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News / September 23, 2013

Medical card holders

by Guy Hiscott

Researchers in Cork have warned that medical card holders are more likely to lose teeth than private patients.
The study, lead by Martina Hayes at University College Cork, argues that the cuts to medical card funding could widen the gap in the oral health of the nation.
It discovered that almost a quarter (22%) of medical card holders have not seen a dentist in three years, compared to 5% of private patients.
The research also found that the age profile of those who lost their teeth – usually aged 65 or over – puts the group at greater risk of mouth cancer. It means they are less likely to attend their dentist for routine examination and miss out on spotting potential symptoms of the cancer.