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Norrland may soon be a marker for Poor Dental Health – Ten Year Wait for a Dentist

Several dental care managers within Folktandvården are worried about the development and now believe that several measures are required to deal with the problems.

Ten years of waiting for dentist appointments and children who get stuck have caused dental care managers to warn that Sweden may lose its world-leading position in dental health.

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The math doesn’t add up in Swedish dentistry. Every third region lacks at least 20 percent of the desired staffing and in northern Sweden, more than every second clinic within Public Dental Care has stopped calling adult patients for regular examinations, according to a survey from Sweden’s Public Dental Association.

After all, those who ask about an examination may be told that they may have to wait ten years. In addition, there are many clinics in northern Sweden that no longer have any permanently employed dentists.

In Region Västernorrland alone, nearly 35 percent of dentists and dental hygienists are missing. Dental director Annri V Thimstrand highlights Kramfors as an example of how accessibility differs across the country.

According to the law, dental care must be provided on equal terms for the entire population, but within the Public Dental Care in northern Sweden, adult patients are not being treated, according to Sweden’s Public Dental Care Association.

Now the dental care managers in northern Sweden are warning of serious consequences if the situation does not improve.

For example, Norrbotten already has the largest proportion of the population who have only had emergency dental visits in the past three years, while suffering from a severe staff shortage and having 98.5 percent of children’s dental care – dental care that is not profitable today.

The private clinics, on the other hand, are not guided by geography and which patients they want to prioritize. Therefore, all the dental care managers in northern Sweden that DN spoke with want the Dental Care Act to be changed so that all patient groups are offered dental care as needed.

Above all, both the status and reimbursement levels for children’s dental care must be raised to deal with the problems, according to Georgios Tsilingaridis assistant head and docent in pediatric dentistry at Karolinska Institutet.

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