Better dental care for school students hits the road

The ACT’s third Mobile Dental Clinic has hit the road to ensure all school students in the Territory’s have access to better oral health outcomes.

ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris said the new mobile clinic would improve access to oral health assessments and treatment for those who can’t easily access dental care.

“While the ACT is fortunate enough to have a very good public dental program, children in low socio-economic groups experience almost twice as many cavities and parents report transport and cost as a barrier to access dental services,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“The ACT Government, through Canberra Health Services, is providing a much needed and highly valuable service to alleviate this burden for families.

“The service will be run throughout Canberra and will improve the physical access to dental treatment facilities by visiting targeted schools in our community.”

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development Yvette Berry said the new Mobile Dental Clinic targeted at schools will ensure that all children in the Canberra community have access to oral health services.

“The Future of Education strategy set out very clearly that equity is the key for good life outcomes and this announcement is based on the same principle. For many children, public dental services provide the foundations for their future oral health and dental care practices,” Minister Berry said.

“Dental decay is the leading oral disease and one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in children and services such as this new Mobile Dental Clinic will help prevent children from developing oral health issues.

“It is great to have the Dental Health Program, together with the ACT Government and schools, deliver this vital service to students and to promote to them the importance of looking after their oral health.”

The dental treatments available aboard the truck will be the same as what clients receive at a regular community-based dentist, such as:

  • Dental assessment, fitting, adjusting and repair;
  • General dental treatments;
  • Restorative services, such as fillings and extractions; and
  • Preventative services, such as cleaning and oral hygiene education.

There are now three Mobile Dental Clinics on the ACT’s roads to ensure that vulnerable and disadvantaged Canberrans have access to oral health care.

Minister Fitzharris said connecting oral health care services with vulnerable Canberrans was a priority for the Government.

“Oral diseases can lead to pain, speech problems and discomfort with eating, so it’s particularly important we tackle these issues for our youngest residents,” Minister Fitzharris said.

“In particular, children aged under 10 years and particularly those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are substantially more likely than other age groups to be hospitalised for dental conditions.”

The clinic hit the road this week and will travel to schools across Canberra. It joins two other Mobile Dental Clinics already in operation which deliver dental services to retirement communities as well as vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the ACT community.

Source: ACT Government