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'It's the whole picture, not just one aspect'ISOBEL EWING
Two final-year dentistry students will gain experience while the Taranaki public receives low-cost dental care, thanks to a placement arranged by the Otago Faculty of Dentistry and Maori oral health providers.
It is the first time the final-year dental student clinical placement has come to Taranaki, with students undertaking placements across the country for a number of years.
Dentist Chris Taylor, of Taylor Dental Practice, in New Plymouth, will provide students Kelsi Ander and Rebecca Cribbin with clinical experience for three days a week for the five-week period, and they would also observe how Maori health providers Tui Ora, Te Atiawa Dental Services and Te Atiawa Runanga Medical Trust worked in the community.
The students would work one day a week at New Plymouth Dental Centre and Dental Care Hawera and also observe other specialists.
Dr Taylor hoped to take the students to visit Parihaka and Owae Marae in Waitara.
He said the student dentists would offer a low-cost service for those in need of dental care.
"They will examine them and come up with treatment plans for them, and hopefully get the treatment plans done in five weeks."
He said if the treatment plans were not completed by the end of the placement they would be picked up by the next rotation of students.
He hoped the success of the placement would encourage more Otago University students to venture to Taranaki for their clinical experience.
"It's a way for the community and public here to give these students a bit of experience and to introduce them to Taranaki.
"Womad will certainly help, and this weather," he added.
Ms Ander said the placement was beneficial because it offered not only clinical experience but a cultural education too.
"It's the whole picture, not just one aspect."
Ms Cribbin said the placement allowed them to see what options were available for dentistry graduates.
- Taranaki Daily News
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