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Study drills down into effective, equitable dental care

About 7500 Australians will undergo dental examinations as part of a new research project that aims to assess the level of oral diseases in the Australian adult population.

The $5.8 million National Study of Adult Oral Health 2016–18 will also explore the effectiveness, sustainability and equity of dental service delivery across the country.

Participants will be interviewed about their dental service use, service-mix, oral health behaviours, socioeconomic conditions and other determinants of oral health. They will also be invited to take part in dental examinations.

The research team will also track the 5500 participants from the National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004–06.

Chief investigator professor Marco Peres, from the University of Adelaide and director of the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, said: “Oral disease compromises both general health and quality of life, but the high cost of dental care, unlike general medical care, is largely borne by the individual. This makes it almost unattainable for disadvantaged groups in society.”

Peres said we must establish how best to deliver dental healthcare that is effective and equitable for the whole adult population.

“This study will inform policymakers and service providers who need to make decisions about the delivery of fair and effective dental services for all Australians over the next decade and more,” he said.

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