ADASA Welcomes New Oral Oral Health Plan

The Australian Dental Association South Australian Branch (ADASA) has welcomed a new seven-year plan to address the oral health needs of South Australians.

The South Australian Oral Health Plan, which was developed with input from the Association, was launched this week. 

Focusing on those particularly at risk of poor oral health, the plan sets out priorities to improve the oral health outcomes of South Australians. 

ADASA President Dr Alan Mann said the Plan would enable the development of strategies to improve community dental services in SA. 

“As an organisation, we are committed to improving the oral and general health outcomes for all South Australians,” Dr Mann said. 

“People should not underestimate the links between poor oral health and other health issues.

“Oral diseases, including dental decay, gum disease and oral cancer are chronic diseases. This impacts on the general health of our community and creates a significant - yet avoidable - cost burden on government.

“As an organisation, we feel it makes sense from both a health and economic perspective for government to address the dental health of the community as a priority.”

The plan identifies groups most at risk of poor oral health with the aim to improve their access to dental care.

Dr Mann said the target groups included residents in aged care facilities. 

“Our elderly can… receive the standard of care they deserve, and ensure they are able to eat and speak for the betterment of their overall general health and wellbeing,” Dr Mann said.

South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, said action coordinated under the plan would help deliver “innovative, world-class care to improve the health and wellbeing of South Australians”. 

“Overall oral health care in South Australia has improved in recent decades, however, the evidence shows that there are still areas of unmet need,” he said.

“A healthy mouth is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. It enables people to eat, speak and socialise without pain, discomfort or embarrassment.

“Poor oral health impacts on social interactions and work productivity. Poor oral health impacts on general health. It is with a range of health problems and conditions, some which are among the most common and costly health problems experienced by Australians.

“Reflecting this Government’s focus on preventative health, the oral health plan will guide coordinated action over the next seven years to improve oral health.”

For more information on the plan, go to www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/oralhealthplan