Canada’s national magazine recently had a short article about inequalities in oral health. This is not the first nor will it be the last such casting of the Canadian dental industry in a bad light. The brand is this: dentistry = unaffordable.
Normally these articles blame governments. They normally call for inclusion of dental services into Medicare.
And that is where the debate ends.
Dental care has been integrated into the national medicare system (the National Health Service) in the UK for many years. So what has happened in the UK? Inequalities, calls for more funding (the NHS dental budget has declined in nominal terms by 15% since 2010), a migration of dentists and patients to private pay.
So is there a way to turn around the branding of dental services so we don’t have those awful pictures of thousands of patients treated in a manner of “combat dentistry” in a school gymnasium?
In my view, not with the surgical approach to care. As the UK shows clearly, there simply isn’t enough money in the system.
But could targeted prevention work? It is certainly cheaper and in the case of Prevora, effective over a long period of time.
Worth considering as a way of improving the brand for dentistry.