Graphic: RFDS Dentist
A self-styled ‘country kid’ and a second-generation dentist, Lynlee grew up in Rockhampton and studied at James Cook University in Cairns.
“I became a dentist to care for people and only ever wanted to work in regional or remote Queensland,” she said.
“I feel a great affinity with the people living in the bush, so working for the RFDS is my ideal career.”
Lynlee travels to regional centres behind the purpose-built RFDS mobile dental unit. Once it rolls into town, Lynlee and her team remain in the community for one or two weeks.
“Staying in each centre for an extended time means we become part of the community,” she said.
“People get to know us and will even pop in to look around our amazing facilities on board.”
Those facilities include two fully-equipped surgeries including an OPG (orthopantomogram) which enables patients to have full X-ray scans of the upper and lower jaw without the expense and inconvenience of travelling hundreds of kilometres to a major centre for diagnosis and treatment.
Helping Queenslanders to overcome that barrier of isolation has been central to the goals of the RFDS Dental Service since it was launched a decade ago. With over 8,000 patients treated in 21 communities in the initial four-year trial, the need was clear, and the service has continued to grow in response.
“Dentistry is not just about teeth,” said Lynlee.
“We are here to make a difference and have been very pleased to see a statistical trend towards preventive care.
Providing advice, treating patients holistically, even checking for evidence of other health problems in soft tissue in the mouth, all contribute to that trend. It is very satisfying to be doing good things for good people.”