School dental nurse at work

A boy receiving dental care at Te Kaha School, Opotiki. c1944.


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7 comments have been posted about School dental nurse at work

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Posted: 15 Nov 2019

Waitangi Tribunal...? I recall being called in to the murder house when i had no complaints of dental issues, 2-3 times a week when there were 20+/- dental nurses at Mangere Intermediate... always drilling, (b4 the use of anaesthetic? &CONSENT FORMS) & being in pain for weeks after until being called in again when the pain (incl inner cheek bites!?)... always me & the other MAORI /PI kids. Now when those consent forms for my children are completed they have an additional clause - Consent to examine only, additional consent for EACH & EVERY treatment before, parent/Mum to be present.
I thought it may have been that my Mum was one of those young Mums, that didn't take much notice of these issues - probably didn't think to ask if i had a toothache needing fixing, didn't even notice...? One of the many child abuses situations that still affects life exponentially every day!
Class action I say, 15 of the past 40 year's income had been dental taxed in the 10s of 1000s... 25 years back home that is exponentially more, through the teeth that i try desperately need to keep but, losing the battle...


Posted: 10 Jul 2019

We came from a home with having no sugars in our diet and good food. Our teeth seemed good , but the dental nurse in silverstream Upper Hutt always drilled our teeth . Our teeth are filled with deep amalgam fillings , now they are all breaking and can’t be saved . Is there no compensation for us whos teeth have been wreaked by dental nurses from that era ?


Posted: 25 Feb 2019

My teeth were drilled out 5 at a time.
As an adult I have spent 35k trying to keep teeth . I've had many extractions. Implants crowns root canals and still missing extracted teeth that were drilled out by dental nurses too deep to be saved

Cazz S

Posted: 09 Jan 2016

My parents withdrew my brother and me from the school dental service because of the unnecessary drilling and filling of healthy teeth by the dental nurses at Tinakori Rd Clinic, Wellington during the period 1967-69. Seeing a dentist inspect their work was an extremely rare event - less than once per block of treatment weeks.

School made such a fuss about our withdrawal that parents wondered if the school dental service or government made payments to the school for each pupil attendance at the clinic. On the first day that I was due to attend my normally kind teacher lost her temper with me because the bus from school in Mt Victoria to the Tinakori Rd clinic left without me. Being newly arrived in NZ, I hadn't realised that the numbers and accompanying names that she had called out that morning were for the chairs at the dental clinic. I couldn't understand why she was so angry.

After our parents withdrew us, I had no more teeth filled for over 40 years! I'm grateful that my parents took action, though still angry that perfectly healthy teeth were filled.



Posted: 13 Apr 2014

Re: Johnnys...
As I remember it the dental nurses didn't use anaesthetic at all. They just drilled and pulled the teeth.
It was the most barbaric dental treatment I have ever experienced.
I actually kicked a dental nurse in the stomach at a school murder-house in Wellington when I was about seven or eight. She refused to treat me from then on and my father was called to the school from work. I copped a hiding when dad got me home and then I was dragged along to the a Dental Hospital in Wellington city. My dad, and two or three orderlies held me down, kicking and screaming, whilst a gas mask was pushed into my face and I was gassed. I thought they really were murdering me.
I was highly traumatised and later woke up to find the offending tooth missing.
I probably would have visited a dentist about five times over the past forty or so years and I have never gotten over my dental experiences during my formative years in Wellington.
When I was thirteen we moved to Australia and I have never been back to New Zealand. Not even for a visit.
The New Zealand School Dental system would have been quite at home in Nazi Germany, although I think they would have reserved its use only for non Aryans!

Jan Moon

Posted: 18 Dec 2013

when I was at school the dental clinic was known as the Murder House. Some children, when the last victim came to your classroom and offered you up for sacrifice, went home, but you couldn't avoid the inevitable.
By the time girls got to about Std 3, competition was fierce to do the dusting for the dental clinic - the reward were empty drill boxes, no longer needed mirrors and other items which were eagerly sought. My Dad used to do a great line in wooden dowel handles for any inplements we managed to score.


Posted: 16 Dec 2013

I remember the first Dental Nurses who came to our Native School. There were two. The aneasthetic they used could not have been effective because every extraction was followed by painful howls. My uncle who was older than I actually bit the finger of the dental nurse. The next time they came back however there was only one who had a lovely dental chair manner and the service was more readily accepted at our school but I remember that it didn't get a good first pr.