Dr. Mark Parhar of Tri-City Endodontics is a firm believer of giving back to the community and helping others in any way that he can. While operating a busy practice and treating dental trauma for professional athletes, Dr. Parhar still finds time to coach a kids' basketball team and volunteer his skills for those less fortunate.
As a dental student, and later as a qualified dentist specializing in endodontics, Dr. Parhar volunteered his time at dental clinics providing free services in Vancouver's downtown eastside.
"I have been very fortunate to acquire the skills in dentistry that I have," he says. "When I became aware of the Downtown Eastside Clinic, I wanted to help out. The patients at the clinic are usually in acute pain due to dental disease. I find it very rewarding that I can help people less fortunate with my dental knowledge and help get them out of pain."
As part of the UBC Dentistry Outreach Program, Dr. Parhar chose to volunteer overseas in Vietnam and Cambodia.
"I thought it would be an amazing experience to see what dentistry was like in South East Asia," he says. "Also, as an avid traveler it was a chance to enjoy those cultures."
Dr. Parhar worked at a children's hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
"The amount of decay and infection really surprised me," he says, "but I was glad that I was able to contribute what I could to help those families."
He also worked for three weeks performing dental extractions at no charge for local hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
"It was very humbling to practice dentistry there," Dr. Parhar says. "The dental issues are much more prevalent than here in Canada. It was a great experience and I would recommend any dentist to do this."
Back in Port Moody, Dr. Parhar works with his team at Tri-City Endodontics to bring his expertise in root canals and patient care to help relieve the pain and distress of an infected tooth.
"In our practice, we're a very patient-centred," he explains. "I'm a very kind and compassionate person by nature and I like to talk to patients about their concerns to put them at ease about the procedure. Being a small practice has its advantages; referring dentists know exactly who their patients will see. There's no revolving door of dentists or specialists, just me, our receptionist, and a dental assistant. I provide consistency and trust for both referring dentists and their patients."