High Dental Costs See Decline in Oral Health

High Dental Costs See Decline in Oral HealthHigh Dental Costs See Decline in Oral Health

As dental services are expensive and 93% of treatment costs are borne by patients, therefore it is found that many people give less priority to oral health, said Dr. Navid Naseri, a dentist and member of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Medical Council (IRIMC).

A sharp decline in dental healthcare has been seen in the past five years, Naseri was quoted by Young Journalist Club as saying.

The highest rate of tooth decay is in Sistan-Baluchestan and Bushehr provinces and Bandar Abbas city in Hormozgan Province.

He also said 4-year-old kids in Tehran have the highest rate of tooth decay among children in the country. Health Ministry statistics show that the average number of filled, decayed or extracted teeth per person is 6 in the country. Also 13% of people in the ages 33-48 years have some oral decay.

According to studies, “people in both high income earning and below the poverty line groups have high rates of dental decay, but the latter group is worse off,” he noted.

Besides, some foods cause dental decay and the media should raise people’s awareness on dental decay prevention and oral hygiene.

“As an example, having a soft diet may cause cavities. Chewing healthy crisp fruits like apples and pears can be extremely beneficial to teeth.” People avoid eating healthy hard foods like carrots and apples which worsens their dental health. Raising people’s awareness on prevention of cavities as well as encouraging healthy dietary habits can improve dental health.

On the costs of a single dental filling he said, “A composite (white) filling in private dental centers costs between $40-60 depending on the size of filling (small or large). In government-run clinics it costs $10-25.

 Global Oral Health

Worldwide, 60-90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities, according to the World Health Organization.

Dental cavities can be prevented by maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity.

Severe periodontal disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults. Globally, about 30% of people aged 65-74 have no natural teeth.

Oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups and the risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use and poor oral hygiene, and social determinants.

The most common oral diseases are dental cavities, periodontal disease, oral cancer, oral infectious diseases, trauma from injuries, and hereditary lesions.

The incidence of oral cancer ranges from one to 10 cases per 100,000 people in most countries. The prevalence of oral cancer is relatively higher in men, in older people, and among people of low education and low income. Tobacco and alcohol are major causal factors.

Across the world, 16-40% of children in the age 6 to12 years are affected by dental trauma due to unsafe playgrounds, unsafe schools, road accidents, or violence.

Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco and alcohol use. These are also risk factors for the four leading chronic diseases – cardiovascular, cancer, chronic respiratory and diabetes – and oral diseases are often linked to chronic disease. Poor oral hygiene is also a risk factor.