Defence Force declares war on tooth decay

dentist
The two-week clinic is also being used as training for overseas missions. Photo credit: File

The Defence Force is giving free dental care and education to a small Bay of Plenty town.

The 25-member team has set up a clinic in Taneatua and is hoping to see about 400 people walk through its doors as part of Exercise Wisdom Tooth.

Sgt Maj Ross Heald says it's an area in need.

"The Tuhoe tribal areas consists of four areas, spreading from Lake Waikaremoana right through to Taneatua. There are a number of barriers to people accessing dental treatment."

The two-week clinic is also being used as training for overseas missions.

"It provides a valuable training opportunity for us to exercise our skills of providing dentistry in the field, and an opportunity for a whole lot of people to visit the dentist."

Sgt Maj Heald says it's rewarding work.

"Based on our appointment schedule… about 400 people will get to visit a dentist that otherwise would not do so."

Newshub.