Dental services come to N West rural communities

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pretoria - Travelling long distances to access oral health care will soon become a thing of the past for North West rural and farming communities, thanks to additional Mobile Dental Clinics to be located near their homes.

In addition to 18 existing dental mobile clinics doing duty in the province, the North West Health Department has bought four more new Mobile Dental Clinics to improve access of oral health services.

The mobile clinics, valued at R3.9 million, will service the communities in Ratlou, Kagisano Molopo, Lekwatemane and Moretele. 

"The province has seen an improved access and delivery of comprehensive oral health services to rural and farming communities since its inception in 2000. The dental mobile clinics are now able to reach over 500 000 points, including clinics and schools," the department said.

Designed to sustain gravel roads, the mobile clinics, include a dental chair with a specialised distilled water bottle in order to alleviate the damage of the equipment by hard water and an air conditioner to accommodate patients who cannot stand hot unfavorable weather conditions.

They also include an X-Ray machine and X-ray developer to help clinicians conduct examinations and diagnosis of oral diseases and tooth decay even at remote areas; curing light and amalgamator for conservative cases (fillings), ultrasonic scalar for scaling and polishing to combat periodontal diseases, gingivitis and to remove tartar.

"Infection control is of high standard as there is an Autoclave fitted in the mobile to combat the spreading of diseases like hepatitis B. Shelter/shade is provided on the side of the mobile for waiting patients, a stand-by generator is fitted to the mobile for provision of power where and when there is a lack of electricity," said the department.

The mobiles have refrigerators to preserve oral health materials and a hydraulic lift for the disabled and pensioners.