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New Research Alert! Global Dentistry & Dental Therapists

Research led by Dr. Richard Watt of University College London has shown that global dentistry has continued to suffer from a lack of focus on preventative care while ease of access for lower-income populations has also continued to evade those most in need. As adults, complications from dental-related issues can lead to other problems outside of the dental office. For instance, missing work for preventable dental issues can lead to poor performance at the office and a greater amount of stress placed upon one’s work-life balance.


No to mention, wasted time due to dental complications can also affect children. Think of all the (avoidable) hours spent in a dental chair that could be spent learning or studying for an important test. In fact, in 2015 alone, it has been estimated that $187.6BN were spent in indirect costs related to such factors as lost productivity due to missed school and work. Think, if we could reduce the amount of wasted time at the dentist, how much could we be saving in our pockets? We also have to take into account all the resources wasted on these preventable procedures. All those plastics and non-biodegradable materials also have tremendous an environmental impact on the planet!


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In addition, the lack of availability of quality preventative dental care has led to global complications related to tooth decay, gum disease and even oral cancers. It has even reached the point where our most commonly shared global health condition is untreated dental decay! Again, an easy fix with lasting consequences if it isn’t tackled early on. As early as 2018, oral and lip cancers were within the top 15 most common cancers.


Dentists, however, cannot be in all locations at all times. In fact, many rural communities around the world suffer from a lack of centralized dental care and individuals living in these communities must travel far for adequate care. Interestingly enough, mid-level dental therapists, assistants and hygienists can provide some of the more day-to-day care needed by those most in need. They provide an increased workforce, ready and available to tackle \ the most preventable types of dental complications. In fact, without them, dentists would be at a loss for how to treat individuals in some of the most remote and isolated placed around the world.


If you’re interested on learning more about dental therapists, check out this clip from SamanthaBee:https://www.youtube.com/watchtime_continue=179&v=PO4pWDhCVP0&feature=emb_logo (I never knew she did like dentistry as much as we do!).


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