A new $2.5 million one-stop, world-class dental facility called Kowhai Dental West has opened in Maunu Rd, Whangārei.
The second Kowhai Dental clinic in the city to be opened by dental specialist Dr Jeff Joy and practice director Jana Joy, the two-storeyed, new building sits right next to and on the western side of the couple's original clinic, which will remain open.
The couple say they are fighting back against New Zealand's appalling dental health, one mouth at a time.
With Kiwi dental health viewed as third world and children waiting months for treatment, the Joys decided to get to the root of the problem and change the way dentistry is done in this country.
A week ago they opened the new facility which will provide regular dentistry and specialist services all under one environmentally-friendly roof.
The opening was a community as well as business celebration, with invited guests, a blessing service, kapa haka, entertainer Luke bird as MC and Whangārei mayor Sheryl Mai officially opening the new facility.
More than 96,000 New Zealand children had teeth extracted in 2017 and 6600 children were hospitalised with rotten teeth. Northland has the second highest rate of poor dental health, with only 44.19 per cent of Northland five-year-olds being without fillings.
Kowhai Dental West's one-stop, advanced services will mean fewer Northland people having long waiting times and travelling to Auckland for treatment.
"Previously Northlanders have often faced additional travel costs for the trip to Auckland but now the Northland District Health Board is saying Auckland cannot keep up with demand, with about 100,000 Kiwi kids not having their yearly dentist check-ups," Jana Joy said.
"Our new clinic will allow us to better serve the needs of both the Whangārei community and all of Northland. We've expanded our practice from six dental chairs to 16 and have a team of 25 staff, with more joining in 2019.
''Our services surpass anything on offer in Auckland and we hope the days of Northlanders having to travel so far for treatment are over.''
Kowhai Dental sources almost all supplies and dental equipment from overseas (mainly the US) at very good discounts which are then passed on to patients. The practice also offers payment plans to patients so their dental health doesn't deteriorate to the point of their teeth being unsalvageable because they were forced to save up for treatment.
"We want to provide accessible, affordable dentistry to the Whāngarei community. For example, we are introducing perioscopy, which is a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative to periodontal surgery,'' Dr Joy said.
''This advanced perio treatment is a third of the cost, far more comfortable and often provides better results.''
Kowhai Dental was launched in Whangārei by the Joys in 2009. Dr Joy is a US-trained dentist with over 30 years' experience and is an expert in advanced endodontics and prosthodontics.
Each dentist at Kowhai Dental holds a doctoral level degree. The team includes Dr Matthias Stamm, a world-renowned implantologist, recently returned from China where he was lecturing on advanced implant placement and reconstructive techniques.
Stamm was an associate professor of Oral Surgery and Implantology at the University of Dusseldorf, before joining Kowhai Dental.
"The extensive experience of our team reflects our ethos that affordable dentistry shouldn't mean compromising on quality," said Joy.
In time, the couple plans to expand the model of providing accessible, affordable dentistry throughout New Zealand.
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