The Australian Institute of Health reveals that approximately $8.3 billion was spent on dental services during 2011-12. That’s more than double the expenditure in 2001-02, which stood at $3.7 billion. Certainly, there should be significant benefits derived from such dental care, since people are spending more and more on these services.
Well, here are some interesting facts about dental care, including the benefits derived from it.
How Important Is Dental Care?
If you thought oral health is simply about getting a sparkling smile, you’re completely mistaken. What you may not realize is that the impact of poor oral health can actually constitute a silent epidemic. Indeed, oral diseases can greatly impact many seemingly benign roles in your life, including: eating, sleeping, work and socializing.
The US Department of Health and Human Services clearly illustrates the impact of poor oral hygiene. Oral diseases can potentially hinder swallowing, chewing and sleep; while disrupting sleep as well as productivity. Commonly, affected persons end up with tooth loss. This can impact much more than your physical appearance, since a 1992 study by Locker revealed that compromised nutrition and deteriorating diets are a direct consequence of tooth loss.
Pain and infection, as well as destruction of soft tissue within the mouth, or even death (in rare circumstances) are all consequences of poor oral health. Undeniably, such occurrences would greatly impact your self-esteem, as well as social and psychological wellbeing. Therefore, oral care is a fundamental component in preserving your quality of life and overall health.
Economic Impact Of Oral Health Issues
Summing up the overall impact of poor oral health on individual Australians produces a much more startling picture. According to a 2001 report by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC), the economic impact of dental caries was comparable to both heart disease and diabetes. In fact, dental caries took the second position when ranking the most costly diet-related diseases within Australia.
Who Is Qualified To Offer Dental Service?
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) provides clear guidelines concerning the qualifications necessary for practicing dentistry. To be sure that you’re getting the best care possible, you must check that your dentist fully complies with such requirements. One of this is the fact that medical professionals must be registered within the state where they’re practicing dentistry.
Any medical professional practicing dentistry should also possess a Bachelor of Dental Surgery or Bachelor of Dental Science qualification. Such qualifications are typically from Australian, United Kingdom and New Zealand universities. In certain cases, foreign graduates can still practice dentistry, as long as they reside within the particular state in which they practice and hold visas approved for employment.
What Can Be Done Apart From Dental Care?
Obviously, no one should just leave all the responsibility for his/ her oral care to medical professionals. Each individual should practice good oral habits that foster healthy teeth, which might even reduce the need for dental visits. Such simple measures as water fluoridation can help protect your dental health. In fact, a 2002 report by the Department of Human Services reveals that for every $1 investment in water fluoridation, between $12.6 and $80 savings are made in dental treatment costs.