Professor John Spencer and the team at the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health will lead a national study into children’s oral health, designed to determine why is seems to be getting worse. They have been awarded $1.3 million to find out why the system is failing Aussie kids.
“Despite a substantial level of resources approximately $1 billion dollars annually being directed to dental services for children in Australia in the last decade, their oral health is still a major public health problem,” Professor Spencer told an Adelaide newspaper. “After several decades of improvement, child oral health has worsened and inequalities have widened.”
Prof Spencer’s team will partner with all eight State and Territory public dental authorities in the research project. The newspaper reported the partners are committing a further $1.7 million to the national study, making the total funding for the study $3 million.
“In this study we will be looking at how dental services for our children are organised and delivered, comparing the use of private dentists and school dental services and the outcomes for child oral health,” Prof Spencer said.
“Public programs like the school dental services are not reaching as many children, yet private dental services may be out of the financial reach of many families.”
The newspaper report (online here) quoted statistics that dental restorations and extractions are the most common reason for hospital admissions among Australian children under 14 years of age, and that in 2006 nearly 27,000 children, 8,114 of whom were pre-schoolers, were admitted to hospital for dental work.
Bite Magazine and website is published by Engage Media all material is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission.