A cheaper fix for teeth in need

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CA­TRIN OWEN

Go­ing to the den­tist is of­ten a dreaded ex­pe­ri­ence, but for many Ki­wis it’s a lux­ury they sim­ply can­not af­ford.

Ser­ena Dempsey moved to Mt Welling­ton 15 months ago from South Africa and is in need of ur­gent den­tal care.

How­ever, de­spite Dempsey and her hus­band both in em­ploy­ment, the bill is well be­yond their bud­get.

Four of her teeth are bro­ken and one is in­fected which has spread through to her si­nuses.

Dempsey says she has good den­tal hy­giene habits, how­ever months of ne­glect­ing to visit a den­tist has left in her teeth in dis­re­pair.

She is tak­ing an­tibi­otics to numb the pain of the in­fec­tion and says she can barely chew her food.

Smile NZ is a joint ini­tia­tive run by South­ern Cross Health Trust and the New Zealand Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion of­fer­ing free den­tal care to low in­come adults.

The ini­tia­tive has been run­ning for three years

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