New Mobile Dental Clinic on the Road
Waikato District Health Board’s newest mobile dental clinic hit the road this week – first stop Te Rapa School.
The van is the first of nine to be produced as part of the DHB’s major investment into oral health.
Six new fixed clinics will also be built at schools throughout the region over the next year.
School Dental Service manager Diane Pevreal said the new unit will assist the service to provide efficient and timely dental care.
“It is much more spacious inside yet still very easy to drive and park so it is ideal for all school grounds.
“The new design also makes packing a breeze so the unit will be able to shift between schools in less than an hour when previously it took days,” Mrs Pevreal said. This new unit will service Hamilton schools that do not currently have a fixed clinic.
Mrs Pevreal says that with new facilities comes improved service, with new state of the art equipment on board for providing first-rate preventive care.
“Our focus is really shifting to preventive care and this unit is equipped to diagnose decay and treat it in the early stages.
“The service will also be highly mobile, allowing it to be back at schools more frequently where decay is a problem and revisit children most in need,” she said.
With more space, Mrs Pevreal also hopes to see more parents attending their child’s appointments.
“The unit can accommodate a family appointment and we'd really like parents to attend and see how much dentistry has changed for the better.”
The DHB announced in 2009 a major overhaul to its School Dental Service, at a cost of $9.7million, after it found that 77 of the 78 school-owned dental clinics staffed by Waikato DHB needed replacing or refurbishment to comply with new legislation.
When the new fixed clinics open early next year, these 77 clinics will be vacated by Waikato DHB and given back to the schools.
The six clinics will be at:
Cambridge Middle School Morrinsville Primary School Peachgrove Intermediate Firth Primary School, Matamata Frankton Primary School Fairfield Intermediate
The DHB will retain a lease agreement with Crawshaw School (Hamilton) to continue using its existing dental clinic, and refurbished space in Tokoroa Hospital will be an eighth clinic.
The mobile fleet will increase from six to 15 vehicles servicing 129 mobile sites throughout the region.
Most schools that do not have a new clinic will receive a mobile service and in some cases, students will need to travel.