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19 August, 2021

Shining up smiles for over two decades

OSCAR Marroquin has spent over two decades making the smiles of Tablelands children, bigger, brighter and whiter and now he has decided to put down the dental tools in place of some gardening tools.

By Rhys Thomas

Local school dental therapist Oscar Marroquin has called it a day after more than 22 years treating kids and families across the region.

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OSCAR Marroquin has spent over two decades making the smiles of Tablelands children, bigger, brighter and whiter and now he has decided to put down the dental tools in place of some gardening tools. 

After 22 years as a dental therapist servicing Mareeba, Atherton, Malanda, Millaa Millaa and nearly every other Tablelands school, Oscar has decided to retire after a lifetime in dental. 

Born in El Salvador in 1953 Oscar worked incredibly hard to secure his dental license to become a dentist, however after immigrating to Australia in 1989 he could no longer pursue this career. 

With the language barrier being too great, Oscar instead chose to walk down the path of a dental technician before becoming a dental therapist.

“I would have loved to have become a dentist is Australia but the language barrier was too much,” Oscar said. 

After studying in Brisbane for the number of years Oscar got his first placement as a dental therapist on the Tablelands, and he hasn’t moved since. 

From Dimbulah to Butchers Creek there wouldn’t be a child or parent who wouldn’t know of Oscar and his dental van. 

Even though he was no longer a dentist, Oscar loved helping kids develop healthy oral hygiene habits and watching them grow before his very eyes. 

“I really enjoyed becoming a dental therapist to work with children,” he said.

“I discovered that I enjoyed working with the kids and changing their bad habits and behavior and develop better ones.

“Seeing them change from being at the door of your dental van screaming “no mum I don’t want to go” to sitting down and being confident in you and cooperating is amazing.” 

Now after 22 years Oscar has decided that it is time to retire and say goodbye to the children and the schools her serviced.

“To me it was a great privilege to serve all the Tablelands schools as their dental therapist over the years,” he said. 

“When I see some of the children all grown up with nice, beautiful teeth it makes me very happy and proud.

“I want to thank all the parents and the community for putting their trust in me and allowing me to give oral treatment to their children.”

Oscar would like to thank everyone he has worked with over the years but a special mention to the late Dr Robert Zanata, who encouraged Oscar to keep pursuing dental work.


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