South Auckland dentist offering treatment at fraction of regular price

A new clinic in south Auckland is taking the pain out of the cost of dental work.

It offers treatment at a fraction of the price of regular clinics - that's because the dentists are still in training.

Māia Tapsell has been helping keep the cost down while developing her skills.

"I actually was shocked, I had a few cases that were very complex," she says.

But she learned from some of the best, and can now help her iwi.

"Working in Te Arawa and helping the Māori communities, it feels right."

The dentists there are in their final year at the University of Otago, but if the thought of a dentist in training makes you nervous, the price will be a sweetener. Treatment costs around 10 percent of a regular clinic.

"Dentistry's an expensive business, so to be able to offer it at a lower cost is a fantastic opportunity," said Facility Clinical Director, David Roessler. "And the other part of that is if we can get people going regularly to the dentist, it will end up costing less."

Thursday's official opening has been put off twice because of COVID-19.

Susie Kwon is keen to start.

"I hope to experience lots of real-life dentistry," she says.

"Get lots of knowledge that the tutors have and then that will be passed down to us, so I'm really excited for that."

And there's no shortage of patients.  The need is so great that there's already a long waiting list.