TOOTH program finds high levels of tooth decay in outback communities

A report has found the levels of dental decay in children in some western communities is significantly worse than the national average.

It has been four months since the Royal Flying Doctor Service launched the TOOTH program, a dental outreach service to Bourke, Collarenebri, Goodooga and Lightning Ridge.

Doctor Hendrik Lai says more than 400 patients have used the service and have received more than 1000 treatments including root canals, fillings and extractions.

He says the level of tooth decay among children has been shocking. "I guess the most significant statistic which was a big surprise to us was the level of unmet need and the very poor dental health which existed in the communities," he said. "Certainly what we found with our statistics was the dental health of the children in these communities was approximately five times worse than what we see in the rest of the Australian community."

Dental outreach program success (ABC News)

Dental health report for rural towns paints shocking picture (Central Western Daily)

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