Adolescents Ignore Free Dental Check-Ups

Despite dental check-ups and treatment being absolutely free of cost to anyone who is under the age of 18, it seems that teens residing in Auckland would rather pass checking up with a dentist.

Students have the facility of receiving treatment regarding their teeth through mobile units, which come on a round to their schools. They can receive treatments even from a dentist who is a member under a district health board scheme.

The national target for dental services being provided to adolescents has been benchmarked at 85% by the Ministry of Health. Though, according to the statistics available, about 33% of the adolescents did not undergo any dental care over the period of last one year. The statistics have been provided by the health boards of Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau.

According to Corinna Wylie, Health Coordinator, Waitemata District Health Board, it is the schools that need to be blamed for such a huge number of teens not receiving dental care as schools object to the disturbance caused by check-ups during education time. She further stated that all colleges and schools in Auckland are offered free mobile units.

The board though refused to divulge the name of the schools that turned down the free mobile units. They also could not state the means through which they would be able to attain the target of 85% teens receiving dental care.