Young patients prioritised for dental care this Mandela Day

False Bay Hospital honoured young patients this Mandela Day, by increasing their list for dental extractions to accommodate an additional twenty young children between the ages of three to six years. 

Ordinarily up to eight patients are treated every second week at the hospital, explained Sister Andrea Arendse, Hospital theatre Manager.  “We have quite a number of children on our waiting list for extractions and our patients sometimes have to wait a while for an extraction”.

False Bay Hospital services a large demographic area, which stretches from Noordhoek through to Retreat.  The dental team therefore decided that to commemorate Mandela Day they would dedicate their day to perform as many extractions as possible. Sister Andrea added “We knew it was going to be a challenge, but we wanted to do something meaningful.  Before I started nursing, I was a dental assistant and I know what it is like for children to have to live with tooth ache.  It makes such a huge difference in the children’s lives as well as for their parents.” 

Family Physician, Dr. Hoosain Lalkhen, who performed the extractions and led the team, shared his enthusiasm for the initiative. “We really look forward to helping the children each year. To have the opportunity to accommodate more patients is great because some of these children have been in pain for such a long time.  For some children, it is traumatic to have their teeth extracted while under local anaesthetic. They end up fearing dentists and so today we will be giving them a mask with gas in order to apply general anaesthetic and this ends up being less ‘traumatic’ as they don’t feel or see a thing.” 

Dr. Lalkhen’s son, Yazeed, did not want to miss out on the experience and sent a treat for each of the children and a beautiful note of encouragement, which was handed to each child before their procedure.