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Oral health program gets funding boost, will expand to more facilities

More than half a million dollars will be spent advancing a program that sees dental hygienists and oral health therapists placed in Australian aged care facilities.

Researchers from the University of Newcastle, led by Dr Janet Wallace, were successful in securing $540,000 over 3 years from the Elderslee Foundation Australia to expand the Senior Smiles program. The money will allow the team to put a practitioner into five of the largest aged care facilities on the Central Coast.

Wallace said the team’s research shows residents in Australian aged care facilities are often only treated for oral health conditions when it becomes an emergency.

“Our program means the team is able to provide a preventive oral health focus, gain the trust of residents in order to proactively identify issues in their oral health and fast-track their treatment for specialist attention before problems become severe,” she said.

Aged Care Insite sat down with Wallace to find out more about the program and her goal of sending it nationwide.

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