Celebrating Smiles | 14 July, 2022

From The Hygienist’s Mouth – Lauren Allen

Lauren Allen is an oral health therapist at Lumino Nelson and has a strong focus on disease prevention and stabilisation.

What made you decide to get into dentistry as a career?

Science was my favourite school subject, and I always knew I wanted a healthcare career where I could work with my hands. I attended a dental appointment to support a family member and realised that oral health therapy would tick a lot of boxes!

How long have you been practising?

Since I graduated from the University of Otago in 2018.

Tell us about your career background.

I have spent the past three-and-a-half years working for the Nelson-Marlborough DHB providing routine dental care to children from a variety of backgrounds. I was also lucky enough to do a separate research project on decay-causing bacteria, published in Caries Research last year.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the variety of work and patients, and the strong focus on disease prevention and stabilisation. I want all my patients to leave their appointments with a greater sense of confidence around their oral health future.

What is your most memorable case to date?

Deep occult “decay” on an unerupted adult molar – an incidental finding on a routine x-ray.

What are your special interests in dentistry?

The prevention and stabilisation of periodontal disease, and the prevention of dental caries.

What is the main piece of advice you give your patients?

A discussion on brushing techniques, and that teeth need a two-hour rest after every carbohydrate exposure!

Where would we find you outside of the practice?

Power-walking sunny trails around Nelson, playing pool, or in the kitchen baking anything chocolate – it’s all about balance!