6 Nov 2014

Hundreds treated in joint dental venture

7:36 pm on 6 November 2014

An oral heath campaign between the Northland District Health Board and the New Zealand Defence Force has seen a significant amount of low income communities including Maori being given dental treatment.

The DHB's oral heath service and a team of Defence Force dental personnel conducted a free two-week programme for hundreds of patients at Kaitaia hospital last month.

Oral health adviser Neil Croucher said the exercise with Defence Force staff not only proved their capabilities, but helped it to see more Maori patients than normal.

Dr Croucher said after being approached by Defence eight months prior to the project, the DHB realised it had an opportunity to partner up with them to assist with the oral health of low income adults in the Far North.

He said it was an "awesome" project which involved five Defence Force dentists and two of their hygenists along with dental staff from the Whangarei Hospital.

In the two weeks the programme ran, almost 750 patients were treated - a majority of whom were Maori - he said.

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