April is oral health month in Canada. Ads remind us to book an appointment with our dentist for a regular dental exam and to get our teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist. But in Canada's private dental care system, you have to pay to access both of these oral health services.
Last week, an international team of researchers revealed how bacteria in the oral cavity may be able to withstand even the hardest toothbrushing. Their research showed just how stable certain species can be and suggested the cure may require a more ecological approach.
Though I am about as much of a dentist as I am a squirrel, the Dalhousie Dentistry scandal cannot be ignored, even by a humble B.F.A, such as myself. Of course, I was outraged by the misogynistic nature of a Facebook page that was created for the express purpose of debasing women within the dentistry program. However, the first thought that ran through my mind wasn't outrage over their sexist remarks.
Inequality in access to dental care is but one manifestation of the increasing inequalities in Canadian society and it needs to be addressed. With societal changes such as the increasing proportion of the population who are elderly and the decreasing proportion of the population with dental insurance, difficulty accessing dental care is only going to increase unless we start acting now.
If you are like 40 percent of the Canadian population, you have a strong fear of the dentist. According to Stats Canada, that's how many people in this country avoid dental care because they are afraid of the poking, scraping, gagging and choking that occur during dental and orthodontic treatments. But new dental technology, like the use of digital impressions, is ensuring a more comfortable experience and helping to dramatically reduce many patient fears tied to the dental chair.