My wife, our three young kids
and I moved to High River to open
my first dental clinic in June 2013.
Three days after the clinic opened,
it and our new home were flooded.
When we saw our flooded home,
we kind of broke down. We had
a cry for a couple of minutes and
then we rolled up our sleeves and
We worked out of a mobile dental
clinic provided by the Alberta Dental
Association until we could get back
into the clinic. Going to the dentist
is a part of normal life, and people
just wanted to get back to normal life,
even if it was in a dental bus in an
We talked to people about their
problems and their experiences with
A flood of experiences and emotions
the flood—it was a way to connect
with the community, not just to
We found silver linings
everywhere: I was able to design a
new clinic and the flood gave me a
way to get to know people, become
part of the community and build
trust. Some people might have left,
but we made the commitment to stay,
and that means something to people.
It’s been a baptism by fire . . . it’s been
an interesting year.
After the flood, we saw a lot of
dental problems from stress and
neglect. When you’re stressed, you’re
not really thinking about going for a
run or eating properly. But when life
throws you a curveball like the floods
in Southern Alberta did, it’s easier
to deal with when you’re taking care
of yourself. You need time for you,
you have to love and care for yourself
because health is everything. Even
during hard times, little things like
flossing your teeth mean you won’t
end up in the dentist’s chair down
And when you go through a
crisis like the flood, it puts things
into perspective about what’s really
important. And as important as
my business is, I quickly learned
it’s not as important as taking care
of my loved ones or even myself.
When I come home and my kids give
me hugs and kisses, there’s really
nothing more important than that.
— As told to Amy Sawchenko
For High River dentist Darcy Bennett, June 2013’s flood put into perspective what’s really important.