| 26 Jul 2023

New dental treatment facility features chair for children

The growing dental care needs of South Canterbury children will be more easily met with the addition of a second procedure chair in Timaru Hospital’s new facility.

The upgraded dental unit has been operating since April but had its official opening event in June.  The service was originally located on Level 2 of the Clinical Services Block but was moved to Level 1 to make space for the new paediatric outpatients department.

The move was well timed and allowed a planned investment in the service to be brought forward, expanding from one to two procedure chairs. Importantly, the new chair is also suitable for children.

“We are seeing increased number of kids needing more dental care, needing sedation or anaesthetic, it’s all around New Zealand not just our region,” says paediatric dental surgeon Aravind Parachuru.

Between the two dental surgery teams, they complete around 70 lists a year numbering about 200 patients, plus an additional 1200 outpatients.

Dental surgeon Fraser Dunbar sees the new facility and its ability to help children as a way to help build connections between dentist practices and Te Whatu Ora’s dental surgery service.

“We can’t do it without each other and I hope we can get buy-in from local dentists. We would love to create more of a community.”

The facility has also been upgraded to include the latest equipment, some of which is specific to the care of children.

“We are very thankful to have one more chair, it will be very helpful for future demand,” says Aravind Parachuru.

Blue Dental chair with green wall

New Dental Unit

6 poeple from dental service

Dental Team pictured left to right: Aravind Parachuru Venkata, Georgina Townsley, Fraser Dunbar, Christine Holloway, Vicki Stevenson, and Anna Whiltshire.