Honouring a commitment to improve oral health in New Zealand, Colgate-Palmolive and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) have opened the doors at AUT's Buckland Road Dental Health Clinic in Mangere this Thursday and Friday, providing free basic dental treatment for patients in need.
Sixteen registered NZDA dentists have volunteered their time across the two days, treating over 70 patients for extractions, temporary fillings, alloys and more.
Leading up to Oral Health Month in September, Colgate Scientific Affairs Manager Rebecca Schipper is pleased to be a part of an initiative that helps those who may not usually be inclined to seek dental care.
"Oral health is such an important aspect of our general wellbeing, but according to the 2009 New Zealand Oral Health Survey, two in five adults had avoided dental care in the previous year," Schipper says.
"Many kiwis don't make their oral health a priority," stresses Schipper.
"Colgate wants to help change this by both making it easier for New Zealanders to take better care of their teeth, and by spreading the word about the critical role it plays for overall good health."
Alongside basic dental treatment, an education area will be set up within the clinic for dentists to discuss prevention</a> and the importance of good oral health with patients and their family members.
"According to the research, only 65% of adult New Zealanders brush their teeth at least twice a day with adequate fluoride toothpaste, and this is a real concern," Schipper says.
"We think it is important to educate that remaining 35%, and hopefully we can continue this dialogue with the patients we see in Mangere."
NZDA Executive Director Dr David Crum says, "The NZDA is looking forward to co-hosting this initiative, and we are grateful to the sixteen dentists giving up their time to take part."
"Our members see the effects of poor oral hygiene on a daily basis and clinics like these are crucial to making a difference to what is a growing problem in New Zealand."
The dental health clinic will run from 8.00am to 5.00pm on both Thursday July 12 and Friday July 13, with four dental chairs in use and 16 dentists each undertaking half day shifts.
Referrals from the Counties Manukau District Health Board funded Emergency Dental Pain Community Clinics will form most of the patient list over the two-day period.
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