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Patient services in Dunedin

Dental School readies for week-long partial-shutdown in January

Dunedin’s world-class dentistry precinct is almost complete, but to get it over the line will require a partial shutdown of its Clinical Services Building.

The University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry Clinical Services Building (CSB), opened in 2019, houses the clinics and workspaces most people know as the ‘dental school’.

The 1960s Walsh Building, which stands alongside the CSB, is nearing the end of a complete redo – the entire interior has been removed and rebuilt to ensure it is match fit for the coming decades. The two buildings are linked by a massive multi-storey indoor atrium, and that link will be swarming with construction contractors on the week of 11 January, the Faculty’s Clinical Director Dr Don Schwass says.

“For those five days [11-15 January] the contractors are going to be really pulling out the stops to get the link between these two buildings finished. Part of that will be polishing the floors, which will mean a lot of noise and a lot of dust, so we will have to close the atrium and waiting areas for that week.

“We’re getting really close now, these final works will allow us to link the two world-class buildings together in time for us opening the Walsh Building later in January. All of the South can be proud of what they will have here, but we do need this one week of partial shut-down to get things finished.”

The partial shutdown will not mean all services will stop – emergency dental care will continue, Dr Schwass says. Emergency patients will need to contact the Clinic by calling 03 479 8889 (and selecting option 1). From there, they will be given further instructions.

All public entrances to the building will be closed, with only swipe-card access from the back entrance to the building allowing ingress, Dr Schwass says.

“We’ll meet our emergency patients at the back entrance, swipe them in and escort them to their chair. But for everyone else the Clinic will effectively be closed for that week.”

The Faculty of Dentistry is the only dental school in New Zealand, and one of the top ranked dental schools in the world. When complete the new precinct will offer patients in the South professional services at attractive prices in world-class facilities.

COVID-19 Alert Level 1 procedures for all Faculty of Dentistry Dunedin clinic patients

We are no longer accepting patients who do not have an appointment. We are also asking all people who attend the Faculty of Dentistry Dunedin clinic to answer some COVID-19 related health questions prior to their visit. This is to protect the health of everyone who comes to the Faculty of Dentistry.

You must answer the health questions by telephone before you can be treated or you will be turned away from your appointment. Note that while these questions ask about your health in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not asking for a COVID-19 test which involves a physical swab and laboratory analysis.

If you have not answered the telephone health questionnaire, phone +64 3 479 8889 (select option 1) to do so prior to your appointment. This is also the number to phone to make appointments.

Read on for detailed information about how we provide dental services under Alert Level 1 restrictions.

Patients with an emergency dental need

If you have an emergency dental need please call +64 3 479 8889 (select option 1) and you will be asked some initial questions about COVID-19. You will then be either phoned by a clinician to seek further information or you will be booked into a clinic for assessment. The timing of the appointment will be based on your identified clinical need and may not be the same day.

All patient clinics

The following applies to all patients who have a booked appointment in any clinic.

  • Do not attend your appointment if you have developed flu-like symptoms - when you are telephone triaged you will be asked COVID-19 questions. You will receive two texts the day before your appointment – one to remind you about the appointment and the other asking if anything has changed since your appointment was booked to ring the number supplied and advise us
  • Please arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your appointment. If you arrive too early you may be asked to come back as we need to limit the number of people waiting in the same area
  • When you arrive the details for any support person will be recorded as part of our contact tracing

We thank you for your patience and understanding.


Tel +64 3 479 8889

At the Faculty of Dentistry’s Dunedin clinics, we undertake over 60,000 patient treatments each year! Our building is one of the very busiest on the Dunedin campus.

All services are open to the public. We couldn't be here without you.

We offer a comprehensive suite of dental services to the community – everything from routine check-ups, to the most complex treatment.

Here you’ll be seen by one of our teaching staff or by a trained student; in each case you’ll benefit from high-quality dental care using the latest evidence-based-practice techniques.

Faculty of Dentistry – holiday hours

DateMain doors openClinic timingsMain doors close
1 January 2021Closed – New Years Day
2 January 2021Closed – Stat Day
3 January 2021Closed – Weekend
4 January 2021Closed – 2 Jan Mon
5 January 20218:30am9:00am – 5:00pm5:00pm
6 January 20218:30am9:00am – 5:00pm5:00pm
7 January 20218:30am9:00am – 5:00pm5:00pm
8 January 20218:30am9:00am – 5:00pm5:00pm
9 January 2021Closed – Weekend
10 January 2021Closed – Weekend