A CHILD dental service offered by the Western NSW Local Health District in Oberon has welcomed its first patient since moving premises.
The clinic, which has operated since 2007, recently moved from council-owned rooms to the Oberon Multipurpose Service (MPS) and received $44,000 for new equipment for the service as part of the relocation.
Jenny James, the dental therapist who visits from Bathurst to run the service in Oberon, said she was excited to see the first child treated at the new dental clinic using the new equipment.
“We are so pleased to be treating local children in this new clinic space using brand new equipment including a new dental X-ray machine, dental chair and dental operating units,” she said.
“The location where the dental service was previously operating from was quite old and the new location and equipment is a great boost to dental services in Oberon and the region.
“By offering the clinic at the MPS, we also open better opportunities for dental staff to work with local community health staff at the MPS who also provide services to local children.
“There are many families in Oberon who rely on this dental service and the new clinic will be a great environment for children and for the staff providing the services.”
Ms James said the dental clinic will help the community tackle oral health problems such as tooth decay.
She said in her 40 years of experience treating children in Bathurst and Oberon, she had noticed a stark difference between the teeth of the children in the two communities.
“Unfortunately, I see twice as much tooth decay in children in Oberon compared to children in Bathurst,” she said.
“It is a shame that children in Oberon need twice as many fillings and twice as many tooth extractions compared to children in Bathurst, where fluoride has been in the town water since the early 1970s.
“For me, it is a clear case of seeing first-hand the health impacts of not fluoridating the local water supply in Oberon.
“It is an issue affecting our future generations.”
Associate Professor Tony Brown, a public health physician, said fluoride added to drinking water in Australia had been proven to be a highly effective way to protect against tooth decay in children.
The Oberon MPS is encouraging all local families to make an appointment for their children to get a dental check-up by phoning 1300 552 626.