A new dental prosthetic lab in Tokelau will mean people no longer have to travel to Samoa for a set of false teeth.
The lab officially opened yesterday at St Joseph Hospital in Nukunonu, the island's only facility for manufacturing removable false teeth and denture services.
Tokelau's new dental prosthetic lab. Photo/ Supplied.
Director of health Dr Silivia Tavite says it will ease the financial burdens for people having to travel to Apia for dentures.
"People travel from Tokelau to Apia to have their dentures done, leaving their families behind and travelling on the boat, finding accommodation in Apia, these are all added implications on our people," she says. "Now they can easily access the service here in Tokelau."
Tongan dentist Dr Sitani Kisina has been contracted by Tokelau to construct and fit dentures, while local staff are being trained to continue the work.
Dr Tavite says it's a milestone for Tokelau and the health department is hoping to extend the services to the atolls of Atafu and Fakaofo in due time.
"It has been planned for so many years so we finally got to open it and it's a milestone for the health services in Tokelau as well as the dental health of our people."