Dental clinic opens
There will be extra clean teeth and white smiles in Matamata now that Firth Primary School has a brand new dental clinic.
The clinic is the first to open of six that the Waikato District Health Board is building in the region.
The building was officially opened on Monday April 18 after it was blessed by Reverend James Clair who represented the Ngati Raukawa iwi, Butch Tuhakaraina from Ngati Haua iwi, Irene Mahi and Bruce McNee.
Waikato Hospital chief operating officer Jan Adams was pleased to finally be opening the first clinic.
‘‘This is the most significant investment the District Health Board has ever made in the Matamata community,’’ she said. ‘‘This is a great day for Matamata. ‘‘ So here’s to healthy teeth and children.’’
Accompanying the new clinic is a mobile dental truck that will bring help to children needing dental work.
The mobile units visit each school in the Matamata-Piako district to give regular checks, prevent decay, apply fluoride and fissure sealants, clean teeth and give home dental care advice.
The dental therapists will refer patients to the clinic if they need further dental treatment such as fillings, stainless steel crowns and baby teeth extractions.
Ms Adams said she believed children were our future and there was a lot of evidence that good oral health helped learning.
The six clinics and the mobile units have been a $9.78 million investment for the Waikato to maintain oral health in children.
Firth Primary School principal James Eldridge said the school was thrilled to see the plans come to life.
‘‘Our school was selected as the location for the clinic because it is very central – close to both Matamata College and Matamata Intermediate,’’ he said.
‘‘The cost of doing this was going to be great to bear alone but we have had great support from everyone in the Matamata community.’’ The dental unit sits where room 11 used to be. The former learning facility room had to be removed last year to make way for the new clinic.
The clinic is available for schools in Matamata and will be open daily and in the school holidays.
Blessed: Dental opening: Right, Reverend James Clair, right, prays over the new dental clinic at Firth Primary School