This World Oral Health Day, Sunday March 20th, the QCoal Community Dental Service is all smiles.
Comprising two dental surgeries in a purpose-built semi-trailer, the Dental Service provides dental care and treatment in communities where there is limited access to oral health services.
The service is funded by the independently owned Queensland mining company, QCoal Group, through the QCoal Foundation, with services delivered by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Anyone can make an appointment, and there is no out-of-pocket cost for patients.
Last month the QCoal Community Dental Service celebrated its third anniversary of delivering mobile dental health services to rural and remote Queenslanders, having travelled over 40,000km, and this week treated its 7,000th patient.
Local Clermont resident Christian Hayman booked an appointment with the QCoal Community Dental Service for a routine check up this week and on arrival was greeted by the friendly dental team surprising him with the news that he was the 7,000th patient seen by the service.
"They are really good guys, they do a really good job and I'm really proud to visit the team. This is my third visit; I haven't had to go to any other dentist ever since the first time I stepped in here. This service is really really important, I have a disability from an accident I had back in 1996 and I don't work now, I use to work but now I do a lot of physio, so if I have a toothache it's a real bother for me and it just knocks me back. The team help me to get back on track so I can focus on other things. The service is awesome", Mr Hayman said.
The QCoal Community Dental Service has visited over 20 rural and remote Queensland towns, many on more than one occasion, giving it the ability to now transition patients from initial acute care to a more prevention focus.
"Treating 7,000 patients in three years is an incredible milestone for the QCoal Community Dental Service," QCoal Group Managing Director Chris Wallin said.
"The local communities that have supported the Service since its inception and the incredible RFDS dental team who work so hard, should feel very proud in delivering over $2milllion worth of free dental treatment to those in need.
"We hope with time, it will be "smiles all round" as we reach more and more Queenslanders in the coming few years," Mr Wallin said.
In conjunction with the RFDS, the QCoal Foundation is looking at innovative partnerships and sponsorships to build on its keystone donation to ensure sustainability into the future.
This year the Service will also visit such towns as Collinsville, Richmond, Greenvale, Hughenden, Camooweal, Dajarra and Winton.
For more information visit http://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/dental.
Caption: Dentist, Callum Blackhall, ready to assist patient Christian Hayman.