03/18/2013 02:46 EDT | Updated 05/18/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. provides $700,000 for surgery to correct dental and facial deformities

VICTORIA - The B.C government is providing $700,000 to treat people with dental and facial deformities.

Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid says the money will allow the BC Dental Association to help a backlog of 65 patients who need prosthetic treatment.

Many of them have lived with the deformities since they were children because surgery can't be done until their bone structure has finished growing, around the age of 20, while others have developed dental-facial deformities after cancer treatment.

MacDiarmid says the treatment will not only give the patients new smiles, but also the ability to chew and speak properly, which will help restore their self-confidence.

Under the program, the BC Dental Association will work with the BC Cancer Agency, Children's Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital to identify and treat patients.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said $70,000 would be spent on the program when the actual figure is $700,000.