Some 7000 Waikato children will benefit from a new Waikato District Health Board community dental clinic opening at Frankton Primary School in Hamilton tomorrow (Thursday 26 May).
The Frankton Community Oral Health Clinic will help boost the smiles of 4500 children from 14 surrounding primary and intermediate schools, and a further 2500 preschool children.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne will open the clinic after a blessing and karakia at 10.30am.
With five dental chairs and modern equipment, it will be the largest community dental clinic on the western side of Hamilton.
It is the first fixed-site dental clinic to be opened in the city under the Government’s oral health reinvestment programme.
Some of Hamilton’s most needy youngsters are set to benefit.
Frankton Primary School, a decile three school of 620 pupils, was chosen as the site for the new clinic because it is low decile, with a large school roll, and located in a low socio-economic area with significant oral health needs, says Diane Pevreal, Community Oral Health manager with the Waikato District Health Board.
Waikato Hospital treats around 750 children annually for rotten and decayed teeth removed under general anaesthesia.
The clinic will enable better access to dental care for young students and preschool children, with more focus on oral health education and prevention says Pevreal.
“It will have a huge impact on our students,” says Frankton Primary School principal Judy Dixon. “There has been a huge problem with oral health here, a significant number of students have rotting teeth. That our students will have access to a dental clinic onsite is great. Some do struggle to make appointments so there will be no excuse.”
She says Frankton Primary School has always had a strong community focus, which makes it an ideal choice as a dental hub.
Its location is also easily accessible to students travelling to the clinic from surrounding western Hamilton and rural schools.
Schools served by the dental clinic include Frankton Primary School, Crawshaw School, Glenview School, Waitetuna School, Koromatua School, St Columba’s Catholic School, Hamilton West School, Aberdeen School, St Peter Chanel Catholic School, Rukuhia School, Te Pahu School, Ohaupo School, Ngahinapouri School and Te Kowhai School.
The full service clinic replaces five existing school dental clinics and four mobile clinic sites, which will all close later this year.
The Frankton Community Oral Health Clinic will be complemented by a mobile dental clinic, providing preventative care dental examinations and assessments to some 3000 children from the surrounding schools.
Students who require further treatment will need to travel to the hub clinic at Frankton. The clinic will also have an 0800 phone number to help parents schedule appointments.
Other key points:
- The clinic opening will begin at 10.30am with a blessing and karakia, followed by speeches from Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, Waikato District Health Board chief executive Craig Climo and Frankton Primary School principal Judy Dixon.
- Frankton Community Oral Health Clinic is located at Frankton Primary School, Massey St, Dinsdale, Hamilton.
- The Waikato District Health Board will retain a single-chair dental clinic at Crawshaw School, which is currently being refurbished, to complement the service at Frankton for the western side of Hamilton City.
- A four-chair dental clinic at Peachgrove Intermediate School and a six-chair clinic at Fairfield Intermediate are being constructed to serve east Hamilton students. Construction of the remaining two-chair clinics at Morrinsville, Cambridge and Tokoroa Hospital has not yet begun, but dates will be announced shortly. Matamata Community Dental Clinic at Firth Primary School opened in April.
Clinic contact number: 07 8471283