President of the Deddick Valley Isolated Community Group Committee (DVICG), Dr Deb Foskey said the small communities of Bendoc and Bonang have benefited from a visit by the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s (RFDS) Mobile Dental Clinic.
“As we know, poor oral health can lead to serious health complications. In some parts of Victoria, it is the second leading cause of preventable hospital admissions,” Dr Foskey said.
“Places like Bendoc and Bonang are far from dental services and the result is that many people have neglected their oral health.
“RFDS Victoria's Mobile Dental Care program brings the dentist to small rural communities across Victoria. The program is run in partnership between Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Victoria, Dental Health Services Victoria and the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch.
“Working with a team of dental practitioners, the Flying Doctor Dental Clinic is a purpose built mobile dental van that ventures out onto rural roads to bring the expert services of skilled dentists to isolated people.
“We first saw the Dental Clinic in our community at the Big Bonang Arvo at the end of October where several people took advantage of its well-appointed clinic for a check-up.
“A couple of weeks later, it returned for a week in Bonang and three weeks in Bendoc where people attended for more comprehensive work like fillings, extractions and a good clean.
“In all 31 people have benefited so far and, due to a wait list, several more will be treated when the Mobile Unit returns in January next year.
“Clearly, this is a service that is worth continuing. Bringing services to isolated rural communities is the best way of ensuring that the maximum number of people attend, leading to better health outcomes.
“The best outcome would be an annual visit of the mobile dental clinic so that the good start can be followed up and spreading the word of its service will bring along new people,” Dr Foskey said.