There’s a new dentist in town and she thinks that Slave Lake is the perfect place to open a dental practice.
“In small towns, you can actually practice dentistry,” says Dr. Sahjpreet ‘Preet’ Kaur, owner of 6th Ave. Dental in Slave Lake. “I enjoy dentistry, so I want to give myself the time. I don’t want to work like a robot.”
Dr. Kaur wanted to be a dentist since she was very little.
“My first toy was a dental chair and dental equipment,” she says. This was for a Barbie, and it was a present from her aunt – a dental hygienist in the U.S.
Dr. Kaur, pronounce ‘car,’ grew up in a small village in the state of Punjab in India. After becoming a dentist in India, she moved to Toronto with her mom, dad, and brother.
“That was my dad’s decision,” she says.
Dr. Kaur still loves India, but struggles with the corruption in the country.
Dr. Kaur’s degree didn’t transfer directly, so she qualified as a dental hygienist and challenged the four exams to become licensed in Canada. This took her three years, while working as a hygienist.
After working for nine years in Toronto, Dr. Kaur was ready for a change.
“I had enough of the city life,” she says.
In 2019 for two months, she travelled across western Canada seeing the sights and interviewing for jobs. On her way from Jasper, she checked out a job in Hinton. She got the job.
However, Hinton didn’t have everything she wanted, so she travelled around Alberta.
Dr. Kaur opened 6th Ave. Dental on July 29, 2021, but had been looking at Slave Lake for about a year and a half.
Slave Lake is not too big, not too small, she says. It is only two-and-a-half hours from Edmonton. It has nature, the beach, a diverse population, and lots of businesses.
Asked why she named her practice 6th Ave. Dental, Dr. Kaur says, “It sounds a little bit catchy. I wanted to pick something neutral.”
The building address is 6th Ave. even though the 7-Eleven is between the strip mall and the road. It is just across the parking lot from No Frills.
The other two dental practices in Slave Lake have multiple dentists, but Dr. Kaur wants to keep it “a small family oriented office.”
At the moment, she’s doing both dentistry and dental hygiene. The other staff are a dental assistant and receptionist, both also moved from Hinton.