About 50 per cent of New Zealanders delay going to the dentist in fear of the likely cost if anything turns out to be wrong, according to a recent survey.

And, once Kiwis reach the age of 18 this fear of the cost snowballs until they cannot bare the gum pain no more. To help overcome that fear, our very own MUSA has offered to subsidise half of our first oral examinations.

Together with Carpenter’s Dental, MUSA has organised an opportunity for internal students under the age of 21 to receive a dental check-up on campus for just $21.

Every Wednesday from 9am to 3pm, the Carpenter’s Dental van is on the Concourse where students are welcome to just show up. MUSA’s general manager, Dave Broderick, says student health is one of MUSA’s first priorities, and oral care is no exception. However, for students, the “dentist is usually last priority”. He says that if students are not in pain they have the tendency to avoid the dentist which then leads to bigger problems, meaning bigger bills.

By paying half the check-up fee and offering dental care on campus, Dave is hoping to encourage students to get in early before the pain of the cost hurts more than the pain of the gums. He believes it’s especially a great programme for newcomers, because it means they won’t have to go out of their way to find a dentist or go off campus to attend the appointments.

MUSA has made a commitment to the programme for a year and, depending on how successful it is, plans to make it permanent before extending the service to students over 21. So, if you’re over 21 and want to have access to cheap dental, get out there and drag those youngsters to the van every Wednesday.

Jae Hae Lee

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