Welcome to the Nganampa Health Council (NHC) Dental Program. The dental program is integral to the delivery of primary health care on the APY lands. This program is primarily funded by the South Australian Department of Health.

Dental Program Summary
The dental program is provided through two fixed clinics (at Pukatja and Iwantja) and a mobile dental surgery (basically a dental clinic on the back of a truck) that services the other communities and major homelands.

In 2011 the program received funding to purchase portable dental equipment. This equipment allows us to provide dental treatment to patients who might have a disability or are aged. We have used this equipment to provide treatment to the residents of the Tjilpiku Pampaku Ngura Aged Care Facility. Some of this equipment is used regularly in our mobile dental clinic. This equipment also acts as a backup if a main item of equipment fails.

Both the construction of the new mobile dental surgery and the portable dental equipment were funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

Program Priorities
1. School children
  • we aim to dentally examine all school children once every year, provide appropriate treatment, and any relevant oral health promotion the focus is on atraumatic/minimal intervention and preventive dentistry.

2. Emergency and adult care
  • There is still a relatively high demand for emergency care, with many diabetics suffering moderate-severe periodontal disease.

3. People with diabetes and chronic illness
  • The dental team works cooperatively with health staff to provide appropriate dental care to people with diabetes and complex medical needs

4. People with missing teeth
  • Denture provision (particularly complete dentures) is assessed on a case by case basis

5. Young adults health promotion
  • Where possible, the program works to address the oral health needs of young adults.

We collect oral health status data which tells us the “story” of oral health on the APY lands and helps us to plan and evaluate our program. Our focus on school aged children has meant dental health in 12 year olds on the APY Lands is comparable to that in the wider South Australian population.

The program is well respected by all communities, and children have no or very little fear of the dentist due to a concerted effort to provide atraumatic and preventive dental care.
The program also works with schools to encourage daily tooth brushing at school, and to provide dental education support.