Dargaville gets dentist after two years

Dargaville will have its own dentist after more than a two-year wait.

The growing demand had some resorting to DIY or being forced to travel to Whangārei for treatment.

However, media coverage of the town needing a dentist connected the doctor with the clinic, owner Rodney Cotton said.

“This dentist, through friends, heard about our needs from people watching TV, and he actually contacted TV1, and that was how he got hold of us,” Cotton told Checkpoint.

“He’s a senior dentist from Auckland and he’s had his own practice. So I’m pretty confident, but my wife, who’s got a chipped tooth, she’s going in there shortly.”

There was pent-up demand for a dentist in Dargaville, he said.

“At times there’s been three dentists operating full-time in Dargaville. We’ve only got one guy doing four days.”

While some people would have formed relationships with Whangārei dentists, “I imagine majority will will want to just do it locally,” he said.

“So I’m very confident if I could get a second guy which will make my business model a whole heap stronger, we’ll easily have enough work for two dentists.”

Cotton said WINZ had stepped in to help.

“There’s $1000 every person on the WINZ benefit can access per year for dentistry, so we’ve actually been ticked off to do that work immediately.

“So anyone on a WINZ benefit straight away can utilise that $1000.”

For others, he said his clinic’s rates were cheaper than others in Northland much cheaper than Auckland.

About half of New Zealanders are now avoiding seeing the dentist due to cost barriers, a national health survey has revealed.

Figures from the New Zealand Dental Association showed the price of a typical appointment – including an exam, clean, x-ray and composite fillings – had gone up $98 between 2020 and 2023.

And for the community on Great Barrier Island its last resident dentist retired in 2016, leaving all of his dental equipment to the community.

Since then, visiting dentists have operated out of the clinic when possible, but it has been nearly a year since the last visit, and demand for dental services on the island is growing.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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