Dental Waiting Times Decrease In The Riverland

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Waiting times for dental treatment have decreased in the Riverland of South Australia over the last 6 months. According to the latest figures the average waiting time has been reduced by 2 months.

Despite the positive news waiting times in the Riverland are still twice the length of those in Adelaide and patients are waiting around 18 months for non-urgent dental care. The waiting time is similar to state regions.

The South Australian Dental Service said the mobile clinic located at Berri will soon be fully staffed when a new dentist joins the team and that this will increase capacity. The public dental clinic is already operating at full capacity.

Anne Pak-Poy, acting executive director of the service, said private dentists have also been seeing public patients to try and decrease waiting times. This venture is described as being “key” by Pak-Poy and she added that it is essential for the public and private sectors to work together to provide optimum levels of service for patients.

There are also plans to build a new clinic in Berri. This will be run in conjunction with the University of Adelaide’s Dental School and it is hoped that this will enable local people to get an appointment ever quicker.

The aim is eventually to reduce waiting times in line with guidelines issued by dentists so that patients can see a public dentist at least once a year for routine check-ups.

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