All smiles: St Pat’s oral health clinic proving a success

Dentist John Whyte and client Alan Sanderson.
Dentist John Whyte and client Alan Sanderson.

DENTAL treatment can be an expensive medical necessity for many, but the St Patrick’s Community Support Centre’s Oral Health Clinic is dedicated to making sure their patients are all smiles.

The recent addition of denture fitting to the list of the clinic’s services has made many feel a lot more comfortable according to St Pat’s chief executive Steve McDermott.

“For some of our clients, a set of dentures may represent the first time they have felt comfortable with their teeth for many years,” he said.

“It has been amazing to see the newfound confidence a new set of dentures can give a person.”

He said people experiencing homelessness were among the least likely to see a dentist and therefore tended to have poor oral health.

Clinic client Alan Sanderson, who is in his 50s, said until visiting the clinic he had been wearing the same set of dentures since he was a teenager.

“I’ve been saying for the last three years I needed to do something about it,” he said.

“The other ones I had kept falling out; they’ve got everything at St Pat’s now.”

Since opening in August 2016 the clinic has been well utilised, with more than 100 clients visiting for extractions, restorations, scale and cleans and to get ulcers and abscesses treated in the first seven months of operation.

Demand for the service continues to be high, with 130 people on the waiting list.

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