New study announced into kids’ oral health

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Despite billions in funding, our kids' oral health is getting worse.

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.

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. If they give me the $1.3 million, I will tell them why the system is failing Aussie kids – in fact I will do it for only $1 million! The truth is that if the boffins could tear themselves away from their ivory towers and actually spend a bit of time in the clinics the answer would become obvious in a very short time.

    • Robert – keep in mind the fact that these “experts” have been chanting the mantra “fluoride in water is good, fluoride will cure tooth decay, fluoride will cause no harm, fluoride is good”.

      My personal belief is that it has come back to bite them on the bum – our environment is full of bloody fluoride and we are overdosing plus we don’t have nearly enough dentists and most of them will only work in private practice.

      If I was in charge it would be mandatory for all graduating dentists to work in the public sector to gain valuable experience for a period of no less than 5 years. If they chose to work in rural and regional areas the government could let them off the HEC bill as a big “thank you”

  2. The system of bureaucracy dominating is always going to be but Arabs are revolting , perhaps in more ways than one, and should we also not demand some form of democracy in our duty to giving Australian kids some improved quality of life through improved oral health.Failure to recognise our gross inadequecy in ability to educate our kids allows little or no resourcing of our educationalists to perform what they do best – educate kids to preventing problems. Are demarcation disputes alive and well in throwing the proverbial spanner to negate any possibility of creating the revolution?

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