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News / March 19, 2018

Homeless angry and anxious about dental care

by Guy Hiscott

A new study shows the difficulties homeless people have coping with dental care.

In a stream of open-ended interviews with homeless people in Vancouver, Canada, it was found that most believe dentistry is ‘frightening, humiliating and expensive’.

The interviews also found that they believe governments are neither sympathetic to their disability nor willing to provide helpful information about community dental clinics or sufficient dental benefits for their needs.

The interviews were with 25 homeless people (18 men, seven women, between 25 and 64 years old).

Participants were anxious about the cost of dentistry and fearful of dentists. They got emergency dental care with difficulty, usually in hospital emergency departments although mostly they preferred self-treatment.

They wanted accessible dental services with financial assistance from government, more widespread information about community dental clinics, and, notably among the indigenous participants, less humiliating discrimination from dentists.

The article was published in February in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. Read the full article.

Find out more about Irish Dentistry‘s focus on vulnerable patients throughout 2018.