With the wide array of medical professionals out there who specialize in different aspects of health and wellness, building your knowledge of how, when and where to find the care you need can be essential in optimizing your overall well-being.
Calgary is home to a variety of medical professionals who have dedicated their careers to maintaining a healthy and thriving population across disciplines, all while helping to innovate approaches to physical and mental well-being.
Staying informed on where to look among the consistently growing field of Calgary pros who specialize in ailments from your toes (podiatrists) to the top of your head (trichologists) and everything in between can help ensure you know where to turn when you need a hand with your health.
Here, we shine the spotlight on just two of the specialized disciplines that are making a difference in our overall well-being.
Supporting the Foundations: A Closer Look at Periodontics
For many of us, one of the greatest fears we harbour when it comes to our physical appearance is losing our teeth. But we don’t tend to realize just how important our teeth really are to our overall well-being until we’re actually faced with losing them.
Devoted to maintaining and restoring the health and function of the structures that support teeth — specifically jawbones and gums — periodontists are often the last line of defense in helping patients keep their teeth, and not end up in dentures.
Periodontists represent a niche group of dental specialists who have undergone additional university education and accreditation to manage and treat complex periodontal and dental implant cases and complications.
The services offered by periodontists are varied. They range from treating inflammatory periodontal disease through surgical and non-surgical means, treating gum recession, rebuilding lost jaw bone with bone grafting, and replacing missing or failing teeth with dental implants. The goal of periodontists is to help patients maintain healthy and strong foundations around their teeth and dental implants for life.
The mouth is a portal of entry into the human body, and it’s vital that we defend that gate.
As treatment largely comes as a result of complexities encountered by other dental practitioners, a periodontist’s work is collaborative. Periodontists work closely with general practitioners as part of a team to manage overall patient dental needs, and with other dental specialists as consultants in managing and treating complex treatments.
While periodontal treatment largely takes place within the mouth, it can also benefit a patient’s overall health — researchers have identified important links between periodontal disease and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, infection of prosthetic joints, pregnancy complications, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and certain types of cancers.
As periodontists see it, the mouth is a portal of entry into the human body, and, for the sake of a patient’s overall well-being, it’s vital we do everything we can to keep that gate healthy and strong!
Ask your dentist for a referral to a periodontist, or visit ab.greatgums.ca to learn more.
Normalizing Mental Health
While maintaining physical health is widely accepted as a daily priority, for many of us, taking care of our mental health remains far less routine.
“There’s so much about our emotional life and our psychology that we aren’t taught a whole lot about — we have to find out by trial and error, oftentimes through difficult experiences,” says psychologist Dr. Megan McElheran. “But there’s a lot we can all be doing to proactively take care of our mental health.”
As CEO and chief clinician of Calgary-based Wayfound Mental Health Group, Dr. McElheran, in conjunction with the rest of her team, is focused on finding opportunities to put that proactive approach into action. Previously known as WGM Psychological Services, her organization rebranded to Wayfound in September, with WGM’s other locations in Edmonton, Red Deer and Toronto doing the same. In addition to continued psychological services for first responders, which has long been a specialty of WGM, a major goal of the rebrand is making the organization’s expertise more accessible to the public as well.
“Taking care of our mental health should be no different than taking care of our physical health.” –Dr. Megan McElheran
Wayfound offers resources to assist clients throughout their mental health journey, including diagnostic services, a range of psychotherapy options for adults, children, families and couples, psychiatric treatment, and programs focused around education and mental wellness. Accessibility is key to Wayfound’s mission — services are open to anyone without referral and can be booked by calling 403-850-6711, or online at wayfound.ca. On social media, Facebook users can request appointments directly on Wayfound’s homepage, or check out weekly Monday Mental Health Minutes videos posted on both Facebook and Instagram (@wayfoundmhg).
In addition to staying on the cutting-edge today, Wayfound is continuing to innovate for the future. The company will soon begin pre-clinical research into alternative medicine for anxiety and depression. It has also worked to develop programs around mental resilience training in occupational health roles, as well as digital tools to assist physicians in diagnosing mental health concerns.
Ultimately, Dr. McElheran and her team hope to see Wayfound play a key role in the wider push for making the treatment and maintenance of mental health a top priority for everyone.
“Taking care of our mental health should be no different than taking care of our physical health,” says McElheran. “We should be able to go to the psychologist with the same ease that we go to see a dentist.”