Access dental care hero
5 October 2021

Can you afford to go to the dentist?

The high costs for people who can’t afford dental care.

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kerry-ann w.
18 Oct 2021

I see that the free dental ship "youth with a misssion " which normally offers free dental service in the pacific is now docked at Tauranga. In a week 64 patients were operated on receiving $24,500 worth of free treatment.Yes we need more of these ships touring THIS country. Dental problems are HEALTH PROBLEMS and well proven to be directly linked to heart disease etc. The situation in NZ abominable and the government as per usual is slow to fact hasnt acted after many many years of pleas by the people. Surely each town could have a free service put together by the local dentists. Even if they volunteered one day or half day a month if there were 30 dentists in a town that would be someone available every day. Surely this can be done if you contact your local dentists or write to your local paper.

Margaret W.
09 Oct 2021
Canterbury Dental Pilot Not New

When I started work with a Northland Maori health provider in 2008 there was a MoH health promotion programme, Oral Health Promotion, delivered in a schools and ECE Centres by Maori health providers throughout the region.

We also delivered mobile dental services in schools and the 2 services worked well together. Our dental nurses noted that the positive outcomes of the promotion programme were clear in schools that had picked it up and carried it on as an ongoing teeth-cleaning exercise every morning.

With Northland tamariki having the worst dental health in NZ, it was baffling when MoH pulled the contract some years ago. In fact one of our kuia was so concerned for new generations coming through that she has continued to deliver the programme in local schools and centres in her own time.

James C.
09 Oct 2021
Leave the decisions to parents

It should be up to parents to to make the choices. We thought it was silly taking our kids to the dentist if there are no issues. At 8 and 11 years old they still have not been to a dentist and have no issues. Saying that, we do focus on providing them with a good diet and they have no sugary drinks or lollies etc. We home bake with small amounts of coconut or raw sugar only.

And dentists will take X-rays even if no issues are evident, telling you this is the only way to see if there are holes etc inside the tooth. Any exposure to ionising radiation is harmful as it damages cells. If medical care is based on risk / benefit (for the patient), then the decision to X-ray when unjustified is a poor one.

The choice to use fluoridated water should be up to parents too, not some "expert" as indicated. To mandate potentially harmful (or not beneficial) solutions for all based on the bad behaviours or habits of some is a terrible strategy. Already with covid we are seeing democratic choices eroded by Governments seizing on the opportunity to bestow more powers on themselves, all in the name of 'keeping everybody safe'.

If Governments wish to exert control, then stop the pervasive use of sugar in so many commercial food products.