December 18, 2008
Ontario Dental Association says CINOT announcement fails to address prevention
Toronto, ON – Extending the Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT) government program to include children up to the age of 18 for emergency dental care completely misses the mark and fails to address prevention, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) said today.
“All the government has done today is expand a program that is broken,” said Dr. Larry Levin, President of the ODA. “This shouldn’t be about making kids suffer before they get the care that they need. This should be about preventing their pain in the first place.”
On November 18, 2008, the Ontario Dental Association launched a Special Report entitled Tooth Decay in Ontario’s Children: An Ounce of Prevention – a Pound of Cure
, which outlined five recommendations for government to act immediately to help high-risk children. One of those recommendations addressed the CINOT program specifically.
“Our Special Report was very clear,” said Dr. Levin. “CINOT needs to be fixed. It’s a program that provides care only after kids are suffering – it shouldn’t get to that point. We know that every dollar spent on prevention saves as much as $50 on restorative and emergency dental procedures – that equation is simple. Why isn’t the government taking the money and helping kids sooner by
putting it into prevention?”
Some other international experts on prevention:
In 2000, the US Centre for Disease Control reported that dental caries is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma in children aged five through 17.
In a report titled Toronto’s Health Status: A Profile of Public Health in 2001: Dental decay is the most frequent condition suffered by children other than the common cold and is one of the leading causes of absences from school.
The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) estimates that more than 51 million school hours and 164 million hours of work are lost in the United States each year due to dental-related absences.
The ADEA estimates that for every dollar spent on prevention in oral health care, as much as $50 is saved on restorative and emergency dental procedures. Dental costs for children who receive preventive dental care early in life are 40 per cent lower than costs for children whose oral health is neglected. Finally, the cost of providing preventive dental treatment is estimated to be 10 times less costly than managing symptoms of dental disease in a hospital emergency room.
“The time for action is now,” said Dr. Levin. “These kids can’t wait another day – and the government needs to fix this program. The children are counting on us to help them.”
For more information
ODA Media Relations
Tel: 416-922-3900 ext. 3305
ODA Media Relations
Tel: 416-355-2278/ 647-294-7613 (Cell)