It is well known that Australians living in rural areas have poorer access to dental services than those living in major cities. Hence, this results in inadequate oral health. One of the problems regarding dentistry in rural areas is that most people make one-off appointments for specific dental problems rather than having regular preventive dental check-ups.
Other issues that are facing the rural oral healthcare system include:
- High cost of private dental care
- Limited supply for public dental services (a very small percentage have access to public services with a high fraction only receiving emergency care)
- Shortages in the dental workforce in rural and remote areas
- Funding of education (dental schools are required to offer a number of places to overseas full fee-paying students to operate efficiently)
All of the above are directly or inadvertently affecting dentistry in rural areas. There are many ways in which this shortage can be rectified, some of which include expanding the dental workplace (increasing rural student selection), increasing funding for dental education and providing rural incentives. Although, these changes will take many years to come into effect, it is time we start thinking about the future of the oral healthcare system.
Things may be going in the right direction for Toowoomba as we see more and more patients coming in for their regular check-up at Southside Family Dental.
The suburbs of Toowoomba include Blue Mountain Heights, Centenary Heights, Cotswold Hills, Cranley, Darling Heights, Drayton, East Toowoomba, Glenvale, Harlaxton, Harristown, Kearney Springs, Middle Ridge, Mount Kynoch, Mount Lofty, Newtown, North Toowoomba, Prince Henry Heights, Rangeville, Redwood, Rockville, South Toowoomba and Wilsonton.
As Southside Family Dental believes no one should be deprived of having happy and healthy smiles, we decided to open our second practice in Toowoomba. Our choice of a prime location makes it easier for people living in the mentioned suburbs and the surrounding rural areas to visit the dentist. As more and more dentists make the choice to practice dentistry in rural and remote areas, oral health in these regions are bound to improve.