Celebrating Smiles | 30 August, 2022

From The Hygienist's Mouth - Claire Newton

Claire Newton is an oral health therapist at InCity Dental Rotorua and has a strong focus on restorative dentistry.

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

I found my way into my Bachelor of Oral Health through wanting to work in healthcare & make a positive impact on people’s lives. It helped that I was able to have many years of “work experience” assisting my dad at his dental practice so I had a good feel for the ins and outs of my future career.

How long have you been practicing Dentistry?

This is my eighth year since graduating from Otago in 2014!

Tell us about your career background.

Originally from Dunedin to my family and friends' surprise, I moved to Hamilton for a graduate OHT position with Waikato DHB. After three years of working full-time in a community-based clinic, I began working part-time in private practice to keep up my Dental Hygiene skillset.

My partner and I moved to the geothermal hotspot that is Rotorua eight months ago so he could utilize his Ph.D. in Geology. Choosing the OHT position with the Lumino InCity Dental Practice here was a great decision. I work with a wonderful supportive team; lovely patients & we are lucky enough to have a great café/coffee roastery downstairs!

What is your most memorable case to date?

An older gentleman who thought that calculus formation was inevitable & that he just had to keep coming to see me more regularly to keep on top of it. After giving him a few plaques disclosing tabs to take home he virtually had nil deposit present at his next 3-month recall apt. I may have also helped suggest he wears his glasses in the bathroom when cleaning his teeth each day.

What do you love most about your job?

My patients! I manage to have very interesting conversations with my patients during their appointments and really like making personal connections where I can. I believe we can achieve greater health outcomes when our patients feel relaxed and understood and I find taking a genuine interest in them helps to achieve this.


What are your special interests in dentistry?

Patient education! Using a mirror, having the patient floss, brush & use interdental brushes with or without plaque disclosing beforehand really does have a huge visual impact for them. I’ll intervene when needed to suggest different techniques to reach areas more effectively. I also enjoy restorative Dentistry and am always trying to improve my skillset in this area.

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

Only clean between the teeth you want to keep & spit, don’t rinse!

Where would we find you outside of the practice?

Mountain biking in the Whakarewarewa Forest here, gardening, singing in a local musical or spending time with my friends and family! Oh and flossing of course!