Free dental treatments have come to Ngaruawahia for the month of June thanks to the Revive a Smile Charity.

This is the third stop on the charity's tour this year but the first time for the North Waikato town, the first being the small Northland town of Kaeo. 

Charity founder Assil Russell believed there was a great need for the service in North Waikato. 

"We did a lot of research into areas that don't have a lot of access to dentistry and areas that have a higher need," she said.

The team started seeing patients on Tuesday. 

Those who visit the clinic often could not afford private treatment or are embarrassed by the state of their teeth, Russell said. 

But it's a welcome environment to the mobile clinic which is currently based in the car park of the Ngaruawahia Community House and operates five days a week. 

"There's no shame, there's no judgment...We've dealt a lot with homeless and victims of domestic violence."

Applications had opened while the mobile clinic was operating in Hamilton and so for the first few weeks it is fully booked.

But there could be a chance for it to stay longer with applications still open.

"If it's really welcomed by the community and it's really well utilised, there is potential to stay longer. "

Operating with dentists, dental nurses and volunteers, she said the charity was well funded making it possible to the tour.

"Dentistry is quite expensive, we have the same materials as they would in a private practise," Russell said.

"It's been a long time coming and we've had some huge help from Southern Cross Health Trust and they've helped us get to Kaeo and Ngaruawahia."

Grassroots Trust funding had also helped cover costs as well, she said.

The clinic is able to do some treatments including fillings, extractions and routine gum treatment.

However anything too complex and patients are referred to other clinics.

Russell said the charity did have connections with clinics that were able to work out payment plans with patients.  


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