The reconfiguring of the Gore Health dental unit has meant an extra dentist can work in the building.
The Gore dental unit houses two chairs for children and adolescents, funded by the Southern District Health Board (SDHB), a third chair for families, and now a fourth chair has been added.
Gore Health resident dental unit dentist Dr Chris Grubb has been joined by Dr Haneen Alayan.
Dr Alayan took up the position of dentist at the unit this week.
The unit’s large reception area had been made slightly smaller and a new room created for the fourth chair, hospital chief executive Karl Metzler said.
“We felt there was a shortage of dentists in Eastern Southland,” Mr Metzler said.
“So it was a real opportunity,” he said.
Teenagers were funded for dental care until the end of year 8.
At the beginning of year 9 they were classed as adults and then could enrol with the Gore Health-run practice, Mr Metzler
Dr Alayan was living in Christchurch before her move south.
Her first job was in Hamilton, where she worked in a mobile dental caravan at a secondary school.
“It was good fun,” Dr Alayan said.
Dr Alayan will work three days in Gore and two in Dunedin each week.
The unit takes patients on Saturdays and Dr Alayan will work some of those days.
Dr Alayan said she was enjoying living
in the South.
“I love it; it suits my personality – no traffic, no traffic lights, friendly people,” she said.
Dr Alayan is of Palestinian descent and was born in the United States. She moved with her family to Christchurch when she was 1 year old.