FOUR years ago, Griffith’s dental situation was so dire one Griffith man was forced to pull out his own teeth using a pair of pliers.
But with the public dental waiting lists now well and truly under control and a fourth private dentist ready to open its doors in the city, residents have plenty of reason to smile.
Griffith Base Hospital general manager Ian Power said the appointment of a senior dentist to the dental clinic in January 2010 meant they had been able to reduce previously long waiting lists.
According to Mr Power, Griffith will certainly benefit from having more private dental surgeries in town.
“A few years ago we did have issues, particularly with access to dental services in the higher triage category,” Mr Power said.
“But over the past couple of years we’ve been able to decrease our waiting lists and stabilise them.
“I’m really pleased with how things are going. We have a great team now. From a regional public dental service point of view I think we’d be the envy of a lot of places.”
Mr Power said he was happy to report that Griffith Base Hospital Dental Clinic currently has no patients on any of the higher triage coded waiting lists.
These codes include Code 1, which is for emergency patients that need to be seen within 24 hours, Code 3A, patients with pain day and night that need to be seen within a week, Code 3B, patients where the pain is not severe but have night pain and need to be seen within a month.
Meanwhile, new dentists Amr ElDaly and Nihal ElKaddah hope to have Griffith Dental Lounge, located upstairs in Griffith City Plaza, up and running by the end of August.
The husband and wife are keen to offer a “fresh approach” for clients.
Mr ElDaly has lived in Griffith over the past two-and-a-half years. Before migrating to Australia, he also worked in Egypt.
“We are looking to create a relaxing experience, something really modern for everyone,” he said. “When people go to see a dentist it’s already a shock, so we are doing things a little differently. One thing is that we will have 3D TVs in the ceiling.
“In my opinion there is definitely a need for more dentists in Griffith. We will offer general dentistry, with a focus on early intervention orthodontics for children.
“We have a nice, sunny view and we’ve worked with architect Steven Murray to come up with something really hi-tech and modern. He has done a fantastic job.”