Peak bodies collaborate to improve oral health

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Dr Deborah Cole, CEO of Dental Health Services Victoria
Dr Deborah Cole, CEO of Dental Health Services Victoria

The Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch, Dental Health Services Victoria and the Victorian Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia have launched a joint position statement on oral health.

Tooth decay is Australia’s most prevalent health problem, with more than half of all children and almost all adults affected. It is also the second most costly diet-related disease in Australia. In addition, many health conditions have been linked to poor oral health including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, preterm birth, low birth weight and nutritional deficiencies in children and older adults.

This oral health position statement provides a foundation for pharmacists and the dental sector to work collaboratively to support better oral health in the community and consequently better general health.

Dr Deborah Cole, CEO DHSV, said pharmacists are easily accessible and trusted professionals so they are an important partner to work with to reduce the burden of oral disease in the community. “The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has shown great leadership in recognising the role that pharmacists can play and supporting their members to develop the knowledge and skills to include a focus on oral health in their everyday practice,” she said.

“This commitment further emphasises the fact that oral health is a very real problem in our community, the position statement is ground breaking and DHSV is proud to be involved.”

ADAVB President, Dr Bob Cvetkovic, said the association was proud to partner with DHSV and the PSA on the oral health initiative

“Pharmacists play a key role in health promotion in their everyday practice,” Dr Cvetkovic said.

“The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s commitment to educate pharmacists about delivery of high quality oral health care will assist in identifying and managing oral health conditions. This joint initiative will create relationships between dentists and pharmacists that didn’t previously exist, and support better oral health for the community.”

The President of the Victorian Branch of PSA, Michelle Lynch, thanked the support of ADAVB and DHSV in the initiative. She said that pharmacists are in the ideal position to screen, educate and refer the public to appropriate information and treatment in oral care.

“A collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach is most effective in achieving our goals. A series of continuing professional development activities on oral health has been scheduled throughout the year. “Pharmacists should make use of these opportunities to ensure they and their support staff are kept up to date and be ready to advise and help the public in this area” she said.

 

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