Dental state is ?appalling

FRANK Hold says he is seeing children in Coffs Harbour with dental problems which he had not encountered for more than 30 years.

The semi-retired dentist, who has been practising for 38 years in Australia and England, moved to Coffs Harbour 11 months ago.

"In the time I have been here, I have been totally appalled at the problems I am seeing, with particular emphasis on the lack of knowledge of basic dental health," Dr Hold said.

"I am seeing children with multiple lesions that I have not encountered since I started in practice in Sydney in the late 1960s.

"Until the public is better educated and the water supply fluoridated, the ravages of dental disease will continue to be a problem.

"The public has to realise that dentists are essentially repairers and that prevention can mainly be through their own efforts.

"There is an expression 'prevention is better than cure' ? well over 90 per cent of dental disease is preventable".

Dr Hold said including dentists in the Medicare rebate system was not the answer for patients or for dentists, because of the much higher costs and consumption of consumables in dental practices compared to medical general practices.

The NSW branch of the Australian Dental Association will host a forum at Queanbeyan on Tuesday on the state of public dental services in NSW. Regional and community groups have been invited to attend the forum to discuss the crisis and how it affects the community and the president of ADA NSW, Dr Chris Wilson, will be on the panel of speakers.

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