A funding boost from Dental Health Services Victoria will slash wait times for public dental appointments at Bellarine Community Health (BCH) clinics by up to 27 months.
More than 1,700 patients have been offered dental care since December last year after wait times were reduced for general treatments from 36 months to nine months following receiving the federal government funding.
BCH dental services manager Robyn Bastiaan said the additional funding has enabled the clinic to address inflated wait times which arose from tight COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place since 2020.
“The restriction of dental services to emergency only during COVID did impact significantly on wait times and having this additional funding has meant we can accelerate treatment services for our patients,” Ms Bastiaan said.
Wait time reductions are to be credited to both additional in-house appointments and a voucher system at BCH, which allows patients to access services at private dental clinics.
BCH is also taking a new approach to educating and supporting dental patients through its health education sessions.
Group oral health information sessions with a BCH Oral Health Educator are providing patients with the knowledge, skills, and resources to broaden their understanding of what it takes to improve their oral health.
Ms Bastiaan said feedback on these information sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Patients initially said they thought they knew how to care for their teeth but by the end of the session they were shocked by what they didn’t know,” Ms Bastiaan said.
To find out more about the BCH public and private dental services call (03) 5258 0828 or email [email protected]