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An opportunity to
improve public dental
The re-election of the Turnbull Government provides a new
opportunity for the Coalition to reassess and make improvements to
its plans for a Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme (caPDS).
Congratulating the Prime Minister and the Coalition on its
re-election, ADA President, Dr Rick Olive AM said that he hoped this
will mean genuine consultation will be undertaken on how dental
care might be best delivered to disadvantaged Australians.
When speaking publicly, Dr Olive said “the ADA welcomes the
opportunity to engage with the government on how to frame an
effective and efficient dental scheme which delivers the best dental
health outcomes for those in need. Working together, I do not doubt
that we’d be able to devise a package which the crossbenches and
the Senate will also support”.
While supporting guaranteed funding for public dental services,
the ADA’s concerns are that the public dental system is generally
under resourced, lacking in infrastructure, particularly in rural
Australia and therefore cannot provide the amount of services
expected under the caPDS which will result in another blow out
of public dental waiting lists.
Any public dental care scheme that is serious in its intent to deliver
care must draw upon the existing and already established dental
workforce and infrastructure; the majority of which is based in
private practice. Furthermore, the caPDS’ ambition to provide dental
care for a larger population group – almost three times larger than
that of the CDBS, must provide much more funding than has been
announced to date. The $1 billion cut from the planned axing of the
CDBS funding must be reinstated.
Dr Olive concluded: “A new term of government provides us all with
a new opportunity to work
together to devise a better
public dental scheme”.
Women and oral health
Women’s Health Victoria’s latest Issues Paper, Women and Oral
Health (2016), examines women’s oral health risk factors, conditions
and ways of using health care. With this month’s Dental Health Week
focusing on women’s oral health, the publication of this Issues Paper
Women and Oral Health explores the issues that women face with
their oral health, in particular:
Women have higher rates of decayed, filled or missing teeth due
to tooth decay;
Women on average have more missing teeth than men and are
more likely to be edentulate;
Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy, can lead to
increased risk for various types of gum disease, and have been
associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth
weight and preterm birth;
Women are more likely to experience dental erosion due to eating
Women may suffer from head, face and neck injuries and dental
neglect arising from intimate partner violence;
Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with
disability, rural women and women in prison experience poorer
oral health and face barriers to accessing dental care due to cost,
lack of information and long waiting lists.
The Paper highlights that oral health is also strongly influenced by
other social determinants of health, in particular socio-economic
status, pointing to a need for more affordable and accessible oral
health care for both women and men.
The Paper concludes that more research is needed on the impact of
sex and gender on women’s oral health, including on the needs of
sub-populations of women who
may be more at risk of poor oral
To view further details
ADA’s #savetheCDBS campaign
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Evaluating revision surgeries for cleft lip
Children born with cleft lip/palate (CL/P) go through extensive
treatments that usually begin before their first birthday. Most
treatment plans include surgery to repair the orofacial cleft, which
will increase the child’s verbal communication abilities, self-esteem
and overall confidence. Unfortunately, a one-time surgery is rare.
Many children require additional surgeries to create the correct
alignment, symmetry and normal facial movements. As a result,
health providers are constantly looking for ways to decrease the
number of revision surgeries required for children with CL/P.
An article in the current issue* of The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal
explores the reasons behind the multiple follow-up surgeries required
by the condition as well as how their frequency may be reduced.
The authors conducted an electronic search of previously published
articles relating to cleft lip surgery in order to determine a percentage
of revision surgeries. Of the 3,034 articles identified, 45 met their study
criteria, which yielded a total of 4,210 patients involved. Overall, the
research showed there was a zero to 100 per cent instance of revision
surgeries among the various studies. However, the researchers were
unable to determine the burden of care (amount and intensity of all
treatments) experienced by the patients.
This study has provided a strong foundation for future studies
on cleft lip revision surgery. The authors concluded that a new
population-based study should be conducted for more definitive
findings on the burden of care for unilateral cleft lip. Such a study
would help to further reduce the current reliance on surgical care
and improve outcomes for patients worldwide.
To read the full article
*The Burden of Care for Children with Unilateral Cleft Lip: A Systematic Review of
Revision Surgery. The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal 2016;53: 4.
6 | ADA NEWS BULLETIN | AUGUST 2016
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