Dr Sadit Reza, John Payne and Kira Wilde are part of a growing team of dental professionals at Country Smiles Dental Services in Warwick.
Dr Sadit Reza, John Payne and Kira Wilde are part of a growing team of dental professionals at Country Smiles Dental Services in Warwick. Contributed

Dental boom in Warwick as young professionals seek change

YOUNG professionals are leaving crime-ridden neighbourhoods and stressful jobs in the city to take up work in peaceful country communities where their expertise is desperately needed.

When living in Brisbane, dental prosthetist Shareef Hamdam noticed police cars "chasing someone” every ten minutes.

For him, it was a sign of higher crime - just one of the factors that prompted his move to Warwick last month.

"Where I lived (in they city), people rushed and there was no respect to each other,” he said.

"The atmosphere gives you more stress on top of your work.

"If you compare this job with the city, there is less stress in the environment.”

Mr Hamdam is one of four young professionals that are bringing their skills to the Southern Downs as part of dental service expansions in Warwick.

New Zealand-born dentist Dr Sadit Reza has also joined the team at Country Smiles Dental Services along with dental assistants Kira Wilde and Liz Saunders.

Co-director Kathy Payne said there was a growing need for dentists on the Southern Downs.

"Absolutely, it is very difficult to get professionals to come over the range and that is why we are so excited,” she said.

Country Smiles Dental Services family: Kate Nolan, Kira Wilde, John Payne, Liz Saunders, Dr Sadit Reza, Sheri Walker and Shareef Hamdam.
Country Smiles Dental Services family: Kate Nolan, Kira Wilde, John Payne, Liz Saunders, Dr Sadit Reza, Sheri Walker and Shareef Hamdam. Contributed

Mrs Payne called for compulsory rural placements in the dental sector to increase the flow of skills into regional and remote areas.

"We wanted to provide a local service that is good for the community,” she said.

Originally specialising in dentures and mouthguards, the family-owned business on Guy St now offers a one-stop shop for a full range of dental care, which includes filings and emergency appointments.

"I get a lot of people travelling from Tenterfield and around the place who come here and are wanting other work,” senior prosthetist John Payne said.

The expansions are an exciting step forward for the Freestone farm boy turned dental prosthetist, who gained experience in the Air Force dental team and Queensland Health before establishing Country Smiles in Warwick ten years ago.

Now the team is growing, their work family could not be happier.

"Warwick is perfect, it is like my dream place. People are very friendly. People connect with each other,” Mr Hamdam said.

"Psychologically it can make you calm and comfortable and happy.

"Everywhere you work now is getting more stress and pressure but that is less in a countryside place.”

Country Smiles welcomes new patients for dental care and will be offering after-hours appointments in the very near future. Phone 4661 9789 for an appointment.


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