This is the most common comment I get on social media, and it is the focus of a new report on improving the affordability of care to large/growing segments of Canadian society.

This report argued rather weakly that more public funds were needed to enable more (uninsured) folks to visit the dentist.

I don’t think that will¬† happen in an era when cancer care is squeezed and the resources for home care are stretched.¬† Nor, it seems, do the authors of this report.

So what is the answer?

The only viable answer is treat the cause of dental disease rather than its outcome. In other words, to work differently.

Let’s go back 50 years when polio was raging. First we treated its outcome with iron lungs. And we got quite good at it. But then, we found the iron lungs were crowding the hospitals and their budgets. And we found that no one got better from being in an iron lung.

What saved us from polio was something which treated the biological origins of the disease — the Salk vaccine. We worked differently.

And that path is now available to the dental professions, and the public. We know that dental decay has biological origins, and we know how to treat those origins safely and effectively without expensive dental surgery.

The public (and Canadian employers) likes this idea very much. Just visit the Facebook page of Partners in Prevention.

And the public will pursue this more affordable option where-ever it is offered.

 

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