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31 Oct 2013 | Australasian Dental Practice

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W&H and Alldent lend a hand in Vanuatu

Human Interest Philanthropy, Charity and Volunteering

W&H and Victorian A-dec dealer, Alldent, have lent a hand to the Vanuatu Dental Care Service to help establish a new dental clinic in Port Vila, Vanuatu.


W&H donated two full sets of instruments, including Alegra handpieces and W&H air motors, while dental service technician Bill Stoney of Alldent performed the installation of two donated dental chairs, dental instruments and a compressor.

The focal point of the charity is to train locals to share the "oral health message" with all the people of Vanuatu and provide appropriate methods of treatment, with a focus on using dental hand tools to administer "ART" (Atraumatic Restorative Treatment) rather than doing extractions in later life when the pain becomes too much to endure. The small dental clinic and modern instruments will allow proper restorative treatments to be performed.

Much of the impetus for the latest project was driven by the Uniting Church of Australia, in conjunction with the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu and a group of volunteer yachtsmen from Medical Sailing Ministries (MSM) whose charter is to combine their love of yachting with the challenge of delivering medical services where they are needed most. The donated dental equipment was delivered to Vanuatu by yacht from Australia.

Alldent took on the role of installing the equipment and ensuring it was functioning correctly. Mr Stoney said that because of the lack of modern dental equipment, caries in many of the Pacific Islands regions have traditionally been treated by simply extracting problem teeth. He said the availability of modern dental equipment including the new W&H air motors and handpieces would enable the practice of minimally invasive restorative treatments and much better long-term patient outcomes.

Already the venture has been a success, with the new Port Vila clinic officially opened on 4th July and treating 26 patients in just the first two days of operation.

The clinic will also serve as a clinic for volunteer dentists visiting monthly from Australia to treat referred patients from the program, and double as a training centre for training Ni-Van health care workers in oral health education and ART.

Vanuatu Dental Care Service directly supports local Ni-Vans in spreading a positive oral health message in its oral health prevention outreach program, which includes peri-natal clinics and delivering appropriate forms of dental treatment. The service aims to reach all corners of the country, comprising over 80 islands spread over more than 800km north to south.

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