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Dental should be available for all: UBC researchers

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Many people underestimate the extent of their dental problems

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Dental should be included in basic medical care, argue UBC researchers.

This comes after a survey has come back with some disturbing results.

Imagine regularly experiencing pain in your teeth or mouth, but not having the money to do anything about it.

A new survey of low income and aboriginal people in our province and Ontario shows that’s the case for 44 percent of those who replied.

“There are people on social assistance, or on disability, that are not able to access the kinds of preventative dental care that many of us do,” says UBC nursing professor Annette Browne.

Browne says many of these people actually underestimated the extent of their problems, with some saying they had fair dental health despite missing teeth. “Poor oral health is highly associated with your overall health status,” says Browne. “If you have poor oral health, it can be very difficult.”

This survey involved 567 clients from four primary health care clinics in BC and Ontario.