Deeble Institute Issues Brief No. 20: Is the current model of public dental care promoting the oral health of young children in Australia?

This Health Policy Brief explores a number of issues relating to the current  models of public dental care for young children in Australia. Key messages includes:

  • Children under 10 experience a high burden of potentially preventable hospitalisations due to poor oral health.
  • The proportion of young children under 5 utilising dental services is significantly lower than other age groups under 17 years.
  • Surveillance data shows a high rate of untreated dental caries across all age groups in childhood.
  • Children receive preventive dental services too late.
  • There are opportunities to improve child oral health by focusing on preventive public models of care.
  •  Enhanced models of care should be expanded to include non-dental practitioners and outreach dental program.