More Victorians receiving much-needed dental health care

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ymgerman / 123RF Stock Photo
ymgerman / 123RF Stock Photo

New figures released in Dental Health Services Victoria’s 2015-2016 Annual Report show that more Victorians than ever before are accessing critical oral health care.

Highlights include:

  • 10,122 Indigenous patients accessed care—up by 8.8 per cent
  • 401,067 individuals treated across Victoria (including at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and in community public health agencies throughout the state)—up by 4.7 per cent
  • 171,027 children treated—up by 3.8 per cent
  • 164,003 people accessed emergency care—up by 2.3 per cent
  • Specialist oral health care access improved with 17,249 patients seen—up by 8.9 per cent

There was also a 9.1 per cent increase in the number of people who received denture care, and 20.1 per cent more people received care in DHSV’s oral surgery unit

CEO of DHSV, Dr Deborah Cole, said Victoria’s leading oral health agency was extremely committed to providing quality health care to vulnerable Victorians across the state.

“In adults, 57 per cent of Australians can expect to develop tooth decay at some stage in their lives and tooth decay is five times more prevalent than asthma among children,” she said, adding that one million days of work are lost every year in Australia because of poor dental health, and 19 per cent of Australian adults aged 65 and over had no natural teeth.

“What is even more shocking,” said Dr Cole, “is that half of Australia’s 12-year-olds have tooth decay in their adult teeth, and more than 50 per cent of 6-year-olds have decay in their baby teeth. We will keep working hard to reduce these numbers by treating as many eligible people as possible.”

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