Over 450 patients received free treatment this year, in what is the largest free dental event in the country.
Since its beginning in 2013, Lumino Day has provided treatment to over 2500 patients to the value of $900,000.
A team of 83 clinical staff and close to 150 support staff from Lumino The Dentists were on hand to treat or assist the unpaid carers at the 32 participating practices
Lumino The Dentists CEO Andy Tapper says Lumino Day has become a highlight of the calendar year.
“People who give so much of their time looking after others, perhaps tend to neglect looking after themselves,” he says.
“We are aware that looking after oral health is not something that many carers put as a priority, so Lumino Day is just a small opportunity to lend a hand to a group of very deserving people. It’s our way to give back to our communities and provide carers with an opportunity to focus on themselves and their own self-care.”
The dentists and staff at Lumino practices around the country gave their time for free and say they love helping their local communities.
Many staff said they enjoyed meeting and hearing the stories of the carers that came in and that they were they were grateful and appreciative of the treatment they received.
Some patients that came in were in excruciating pain while others just needed check-ups and saw a hygienist for professional clean and polish.
“It was an awesome, fun day had by all staff and patients,” says Lumino Coastlands Practice Manager Jayne Rudolf.
“Everyone was very appreciative of the day, as it was a treat to come to the dentist to have time out to do something ‘just for me’,” she adds.
Practice Manager at Tauranga’s City Dental on the Park Pamela Jackson says the staff wore tutu’s and wigs for the special occasion for a lively atmosphere.
“It was great to see such deserving people come in, many nervous, and leave with a smile on their face and a huge thank you on their lips,” she adds.
Practice Manager at Lumino North Avon Mallory Boyd says “it warms your heart knowing how much it means to people.”
She says they had one patient who had had a broken front tooth for years that they were able to restore on the day.
“She was so happy she cried happy tears.”
Practice Manager at Advanced Dental in Manurewa in Auckland, Teresa Cole says they had “happy, grateful patients walking out with smiles and some much-needed dental treatment completed with no cost but lots of shared laughs and good feels for all involved.”
“This was also great as for a lot of our patients this was their me-time; their chance to be a patient not a career, a mother, a taxi or any of the other many hats they wear in their day-to-day lives. It was finally about them even if just for a little while,” she adds.
One of the newest Lumino practices, Smile Centre in Hastings, jumped on board to join Lumino Day, with Practice Manager Wendy Geddes saying they had a lovely day with great patients.
“We felt that we had significantly impacted on their dental well-being and made a positive impact on their teeth and perception of dentist,” she says.
Lumino the Dentists and Carers NZ, the national body that provides information, advice, learning and support to family carers partnered for the second year to help support the hundreds of New Zealanders.
Carers NZ say more than 420,000 people in New Zealand are reported to be looking after a family member who is sick or has a disability.
For many, this has meant a major loss of income and up to 30 hours of additional unpaid care work every week.
Lumino Day is a day set aside to provide an opportunity for a deserving group of people in the community to visit their local Lumino dentist and have their basic dental treatment done for free.
It is a yearly event, and Lumino The Dentists look forward to opening their doors once again in 2019.