New Whangārei oral health clinic does hospital dental work in the community

The new Te Kamo Community Oral Health Clinic, that opened last week.

A new oral health clinic has opened in Whangārei to provide dental services in the community that were done at Whangārei Hospital.

Te Kamo Community Oral Health Clinic opened last week, bringing many of the dental services provided at Whangārei Hospital out into the community and making access easier.

The new clinic is an extension of the previous two-chair clinic already on the site. Diagnostics and treatments are provided by dental/oral health therapists, dentists and specialists in an outpatient setting, supported by a team of dental assistants and administrators.

The new clinic has the latest technology, including 3D imaging, and car parking close to the building.

Te Kamo includes seven surgeries plus a recovery room, processing rooms for instruments, a meeting room, an administration area, and large waiting room.

Two clinics have been retained at Whangārei Hospital for children, adolescents and adults who require treatment in a hospital setting.

Service manager, oral health for Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau, Pip Zammit, said the move was great for the community.

“Relocating much of the oral health service from level 5 at Whangārei Hospital into the new Te Kamo clinic means that people can more easily access care,” she said.

Throughout the clinic are Northland landscape and wildlife photographs, which were kindly gifted by photographers Grant Birley, Wanderwild Photography, Liz Inch, Philippa Mentor, Jane Yates and Ravi Chetty.

“We are extremely grateful for the artwork, it helps us provide a uniquely Northland environment for our patients to enjoy,” Zammit said.

The land at 3 Grant St in Kamo, where the clinic is sited, was bequeathed to Northland Health Board by William King in 1958. A plaque hangs in the new building to acknowledge King’s 64-year-old gift.

The relocation of the services aligns with other work currently under way by Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora Māori Health Authority, to increase access to health services.

Te Kamo is part of a wider Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau network providing oral health care services for eligible children, adolescents and adults. This network includes district hospitals, 18 school-based mobile dental clinics, and seven fixed community dental clinics strategically placed in Whangārei, Kerikeri, Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Hokianga, Mangawhai, and Dargaville.

The community-based dental service is free for children under 18 years. Adults who are Community Service Card Holders and live in Northland can also access the service (note that a $40 co-payment charge applies for each appointment).

To find out more about the service or make an appointment call 0800 MYTEETH (0800 698 3384) or visit Northlanddhb.org.nz to enrol and to book.

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