Oral Health SA/NT

This program delivers basic dental treatments and oral hygiene education twice a year to remote communities for which access to dental services is often a day's drive away.

RFDS Central Operations in partnership with the University of Adelaide School of Dentistry, provides up to six final year students with a qualified dentist supervisor to conduct the two day fly-in clinics.

Proudly supported by Adelaide Airport Limited (AAL), the Remote Oral Health Care program fills a well established need for people living in isolated communities.

An evaluation of the original pilot oral health program found that children living in remote SA are almost twice as likely to have a cavity, missing, or filled teeth compared to their city counterparts.

Graphic: dental clinic in pub dining room

In one community alone:

  • 68 per cent of all school-age children examined had at least one cavity; and
  • 77 per cent of the adult population had at least one cavity.

Simple treatments, particularly for children, including the application of fluoride gel or a fissure sealant, mean fewer patients require follow-up treatment on their subsequent visit to the clinic and with very few or no children presenting with new cavities.

Clinics are conducted twice a year in outback South Australia in Mungeranie, Mintabie, Marla and Kingoonya. Where possible, the students also conduct oral hygiene education classes for local school children.

In 2015/16 there were 143 consultations conducted under the program.

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