Pirie domestic violence victims offered free dental services

CARE: Free dental treatment is available for victims of domestic violence.

CARE: Free dental treatment is available for victims of domestic violence.

A new scheme will put the smiles back on the faces of domestic violence victims in Port Pirie.

Titled Rebuilding Smiles, the scheme is being run by the Australian Dental Health Foundation and has been enthusiastically received by the Victim Support Service.

Free dental services will be offered to victims as means of getting their lives back on track after violent incidents.

Foundation secretary Robert Boyd-Boland said the dental needs could result from neglect due to bullying by a partner or from blows.

He said referrals would be received through support agencies.

The treatment was conditional on the victim no longer being involved in a violent relationship.

Services could be provided in Port Pirie.

“I can say with reasonable confidence that we can locate a practitioner who can take on the case,” he said.

Dental work could include crowns, implant and bridges.

Client services manager with Victim Support Service Nikki Lamshed said the “incredible” scheme seemed to cover the nation and could help victims with missing or broken teeth or toothache.

She said it was sad to think that women would need help in this way, but it was most welcome.

“We talk to lots of women who have injuries,” she said.

The foundation is the trustee of the Australian Dental Association whose Adelaide-based president, Anthony Smerdon has links to Port Pirie.

Mr Smerdon said his grandparents had operated an open-air cinema in the town with his grandmother Molly Smerdon playing piano accompaniment.

His grandfather Bert built so many homes that a suburb, Smerdonville, was named after him.

He was responsible for Carn Brae and the Crystal Brook hospital, but went broke and moved to Newcastle, where Anthony was born, before eventually moving to Adelaide.