Three-year wait for dental treatment
SLADE Point resident Susan Keioskie is smiling for the first time in years.
After her dentist's clinical assessment three and a half years ago, Ms Keioskie was advised she would need to have the majority of her teeth removed because of decay.
While pregnant with the mother of one of her children, Ms Keioskie was put on a dental waiting list for two years for the critical procedure.
After her teeth were removed she was then placed on a second waitlist, with the promise that within six months she would have a dentures to replace her removed teeth.
"They said within that six months you'll get your new teeth - but it kept going on and on and on."
While eating with no teeth was difficult, Ms Keioskie said it was the social stigma she suffered that made the wait intolerable.
"It's pretty depressing not having teeth. It's the way people look at you and you're judged," she said.
"I didn't like getting in photos. I didn't go to my son's graduation because of that."
On Monday, Ms Keioskie finally had the procedure that renewed her smile. She said the dental plates had given her a new freedom, saying "I'm happy now, I can eat again and go out in public and smile and I couldn't before."
Queensland Health data reported that 7262 people in the Mackay region were still waiting on the public dental waitlist in December 2018.