Tiff and Trish have been friends for over 30 years, since studying dentistry together at Otago University. They both ended up applying for dentistry jobs within the New Zealand Defence Force, spending time in East Timor and Afghanistan. After 26 years of dentistry with Defence Trish was wondering what her next move would be.

“I told her, you’re going to buy a business with me,” Tiff said, “It all added up.” 

After a few months of searching they settled on David Bank’s Dental Practice in Carterton, and became business owners in July 2018.

“We liked David’s ethos, and we wanted to live within a community and make a difference,” Tiff said. “Carterton has been so welcoming. We’ve had lot of positive comments.”

Prior to buying the dental practice, Trish and Tiff grew to know the Wairarapa via their jointly-owned bach at Riversdale Beach. Tiff and her husband have relocated from Wellington with Tiff’s husband also setting up a business in the local area.   Trish has since discovered connections to Carterton – her Nana grew up in Carterton and her maternal great-grandparents are buried in the Clareville Cemetery.

Since July 2018 they have given the dental practice a makeover, with help from practice manager Belinda Buckley. The practice now operates under the name True Dentistry, there’s new paint and art on the walls, and they are bringing the dental practice into the digital age.

“When we took over there was one computer in the corner of the office,” Tiff said, “now we can bring xrays up on screen with a few clicks.” 

Trish and Tiff have also joined the wider Wairarapa dental community and collaborate with other dental practices in the area to collectively look after oral health in the Wairarapa. True Dentistry is on the Wairarapa after-hours roster, which means they are open on a Saturday every 6 – 8 weeks. They are keen to get involved in local organisations, speak to youth groups, and are currently helping to create a dentist’s peer support association and study group.

Tiff recommends giving your teeth a place in your yearly budget. “As an example, people can spend hundreds of dollars on manicures every year – you don’t even need to spend that much to keep your teeth in good health.” There are many dental subsidies available too, and Belinda can point clients in the right direction.

Outside of dentistry, Trish can be found in the gym or at the bach in Riversdale while Tiff enjoys exploring various local vineyards or her favourite local cafe Mirabelle.