earners

Dental treatment inaccessible for many low-income earners

Juliet Gray, special care dentist at the Canterbury District Health Board, with patient Stephen Mudgway, who uses a wheelchair and has multiple sclerosis.

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Juliet Gray, special care dentist at the Canterbury District Health Board, with patient Stephen Mudgway, who uses a wheelchair and has multiple sclerosis.

Christchurch wheelchair user Stephen Mudgway says even if he could afford it, access to dental care is ‘’literally and financially impossible’’.

Mudgway has multiple sclerosis and has needed to use a wheelchair for the last 10 years. He’s one of many New Zealander’s struggling to get adequate dental care – a problem health professionals say is leading to a resurgence in intensive care admissions and third-world oral health problems.

”You go to a normal dentist and you’re lucky to get in the door, even ones which say they are wheelchair friendly have a lip and you can’t get an electric wheelchair over those,” Mudgway said.

”You’re stuck where you can go, if you go into the hospital the rooms are big and the chair is movable

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