Services
Services Summary

At PoCo Dental, we consider dentistry to be both an art and a science. Whether you are looking for cosmetic dental work, or top-notch dental health care, you will receive the highest quality and excellent care at our office.

 

We pride ourselves in providing a friendly and comfortable environment. You will always be fully informed about your dental health, and involved in your treatment decisions. The care you receive is the best care for your specific needs.

 

Our office is equipped with modern and advanced technology. We have digital x-ray equipment that uses 90% less radiation than film-based equipment, intra-oral cameras that show you the same views as seen by our staff, and lasers that allow us to do very-conservative dentistry and allow for a reduced need for anaesthesia.

 

We offer evening and weekend appointments for busy people. To learn more about our services, select from the list below:

To learn more about the many services we provide, please click a link below.

PREVENTION RESTORATIVE AESTHETICS OTHER

Dental Hygiene
Digital Dental X-Rays
Digital Dental Imaging
Hypersensitivity Treatment
Checkups for Children
Night Guards for Bruxism
Sports Guards
Oral Cancer Screening
Sealants
Laser Caries Detection

Laser Dentistry
Tooth-Coloured Restorations
Endodontics
Crowns and Onlays
Bridges
Dental Implants

Veneers/Lumineers
Invisalign Invisible Braces
Teeth Whitening
Cosmetic Dentistry
Tooth-Coloured Restorations


Laser Dentistry
Patient Comfort
Dental Plans
Dental Phobias
Evening / Weekend Appts



Dental Hygiene

Bacteria in your mouth form a sticky film (plaque) on teeth and gums. If not removed, this film hardens into a crust (tartar, also called calculus). A buildup of plaque and tartar can cause an infection called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to gum damage, bone loss, and even tooth loss. Scaling and root planing are special types of cleaning done by a dental professional (general dentist, dental hygienist, or periodontist). This cleaning removes plaque and tartar from areas not cleaned by home hygiene, and helps restore the health of your teeth and gums.

 

Periodontal disease affects the gums, bone, and surrounding structures of the teeth. The 2001 Guinness Book of World Records lists periodontal disease as the #1 disease affecting mankind.

 

The existence of bone destruction under the gums cannot be visually detected, so it is important to keep your scheduled appointments with us. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Research indicates that periodontal diseases may contribute to diabetes, respiratory diseases, heart attack, stroke, or be associated with premature childbirth.

 

Periodontal disease may not be painful in early stages, but by the time the disease is causing pain, significant damage has already been done. Regular hygiene visits are of paramount importance in the prevention of periodontal disease.

 

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Laser Dentistry

PoCo Dental uses modern equipment and techniques, and has three types of lasers available:

 

  1. The hard-tissue laser is used to remove material and to perform a few other procedures. The laser can produce an anaesthetic effect, reducing the need for traditional anaesthesia. Laser dentistry is more conservative than mechanical drilling, preserving more of the existing tooth structure, and is the preferred tool for treating small cavities.
  2. The soft-tissue laser is used on soft tissues, bringing with it the same reduced need for traditional anaesthesia. The laser also cauterises as it works, reducing bleeding, swelling, and chance for infection, and promoting faster healing.
  3. The caries-detection laser checks the surface at the bottom of deep fissures in the enamel, where traditional exams can't reach. Laser caries detection can also detect cavities before they are visible to the eye. Treating cavities before they become large preserves healthy tooth structure.

 

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Tooth-Coloured Restorations If your teeth need restoration, we can choose from a variety of materials, including composite resin, porcelain, and porcelain fused to metal. These restoration materials are custom colour-matched to your existing teeth. All of these restorations are extremely strong and durable, and bonded securely to your teeth, and very little of your natural, healthy tooth structure is removed.

Each tooth and restoration is unique, and we will recommend what is best for your specific situation, keeping in mind function, aesthetics, and durability.

 

Gold restorations are also available at PoCo Dental. Gold is an extremely durable and conservative material, and when aesthetics are not a concern, is an excellent option to consider.

 

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Digital Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

Accurate images of teeth are essential for the detection of tooth decay, gum disease, infection, and many other dental diseases. Most of these problems are difficult or even impossible to detect without an x-ray.

 

At PoCo Dental Group, all x-rays, including panoramic, are performed using digital sensors, using about 90% less radiation than necessary with older techniques. Also, the resulting image is instantly available for viewing and diagnosis on a monitor right in the treatment room, allowing us to show you what we see and explain what it means, and the images can be easily sent to specialists or insurance companies as needed.

 

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Digital Dental Imaging

An intraoral camera, about the size of a pen, is used show you broken fillings, gum problems, or small cracks, even in back teeth. With the intraoral camera, we can zoom in on one tooth magnified to tens of times its size, or we can give you a "tour" of the inside of your mouth. You'll see precisely what we see, so you'll better understand your treatment problems and options.

 

The intraoral camera can reveal a problem while it's relatively simple to treat. The full-colour images produced help give us the information we need to make informed decisions regarding your dental health.

 

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Endodontics -- Treatment of Teeth with Damaged Nerves

In the past, the only way to treat teeth with disease was to pull them. Endodontics (root-canal therapy) is about saving teeth, rather than removing them. Thanks to modern dental techniques, we are able to save infected teeth more than 90% of the time.

 

Root-canal therapy treats disorders in the nerve (pulp) of the tooth. We can save a tooth whose pulp, which contains its nerves and blood supply, is diseased or damaged. Pulp disease usually means that the tooth will be lost unless something is done to save it. Root-canal therapy involves replacing the diseased pulp with a substance that will keep the tooth functional, saving the tooth from being extracted.

 

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Crowns and Onlays

Each of your teeth depends on the others to help you eat and speak. When one or more are damaged, the health of the others can be threatened. It may become difficult for you to chew, or the appearance of your smile may change. If you are having problems with one or more of your teeth, we can insert a crown to restore normal function.

 

A crown, sometimes referred to as a "cap," is an artificial covering cemented over an existing tooth that we specially prepare. We may recommend a crown if your tooth is fractured, has a large, old filling, or is severely damaged by decay. Crowns restore a tooth to its original shape, strengthen the tooth, and improve your overall appearance. Crowning is a long-term restorative procedure that can usually be completed in two appointments. Crowns are designed to look and feel like your natural teeth.

 

An onlay is similar to a crown, differing mainly in shape. Onlays are used when the tooth needs more strength, but does not need a full crown.

 

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Bridges

A bridge is a custom-made device anchored to neighbouring natural teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with bridgework, the teeth on either side of the missing one are prepared as crowns to hold the bridge in place. Bridges, sometimes referred to as a fixed partial denture, look natural and literally bridge the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Fixed bridges appear and function similar to natural teeth and remain in the mouth at all times.

 

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Veneers / Lumineers

Veneers are a thin, translucent coating made out of porcelain or resin (plastic). Veneers are applied to the front teeth to improve the colour, size, or shape of the teeth. We can apply veneers to help correct discoloured teeth, worn or chipped teeth, gaps and other spaces between teeth, and crooked teeth.

 

Many people are candidates for veneers that require very little tooth structure to be removed (Lumineers). Make an appointment for a consultation, to get started on your very own PoCo Dental smile makeover!

 

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Invisalign Orthodontic Treatment (Invisible Braces)

Orthodontic treatment (the straightening of teeth) can enhance your dental and overall health, as well as your appearance. The benefits of orthodontic care include correction of bad dental habits, improved self esteem, improved speech, and positive jaw growth. Untreated orthodontic problems can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including tooth decay, gum diseases, bone damage, joint problems, speech problems, chewing difficulty, chipped teeth, and loss of teeth.

 

Orthodontic treatment is not restricted to children, and can be used to correct poor jaw alignment, premature loss of teeth, or large teeth in a small jaw, as well as to straighten teeth.

 

AlignerOrthodontic treatment is very much in demand for aesthetic reasons, since it vastly improves your smile, appearance of health, and self confidence. PoCo Dental uses invisible, removable, retainer-like aligners (Invisalign) to perform orthodontic treatment. The aligners are comfortable to wear, and best of all, nobody will know you are wearing them.

 

Each aligner is precision machined to your exact needs using advanced computer 3D modelling. The aligners are removable, so you can take them out to brush, floss, eat and drink, and for special occasions.

 

Since the aligners do not interfere with your brushing and flossing, you are able to maintain your oral hygiene, reducing the chances of tooth decay, gum diseases, and bad breath.

 

Once your Invisalign treatment is started, our dentists can show you a computer animation of your entire treatment, showing your teeth before, during, and after treatment. Since the aligners are clear, you can proudly show off your new smile even before your treatment has ended!

 

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Dental Implants

Dental implants allow a missing tooth (or teeth) to be restored to optimum function and appearance without compromising surrounding teeth or tissues. Implants are comfortable, attractive, and will help you regain confidence in your smile. Implants look and feel like natural teeth. An implant is a metalllic titanium post that integrates to the jawbone to support the tooth replacement.

 

Implants improve biting pressure, and restore proper chewing ability, which leads to a better diet and improved overall health. Implants eliminate tooth shifting, improve speech, don't apply damaging pressure to natural teeth, preserve healthy vital tooth structure (unlike a bridge), and increase your self confidence when talking and smiling.

 

Patients requiring dentures can utilise implant-supported dentures instead of resting their dentures on their gums. Implant-supported dentures provide for a firm, stable denture, that can be fixed (nonremovable) or removable. Come and see us for this favourable replacement to bridges and dentures.

 

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Treatment of Dentin Hypersensitivity (Sensitive Teeth)

Dentin hypersensitivity (sensitive teeth) affectes one out of every four adults, and can cause severe pain and discomfort on a daily basis. Having sensitive teeth makes enjoying your favourite hot or cold foods close to impossible. Most commonly, teeth become sensitive because the gums begin to recede. As the recession of the gums occurs, tooth roots are exposed. When these roots come into contact with hot or cold liquid, air, or food, temporary tooth discomfort or pain occurs.

 

Sensitive teeth should be examined by us to determine the cause of the discomfort. If the discomfort is caused by dentin hypersensitivity, we can create a customised prevention and treatment plan. For severe discomfort, we have additional options to reduce the sensitivity, including applying compounds or bonding agents to the tooth root, or using root-canal therapy, or constructing a bite appliance to eliminate the effect of tooth grinding or clenching.

 

Don't let sensitive teeth continue to be sensitive without seeing us. It is important that there is a proper diagnosis for the appropriate treatment. Failing to treat your sensitive teeth can lead to tooth and gum disease or even tooth loss. Many people simply use the highly-advertised "sensitive teeth" toothpaste, which, if used for an extended period of time, can start to mask more-serious problems.

 

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Checkups for Children

A child's primary dentition (the set of "baby teeth") needs to be cared for, just as the permanent teeth will need to be cared for later on. Damage to the baby teeth can not only cause significant pain, but can affect oral health as well, resulting in added susceptibility to cavities, gingivitis, and bone-structure damage (periodontal disease). Damage to the baby teeth can also cause developmental problems, such as delayed speech development, poor eating habits, and social problems (self-esteem issues can be found in small children). Other problems caused by damaged baby teeth include difficulty eating, stained teeth, and crooked permanent teeth, and problems in other parts of the body, such as the ears.

 

Poor oral health in children may cause more pain and suffering in affected children than all other conditions combined. Talk to us for guidelines to prevent or treat decay or infection, and to develop a plan to prevent future damage. Our dentists will counsel children on caring for their teeth, on their diet, and on behaviours that can be detrimental to their oral health -- such as thumb sucking.

 

At PoCo Dental Group, we understand that a bad experience at the dentist's office can translate into a fear of dentists that lasts into adulthood, and we take extra steps to make visits to the dentist fun, exciting, and free of fear. All of the dentists and most of the staff at PoCo Dental have young children of their own, and have the ability to see things and work with kids from both the "dentist" side and from the "parent" side. A child's first visit to PoCo Dental isn't even a dental visit -- it's a "Happy Visit" just to establish that a dental office isn't a scary place.

 

We recommend that children come for their Happy Visit at the age of one. This visit is more of a consultation visit as no dental treatments are performed on the child. Children should come see us again at age three for a checkup, and possibly for a cleaning as well.

 

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Teeth Whitening Tooth whitening is one of the easiest procedures that can be done to improve the appearance of a smile. Today, tooth whitening is a safe and long-lasting way to achieve a brighter smile. We can provide a dentist-supervised whitening treatment -- the safest and most-effective method for obtaining whiter teeth.

Teeth become darker with age and exposure to substances such as coffee, tea, and tobacco. The yellow, brown, or orange stains caused by these substances respond best to lightening. Other stains may be caused by exposure to a drug called tetracycline or to excess fluoride during early stages of tooth development. These grey stains can be lightened but results are not as predictable.

 

In-office whitening is done at our office. While in-office whitening may require several visits depending on the number of teeth that need whitening, in-office whitening is the fastest way to brighten your smile.

 

Our dentist-supervised, at-home whitening system is the most-popular way to achieve a whiter smile. We first takes an impression of the teeth to create a custom bleaching tray. When you receive the bleaching tray, you will also receive the whitening gel and specific instructions on how to use the system. This system usually takes ten to fourteen days to complete but some patients may begin to notice results right away.

 

A number of whitening toothpastes are available to purchase over the counter. These toothpastes rely on chemical or abrasive agents to remove stains from the surface of the teeth. Since the active whitening ingredient is not exposed to the tooth surface for long, toothpastes are less effective for significant whitening. These toothpastes may be best to maintain a bright smile after an in-office or at-home whitening treatment. Check with us before using one of these products.

 

Depending on personal habits, whitening should last one to five years. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and dark colas can darken teeth sooner and may cause the need for a whitening touch-up. Twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular dental checkups will help keep whitened teeth bright. Talk to us if you want to brighten your smile! If you have a special occasion coming up, we can help you look your best!

 

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Cosmetic Dentistry

Do you limit your smiling because you're embarrassed by the condition of your teeth? With the technology available today, our cosmetic dentistry can make the most of your smile. Doing a simple tooth whitening with us can change your appearance dramatically and make you more self confident. Our cosmetic services range from changing the look of an existing tooth, to replacing an entire set of teeth. Our cosmetic services are more affordable than ever before.

 

Our cosmetic services can help correct discoloured, missing, jagged, or overcrowded teeth, or a weak biting surface. See us for an evaluation to determine which cosmetic dentistry options you are a candidate for. Our cosmetic dentistry will give you an attractive, confident smile.

 

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Night Guards

About 15% of people have a habit of grinding their teeth or clenching their jaws, a condition called bruxism. Most people grind or clench their teeth in their sleep, so the habit often goes undetected until a family member hears the grinding sound or a dentist notices symptoms. If diagnosed early enough, bruxism can be treated before it causes damage to the teeth.

 

In some cases, grinding occurs because the top and bottom teeth are not aligned properly. Grinding or clenching may be a response to pain, such as an earache, or the result of a sleep disorder. Most often, bruxism is related to stress. Alcohol and caffeine intake can aggravate the condition, causing more-severe grinding or clenching.

 

If the grinding is severe enough, it can wear tooth enamel, chip teeth, increase temperature sensitivity, erode gums and supporting bones, break fillings or other dental work, worsen temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, and cause cosmetic damage.

 

When bruxism is serious enough to damage teeth or cause jaw or facial pain, we can fit patients with plastic mouth guards to be worn at night, designed to prevent grinding during sleep. In some cases, we can replace an old crown or filling, or repair damaged teeth, to change the bite and help eliminate pressure.

 

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Sports Guards

Any child or adult who is involved in organised athletics and recreational activities should wear a mouth guard. In general, you should wear a mouth guard any time you have a chance of making contact with other participants or hard surfaces.

 

Mouth guards prevent an estimated 200,000 injuries a year in high school and college organised sports alone. Unfortunately, about five million teeth are knocked out every year when mouth guards are not worn. Mouth guards protect the teeth, tongue, cheeks, lips, and jaws from injury. By absorbing the shock of impact, mouth guards protect teeth against chips, cracks, fractures, damage, and dislodging. Mouth guards also help avoid more serious injuries, including concussions, jaw fractures, and neck injuries, by preventing the lower jaw from making contact with the upper jaw.

 

A properly-fitted and protective mouth guard is an important equipment investment, especially when considering the cost of dental work for damaged teeth. With a lifetime of care, repair of damage can cost thousands of dollars per tooth. Repaired teeth can also develop other dental problems, such as periodontal disease.

 

Custom mouth guards are made from an impression of the mouth, offer the best fit, interfere the least with speech and breathing, can accomodate orthodontic work or previous dental injuries, and are highly recommended by dentists and other health-care professionals. If you need a sports guard, make an appointment with us for a consultation to determine the best sports guard for your needs, and have a custom-fitted sports guard made for your exact needs.

 

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Oral Cancer Screening / Velscope

Precancerous oral lesions are abnormal cell growths in or around the mouth. These lesions may become cancer. Cancerous oral lesions are life-threatening cell changes in the mouth. These lesions need to be detected early to give you a better chance for a cure.

 

Signs and symptoms of precancerous and cancerous oral lesions may include a sore in the mouth that doesn't heal within three weeks, white or red lesions or ulcers on the tongue, gums, or lining the mouth that don't go away, and tenderness or pain in the mouth that persists.

 

Problem lesions may be present in the mouth for some time before they are visible under white light. Fluorescence scanning in our office can detect problems before they become visible, providing the earliest detection possible.

 

Oral cancer includes cancer of the lip, tongue, pharynx, jawbone, and oral cavity. The American Cancer Society diagnoses an estimated 30,000 new cases of oral cancer each year, and recommends a cancer checkup every three years for those over 20 years of age, and every year for those over 40 years of age. Cancer often goes unnoticed in its early, curable stages. Talk to us to schedule your oral-cancer screening, for the earliest-possible detection of any problems.

 

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Sealants

What are sealants? A sealant is a thin coating that fills the grooves of molars and premolars. Without sealants, these grooves collect plaque, a film of food and bacteria. Toothbrush bristles usually can't reach the plaque that accumulates within the grooves, and this buildup of plaque can cause decay.

 

When should your child get sealants? We recommend applying sealants to teeth as soon as the permanent molars come in, usually between the ages of 5-7 for the first molars, and between ages 11-14 for the second set of molars and the premolars. As the sealants wear out, they should be replaced.

 

How are sealants applied? After we clean and dry the teeth, we apply a special solution that slightly roughens their surface. This roughening increases the bond's strength. We paint the sealant on, then harden it with a harmless high-intensity light, forming a protective shield against decay.

 

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An Important Note about Dental Phobia

About Phobias: More than 50% of the population does not seek regular dental attention. Many of these people have severe apprehension with dental treatment because of a phobia. A dental phobia isn't a simple fear or anxiety with dentists or dental treatment, but a serious issue that can be helped.

 

Avoidance of Dental Care: Problems associated with avoiding dental care, such as chronically-infected gums and teeth, can lead to the inability to chew and digest. Without healthy gums and teeth, your speech can be altered, halitosis (bad breath) can develop, and your self-confidence can be affected. These problems can lead to unhappy limitations in your lifestyle. If left untreated, undiagnosed dental problems lead to infection and contribute to a decrease in overall health.

 

Causes of Dental Phobia: Many times a prior negative experience, stories involving a medical or dental procedure, or even the media's depiction of a dentist, can create a dental phobia. Often a family member with the same problem can reinforce this phobia. Although some patients' phobias are rooted in deeper traumas, most dental phobics can trace their fears to bad experiences in the dentist's chair, usually during childhood. For those people who were held forcefully in a dentist's chair as children, or ignored when they were experiencing pain, every visit to the dentist is a return to that sense of helplessness and fear.

 

Signs of Dental Phobia: Common characteristics of dental phobia include severe anxiety about dentistry, avoiding dental visits for many years or decades, denial of dental problems (even with extreme pain), significant tension the evening prior to your dental visit, frequently cancelling dental appointments, feeling physically ill and tense at the thought of having a dental injection, anxiety at the sight of dental instruments, sweaty palms or gripping of armrests in a dental chair, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, and even nausea, and the overwhelming feeling of lack of control.

 

Children and the Dentist: Parents can help by making their child's trip to the dentist as predictable and as fun as possible. Inform your child the day prior to an appointment and explain what to expect in a positive manner. Pick a good time of the day, so that your child isn't tired. Prescreen to find a dentist that makes you feel at ease. The reception and exam rooms should be pleasant and make you feel welcome. Many children fear the cleaning itself, rather than the dentist. An idea to ease their fear is to have your child watch your teeth being cleaned first, and then let them have their turn. This small change in the day will show your child that the cleaning is a safe procedure, that's not to be feared. Remember to talk positively about the dentist and your dental experiences. Always use positive reinforcement involving your child's dental care. For additional tips, ask us how to approach your child's visit.

 

Treatment: Treatment of dental phobia can start by discussing the matter with us. Find a good dentist that is patient, competent, caring, and has the ability to nurture. A dentist and staff with these qualities will make your time at the dental office as pain-free and pleasant as possible.

 

Patients who have dental phobia can talk to us to discuss options. We can answer any questions you might have, or prescribe medications to reduce anxiety and make your visit to our office an easy one.

 

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Patient Comfort

Our office is a warm and friendly environment, and our staff have the highest level of training available, letting you be confident that you will be well cared for. Each treatment room is equipped with a ceiling-mounted television hooked up to cable programming and wireless headphones, and you can request a blanket for extra coziness. After your treatment, you are treated to a hot towel to refresh yourself before getting on with your day.

 

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Dental Plans Info Our office is online with most of the insurance companies, and we can submit dental claims electronically for you, eliminating headaches and delays. We ask only that you take care of your portion of the payment at each appointment.

If you need assistance interpreting your insurance benefits, our knowledgeable administrative staff can help. Just ask! We do encourage you to be familiar with your dental plan, so you know ahead of time what your coverages are.

 

Note: Dental plans are a tax-free benefit that your employer provides through a contract with an insurance-plan carrier. We are not a part of this contract, and therefore do not know what your individual plan coverages and maximums are. If your employer or plan carrier provided you with a booklet describing your dental plan, bring it with you when you come for your appointment, so that we can answer any questions you might have about your insurance coverage. Be aware that dental plans are benefits that help defray the cost of dental treatment, but they are not treatment plans.

 

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Dr. Kathryn Horwood

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Dr. Kathryn Horwood received her Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degrees from the University of Alberta in 1990, and began practicing dentistry in [ ... ]


Dr. Lisa Khakh

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PoCo Dental Group is very fortunate to have Dr. Lisa Khakh.

Born and raised in Nanaimo, Dr. Lisa moved to Vancouver and completed a BSc in microbiology, before completing her [ ... ]


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