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Royal Commission into Aged Care - ADA NSW Submission - Preventable Disease withSimple Oral Health Care

Late last week, an article crossed my desk from one of the dental magazines that I subscribe to. The article was in relation to poor oral health in older Australians.

I note that the Australian Dental Association NSW Branch (ADA NSW) were to make a number of recommendations to the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Safety on Thursday 16th July 2020. ADA NSW is urging the Australian Government to introduce:
1. Oral health check-ups for over 75s under Medicare
2. Access to daily denture cleaning and oral hygiene measures
3. Further dental health education for carers and aged care workers
4. Oral health assessments for every person entering a residential aged care facility
5. Campaigns to increase public awareness on the benefits or good oral health.

I am reminded of a time many years ago when I visited my grandmother who was no longer able to be looked after in her home. She had taken her dentures out and I asked her nurse where they were so that I could clean them and put them in for her. The dentures given to me were definitely not my grandmother’s dentures and I made a personal commitment from then on that whenever I made a set of dentures for a patient, that I would, without exception, engrave into them the patient’s name so that this would never happen to my patients.

Recently, I had another case where a patient was in dire need of assistance. I committed to going into the office on my day off and organised with the patient’s specialist, to have the patient transported from the hospital to my office so that I could check the patient’s implant bridge as there seemed to be some underlying health issue that was causing her no end of issues with her complicated medical history.

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'Losing my teeth has changed me like a disease'

SBS OnDemand Season 2020

Last month, the SBS OnDemand program “Insight” looked at why so many Australians struggle with poor dental health and what effect it had on their lives. Whilst I did not watch the program, there was a write up about it put out by the Australian Dental Association. Here is a link to the preview, where you can also sign in for access to the full program.

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