Problem Statement

Oral health is a vital component of general health and there are persistent inequities in oral health outcomes. Dental disease is a leading cause of potentially preventable admissions to hospital for young children, as well as a significant source of inequity for Maaori and Pacific, compared to other populations. Oral diseases disproportionately affect poorer groups and are closely linked to socioeconomic status and the broader determinants of health.

Providing access to quality dental care is one way of improving oral health outcomes and addressing persistent inequities.

What are we trying to achieve?

Our goal is to work with the University of Otago to provide additional access to quality dental and oral health services for under-served populations within Counties Manukau. These services will be provided at low cost and close to the community. CM Health and the University of Otago have agreed to partner in developing a dental school on the site of the Manukau SuperClinic. A range of dental services will be provided for the community at no or low cost.

What have we done?

Construction of the dental school building is well-advanced with its opening scheduled for February 2020. CM Health and the University of Otago are currently agreeing the service components, target cohorts and ways of working. Referral and care pathways from, and into, adjacent and related services (e.g. Auckland Regional Dental Service and Auckland Regional Dental and Oral Health Service) are also being developed.

How did we make a difference?

This is at an early stage and we hope it will make a difference.

Where to from here?

CM Health will continue to work with the University of Otago to:

  • finalise the referral and care pathways
  • build relationships and connections with other key stakeholders in relation to oral health
  • implement governance arrangements to ensure that the service meets the needs of the community
  • explore innovative approaches to care delivery that improve oral health equity and meet the education needs of the dental school.

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