News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


NZDA President calls out school dental service

20 August 2018

Media release

Dental Association Conference: President calls out school dental service

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) President used his opening address at the annual conference to call on the government to improve the school dental service.

NZDA President, Dr Bill O’Connor, said the Community Oral Health Service is failing New Zealand kids, highlighting figures showing 96000 children are overdue their recalls with the dental therapist, 29000 young NZ children had teeth extracted last year, and 7000 kids required hospital dental treatment under general anaesthetic.

“I believe the Community Oral Health Service - is failing our kids – failing the children of New Zealand,” said Dr O’Connor.

Dr O’Connor said the issue was concerning for him, and he was using his platform to speak out on behalf of kids. “Today 120 young Kiwi kids will have teeth extracted. Why have they not been treated before they got to this point?”

Dr O’Connor stressed that he was not pointing the finger at dental therapists.

“None of what I have outlined is a negative comment regarding the dental therapists – they have a hard job, they are our colleagues. We all know how hard their job is.

“The system has failed these children and their parents. The system has failed those who work in it, trying to deliver the best outcomes for their patients,” said Dr O’Connor.

The large number of children being enrolled with the service is at odds with the large numbers of school-aged children that have untreated tooth decay.

He had a message for the government, that it was now time to act.

“I call on the Minister of Health to make this a priority of this government and to act now to address this appalling situation. It's time to look after our kids!”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books Q&A: Historian Vincent O’Malley

There is quite a lot of ignorance of the basic facts of New Zealand history because so few people learn anything about it at school and that is fully evident whenever anything on these issues is published in the media, such as Stuff’s wonderful recent series about the Treaty... More>>

Howard Davis: NZSO Perform Beethoven's Symphonies 1 & 9 This Weekend

When we consider how prodigious Beethoven's musical output was - including nine symphonies, five piano concertos, a violin concerto, various piano sonatas, sixteen string quartets, a mass, and an opera - it is a truly remarkable achievement that only twenty-four years separated the premieres of his first and final symphonies. More>>

2021: NZ To Host Women’s Rugby World Cup

New Zealand’s successful bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will raise the profile of the game locally and provide a valuable economic boost for the game, Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson says. More>>


Max Rashbrooke Review: Mahler 7 - NZSO

Gustav Mahler’s Seventh Symphony may be one of the least well-known of its ilk, but Edo de Waart and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra made a compelling case for a reassessment. They showed us a work of immense variety, surprising contrast and delicate shades of light and dark. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland