Parents urged to call 0800 Talkteeth to book school dental appointments

29 September 2015
WDHB Oral Health Services clinical manager Barb Dewson
The head of Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) school dental service is concerned that online misinformation about how parents can, or can’t, book dental appointments could see children missing out on much needed dental care.
WDHB Oral Health Services clinical manager Barb Dewson says misleading conversations taking place on a local parents’ Facebook page have prompted her to publicise how the school dental system works and the correct way for parents to request an appointment when their child needs treatment.
Mrs Dewson says it’s very easy. All parents need to do is search for ‘dental’ on the WDHB website, find the WDHB’s Dental Services link and look for the service’s 0800 number at the top of the page which is 0800 Talkteeth, or 0800 825 583.
The roster showing where the WDHB’s seven mobile dental units are situated is also displayed on the website. When parents call the 0800 number to make an appointment, the receptionist will advise if the roster has been changed at short notice.
Mrs Dewson says the WDHB has five ‘fixed’ dental clinics at the Taihape Dental Centre and Tawhero, Wanganui Intermediate, Ohakune and Marton Primary Schools. However, to ensure all young children and adolescents receive dental care, the WDHB has seven mobile dental units traveling between schools throughout the district which extends to Waimarino in the north, across the Rangitikei River to Halcombe and Sanson, over to the Waitotara area in the west, and throughout Whanganui city.
“When parents call the 0800 number, our receptionist explains where they will find the nearest mobile unit and the number they need to call to contact the staff there,” Mrs Dewson says.
“In the case of an emergency, a parent can take their child to one of our clinics or units where our dental staff will do all they can to provide immediate treatment or advise that the child is taken to their GP or hospital to be seen.”
Mrs Dewson says she hopes parents will call 0800 Talkteeth to make an appointment or an enquiry rather than believe what they read on Facebook.