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Open Wide: A Short History of the Murder House in New Zealand
Many businesses such as dentists and hairdressers have been overwhelmed with bookings after the return to ‘normal’ life post Covid-19 lockdown here in New Zealand. It makes you wonder: a rush to the dentist is usually unheard of because, for many, the idea of the dentist conjures up images of pain and cold, clinical sights and smells.
But where did this anxiety come from? This article aims to delve into the history of the School Dental Service (SDS), the school dental clinics also known by my parent’s generation as the ‘murder house’, and bring our worst fears into the light. Did it succeed in improving children’s oral health? Was the ‘murder house’ really a place of trauma and pain?