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Rising Preventable Dental Hospitalisations in Australian Children

Rising Preventable Dental Hospitalisations in Australian Children

Surging Hospital Admissions

Dentists across Australia are urging parents to prioritise regular dental check-ups for their families, in light of alarming research indicating a surge in preventable hospitalisations among young children due to dental conditions.

The 2024 Oral Health Tracker Report from the Australian Dental Association (ADA) reveals that hospitalisation rates for children aged 5-9 have escalated to around 29 per cent above target levels.

The Toll on Young Teeth

The statistics are striking: nearly 11 in every 1,000 Australian children in this age group were hospitalised for preventable dental issues, exacerbating the strain on an already overburdened public hospital system.

Tooth decay is a primary culprit, with over 27 per cent of children aged 5-10 suffering from untreated decay in their baby teeth.

Dr Mark Dohlad, Principal Dental Officer at Bupa Dental, emphasises that many of these hospitalisations could be averted with regular dental check-ups.

“Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease amongst children. If untreated, it can lead to serious infections, ongoing pain, and hospital visits that could have been avoided with good oral hygiene, healthy eating habits, and regular dental visits,” Dr Dohlad explained.

Preventative Measures

Regular dental check-ups enable dentists to identify and treat dental issues before they escalate into severe problems requiring hospital admission.

Additionally, dentists provide essential education on maintaining good oral health, which can significantly reduce the demand on hospital services.

Financial Support for Families

In the current cost-of-living crisis, many Australian families are cutting back on expenses, including dental care. However, initiatives like Bupa’s Members First Ultimate proposition offer eligible members 100 per cent back on dental services, including biannual check-ups and general dental fillings.

Bupa also supports the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), a government-funded program providing up to $1,095 over two years for basic dental services for eligible children aged 2-17.

“As a health and care company, we are committed to improving the oral health of Australians, especially children. We encourage parents to utilise these no out-of-pocket options to ensure their children receive the best possible dental care,” Dr Dohlad urged.

By ensuring regular dental visits, parents can protect their children’s teeth and reduce the pressure on hospital services, contributing to a healthier future for Australia’s next generation.

To find a Bupa Dental practice near you visit here.

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