Dental services improve out west

Last updated 05:00 27/12/2012
Dental services
MISSION COMPLETED: Caleb Griffiths-Jones of Henderson South School watches on as his best friend Xanda Tutavake is seen by dental therapist Deborah Hynes in the new transportable dental units.

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The construction of two new dental clinics in Glen Eden Intermediate and Westgate has signalled the completion of the Waitemata District Health Board's $12.3 million project.

The three year plan meant the Waitemata district would be home to 11 modernised dental clinics, six dental vans and 15 transportable dental units.

The new facilities have been designed to be used by the 92,000 people aged under-18 in the region.

Auckland Regional Dental Services operations manager Helene May says the last school dental clinics in the area were built in the 1960s so the new ones are a big step forward.

"The clinics, along with the vans and transportable dental units, all come equipped with the latest x-ray facilities, enabling quick, easy diagnosis. They are also bright and spacious, with room for parents and children to attend appointments together," she says.

The transportable units, like the one stationed at Henderson South School for the term, weigh just over 11 tonnes and can seat a dental therapist, a dental assistant, a child and parent.

There's a sterilisation section and dental therapists have almost everything at their fingertips, including the dental records of every patient on a laptop nearby.

Under this programme clinics have also been built at Edmonton Primary and Henderson Intermediate.

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