More kids getting free dental care thanks to mobile unit
More kids getting free dental care thanks to mobile smile unit
Secondary school students in New Zealand are some of the first to benefit from a brand new, state of the art mobile dental clinic, which is providing free dental treatment at schools around the Auckland region.
The Mobile Smile unit, run by New Zealand’s leading dental provider, Lumino The Dentists, hit the road in January 2013. It provides high quality dental treatment, free of charge, as part of the Government’s Oral Health programme [i].
With two separate self contained surgeries, x-ray facilities and a waiting area, the Mobile Smile unit is leading the way in patient care, comfort and privacy. Keeping teenagers entertained was also taken into consideration when the unit was developed, with a TV playing DVDs in the waiting room, and music systems in each surgery.
The Mobile Smile unit visits a school for an average of 20 days at a time. While most kids will be sent on their way after passing their dental check up, some may need more advanced treatment, including treatment of oral disease, restorative dental services and minor surgical services.
Marketing manager at Lumino The Dentists, Kerry Dunphy, said: “By bringing these free dental services to the schools, via the Lumino Mobile Smile unit, we’re making it easier for students to have access to the free dental care that they need.
“New Zealand doesn’t exactly have a stellar record for youth uptake on these dental free services – currently 30% of all students who are eligible for this free dental treatment are not enrolled to receive it. This equates to 25,000 kids across Auckland. At Lumino, we’re doing our best to combat this.”
The Mobile Smile unit is one of three Lumino Mobile dental units currently in service in Auckland. In 2012, the mobile units visited 30 schools across the region and treated more than 12,000 students (aged between 13 and 17 years) for free.
Lumino The Dentists has been providing mobile dental services to schools on the North Shore for over 10 years. The new Mobile Smile unit replaces a bus, which was converted into a mobile dental clinic and was in service from 2003 to December 2012.
Currently, the Mobile Smile unit visits 12 schools on the North Shore, as well as additional schools further north in Kaipara and Whangaparoa. Nearly 6,000 students are expected to receive check ups at the Lumino Mobile Smile unit this year.