It’s the fourth year of the initiative, which sees the Lumino Mobile Unit visit the small Hawke’s Bay community, providing locals with free dental services.
Teaming up with the Ngāti Pahauwera Development Trust, the group of volunteers performed over $40,000 worth of care.
Lumino Miramar Dental Assistant Tina Gray put her hand up to come back to Wairoa this year after attending last year.
With almost 20 years of dental experience behind her, Tina says volunteer initiatives such as Wairoa, where she can make a difference, are important to her.
“I like to pay it forward,” she says. “I love the fact that I can be there to help people even in the smallest way.”
Tina says having a hand in improving someone’s health is heartening.
“An improvement in physical heath can turn into an improvement in mental health,” she says.
She hopes the initiative can have an even greater focus on oral education going forward and hopes patients will take this learning on board and educate following generations.
“Even if it is just as simple as showing them how to brush and floss their teeth.”
“The smile on their face is what I love to see,” she says. “Talking to them and finding out how appreciative they are for what and how we are helping them is very heart-warming.”
The team of volunteers from Lumino practices across New Zealand saw over 70 patients this year.
With a list of 50 already booked in for next year, Tina will be back, ready to do it all over again.