Locum dentist fills in Wairoa’s two-year gap in services

A locum dentist in Wairoa will provide temporary relief to a community without an adult dental service for about two years.

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The only dental clinic operating in Wairoa has been for tamariki and rangatahi. Photo: 123rf.com

Wairoa has had no dentist for adults since 2020, when a private provider closed.

The only dental clinic operating in Wairoa is for tamariki and rangatahi.

The Hawke’s Bay DHB is funding a locum service for a minimum of 40 Saturdays until June 2023, to help support adult oral health care needs until a more permanent solution is found.

The absence of adult care in the town has been described as a financial and physical burden for local whānau.

There will be fee for the service as the government only funds free oral healthcare for youth, up to their 18th birthday.

But local provider Kahungunu Executive said it was looking to have the service provided at a reduced rate.

A five-and-a-half day event in January gave the town with 307 dental appointments and 677 dental treatments.

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