Funding boost for Indigenous oral health research

Indigenous oral health research
Photo: alphaspirit 123rf

Indigenous oral health research has been given a major boost with the Australian Government committing over $11.2 million for medical researchers to tackle health disparities and develop solutions for First Nations Australians.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is supporting 11 new projects around Indigenous health research including not just dental care but also mental health, diabetes and kidney disease.

Projects will engage with First Nations communities and most studies will be led by prominent First Nations health researchers together with leading universities and research institutes.

Under one of the projects, new research will trial a less invasive way to prevent dental disease and improve the oral health of young people in First Nations communities who experience profound levels of preventable dental diseases.

The use of antibiotic liquid silver fluroride (AgF) could be a game changer in reducing tooth decay in children without the use of needles or drills.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide will receive $3.2 million from the Australian Government to evaluate the extent of dental disease among First Nations children and the clinical and cost effectiveness of using AgF to improve the oral health of children.

“Dental disease is a significant problem in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, causing pain, ongoing health problems, and taking a toll on the quality of life of young people,” Assistant Minister McCarthy said.

“Finding better ways to prevent tooth decay without needles or drills will make a lifelong difference, especially for those who fear the dentist.”

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