Graphic: Dental team
The latest report from our Dubbo-based oral healthcare program shows how vital the service is. Our dental team treated 790 patients at 51 rural and remote clinics over the previous three months.
Almost a third of patients needing treatment were new to the service. A third of the patients at the clinics also had a chronic disease. Educating our patients about the importance of regular checkups and proper dental care is an important part of our service.
“Teeth aren’t an optional extra,” says Dr Jenny Pham, a dentist from our Dubbo base. “They are essential for us to be able to eat well and they need to be looked after.
“Many people don’t know that poor dental health can affect your overall health. It can lead to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, low birth weight, pneumonia and diabetes.”
Our Dubbo dental team flies to clinics in Bourke, Collarenebri, Goodooga and Lightning Ridge. Our new dental van, which is shared between our Broken Hill and Dubbo bases, also drives to places lacking airstrips.
“We encourage all our patients to return for follow-up treatment,” says Dr Pham. “We want to prevent unnecessary discomfort and further damage to their teeth. We also run special clinics just for children. As well as dealing with immediate dental problems they promote good dental habits such as regular brushing, flossing, check-ups and a well-balanced diet.”