Open wide

12 Aug

I would like to talk with you today about geriatric dental care*. Yes, I really would.

I know it seems a bit peripheral, but I have, in the last week or so, discovered that this is a serious issue. And not a little distressing for all concerned (no link, just take my word for it). I’d love it if you’d join me in writing to health ministers about maybe getting dental care and visiting dentists to aged care facilities and including dental care in the services available and accessible to our grandparents and great aunts and great great uncles and so on. There have been enquiries, so they should know what you’re talking about. But in the meantime, just thought I’d let you know in case, like me, it’s a useful thing to think about, but a think you haven’t given enough thought. If you know what I mean.

Actually, while we’re on it, we should have better dental facilities available more generally. I’ve been over on the Australian Dental Association website (yes, yes, I have), and in one of their latest press releases they say:

“As with all national schemes that have been introduced (and have invariably failed), such plans deliver limited care to all and allow those that can afford dental care to ‘top up’ their treatment to achieve long-term oral health. Those already adequately accessing care will get subsidised treatment and the rest will have to ‘just do’ with the basic band-aid solutions offered.”

And that last sentence pretty much sums up one of my great sadnesses about the state of Australian politics at the moment. There’s just too much of this kind of thing.

And there ends the sexiest blog post you are likely to read today.

*I’m sure there’s a better way of saying this, but I wanted to get your attention as well as avoid telling you too much of the specific situation in which I am intimately involved

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4 Responses to “Open wide”

  1. Pen August 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Yes, it’s a big issue. I wish medicare did dental care properly for people and I wish older people were better cared for by mainstream care.

    Good luck with your particular concerns.

  2. Ann O'Dyne August 15, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    I resent your irony – teeth, health and care of, is indeed a sexy topic.
    Most often when dentistry is the topic, the cost of it is the issue.
    I believe dentists EARN every cent.
    Teeth are essential for my favourite activity – eating – so I hear what you say. The waiting list at a Victorian regional dental hospital is FOUR years.

  3. Frances August 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    I wonder how much dental problems contribute to domestic discord, if not violence.
    If you are earning $20 bucks an hour, (as advertised locally), how do you afford the $$$ to visit the dentist, who will merely give you, for $100 plus, an estimate of future costs? But, how do you cope with a family if your teeth or gums are screeching pain?
    I understand that many dentists have issues with intimacy. And that many patients have issues with the intimacy of the dentist probing their internal spaces. Both those issues resonate with me.

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