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The New Zealand Dental Services

Treatment for our Allies

Treatment for our Allies

When the first troops arrived in New Zealand from the United States of America, they brought their own dental officers with them. The NZDC offered full co-operation, such as extending the facilities of its hospitals, lending equipment and replenishing stores or acting as locum tenens.

New Zealand, however, was not the front line for the American troops and most of them soon moved up into the Pacific, taking their dental organisation with them. Those who remained were not in sufficient numbers to warrant the provision of the United States Dental Corps to treat them.

The DDS arranged that those men attached to the United States Joint Purchasing Board should receive full dental treatment at the Wellington Dental Section by appointment through their own headquarters with the dental officer in charge.

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In 1945 the DDS was asked by the United States Government representative in New Zealand to give dental treatment to the men of American ships calling at New Zealand ports. By this time the NZDC was not so widely distributed in New Zealand as previously so dentists in each port were nominated to carry out the work at the scale of fees then operating for the Government National Dental Service Scheme for adolescents. Between the NZDC and the civilian dentists a considerable amount of work was carried out for ships of the United States.

A ship that received regular attention from the NZDC was the No. 1 Netherlands Hospital Ship Oranje. She carried an NZDC section which, in addition to being responsible for the 2 NZEF men for whom it was primarily put on board, carried out the necessary treatment for the Australian, English, American and Canadian troops, and the ship's staff and German internees. On at least one occasion the Royal Netherlands Navy also received treatment from the NZDC.