Story: Dental care

Dominion School for Dental Nurses, Wellington, 1945

In 1935 the incoming Labour government announced plans to rapidly extend the School Dental Service (SDS) and provide care for all children within five years. Numbers in training increased and the new Dominion School for Dental Nurses was officially opened in Wellington in 1940. Large numbers of schoolchildren received dental care from trainee dental nurses at the training school. Forty-nine children at a time were seated in dentists' chairs in the vast clinic, each serviced by a trainee nurse. In the waiting room children were supplied with books, toys and magazines to keep them busy until the dental nurse assigned to them was free. This Weekly review film was made to mark the extension of the SDS at the end of 1945, and highlights the quality of training received by dental nurses.

Using this item

Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Weekly Review 218. National Film Unit, 1945

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Andrew Schmidt and Susan Moffat, 'Dental care - Dental nurses to dental therapists', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 March 2023)

Story by Andrew Schmidt and Susan Moffat, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 6 Nov 2018