School Dental System Requires an Overhaul in New Zealand

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Fraser Clarke

New Zealand’s school dental system requires a radical overhaul, with more than 100 children having teeth removed every day.

According to the New Zealand Dental Association more than 96,000 schoolchildren are overdue check-ups, leading to almost 30,000 extractions in school age children last year alone.

Speaking at the association’s conference last weekend, president, Dr Bill O’Connor, highlighted just how concerned he is about the issue.

He told delegates: “Today, 120 young Kiwi kids will have teeth extracted. Why have they not been treated before they got to this point?

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

“Children don't get to choose what they eat or drink, they don't choose to have rotten teeth and the pain and suffering that comes with that.

"They don't choose to live in areas that are woefully unable to meet the treatment needs of the population

“It's time to look after our kids.”

In response National Clinical Director for Oral Health, Riana Clarke, said: “15% of children were overdue for appointments with the Community Oral Health Service, which falls below our targets.

“We are continuing to work with District Health Boards to reduce the number of overdue appointments.”

Based on this we can expect to see a rise in the number of dentistry positions available in New Zealand, so register on our website today to get ahead of the rest.

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