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Friday, September 26, 2014

Improving Access To Oral Health Care For Vulnerable People Living In Canada

This report concludes a three-year evaluation by a multi-disciplinary Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) panel into the issue of access to oral health care among vulnerable groups in Canada.

The analysis of the CHMS data illustrates major inequalities in oral health and access to oral health care across social groups in Canada. Compared to the rest of the population, vulnerable groups in Canada, including "older persons" are i) less likely to have dental insurance; ii) more likely to avoid the dentist due to cost; iii) more likely to consult dentists only in emergencies; iv) more likely to have untreated dental decay, gum diseases, missing teeth, and dental pain; and v) more likely to avoid eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables due to oral health problems

The CAHS investigation also found that the differences in ability to access and use oral health care
makes a major contribution to inequalities in oral health status. In a wealthy country with explicit policy goals of reasonable access to health care as part of the Canada Health Act, these inequalities and the resulting inequity should be a matter of national concern.

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