Figures from the Ministry of Health about the oral health of five year olds, shows that nationally, 40 percent of five year olds had some tooth decay.
But for south Auckland, things may be looking up.
Health Minister David Clark has welcomed a new $28 million University of Otago dental teaching facility to be built at the Manukau Super Clinic.
There’s a lot more teeth needing treatment in south Auckland than in Dunedin.
The teaching clinic is expected to help students with hands-on experience and address the dental health needs in the local community, said the University of Otago.
Associate professor Jonathan Broadbent told RadioLIVE that the new clinic’s location “makes sense” for a teaching environment.
“There’s a lot more teeth needing treatment in south Auckland than in Dunedin.”
Prof Broadbent explained that research also shows that south Auckland has somewhat of a “dental clinic desert” in parts of the area.
He emphasised that the students, though learning, will be supervised by qualified clinicians at the new clinic.
Listen to the full interview with Jonathan Broadbent above.
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