very nerve-wracking, but I thought, ‘It’s now or never.’ I feel very confident in my skills. I like the challenge and freedom that comes along with it.”
Jack Pine Dental Hygiene is located at 102 – 108 3rd Ave. NE in downtown Slave Lake. The office can be reached at 780-516-5555.
Dental hygienest Jacqueline Krokis of Jack Pine Dental Hygiene – all set up and ready to make appointments.