In a previous blog post, we talked about the importance of early childhood dental visits and what we were doing to help make dental hygiene a priority in our local community.
During the school holidays NCNS Team Leader – Early Childhood, Carolyn Gilbert worked together with The School Dentist, a mobile dental service, to run an Outreach Dental Clinic for Aboriginal children between 2-17 years at our Culturally safe space, Koolyangarra Aboriginal Family Centre. On Thursday 18th April, 28 Aboriginal children accessed the Dental Clinic.
Out of the 28 kids, 4 were referred on for serious dental work as we discovered dental health issues that could mean that they would need to have teeth removed and/or would have implications to their overall health.
2 of these 4 children were found with tooth abscesses. A dental abscess occurs when the dental pulp, the soft inner part of the tooth made up of blood vessels, nerves and tissues, becomes infected due to exposure to bacteria and fills with pus. This can be caused by tooth decay or injury to the teeth that lets bacteria into the tooth. A dental abscess can be treated with antibiotics, draining the abscess, root canal or tooth removal. If left untreated, the infection could spread to your jaw bone, ear and neck on the effected side and in some cases the infection can spread to the brain. Both children are looking at a possible tooth extraction.
Another child was found with a fractured tooth with nerve exposure. An exposed nerve can cause an abscess and severe dental pain. This child was sent to have x-rays completed to determine the level of damage and it is possible they will require root canal.
A 3-year-old was found to have dental trauma on their baby tooth and dental trauma on baby teeth can cause complications to the permanent tooth developing underneath.
The families of these 4 children were provided with a referral letter for dental work that needed immediate attention as the dental team were not able to perform these procedures on the day.
We would like to thank the dental team from The School Dentist who were so professional and approachable, making our families feel so at ease.
We also would like to thank the families who brought their children along for their dental check-up making sure any issues could be identified early and treated before causing serious & costly health problems.
Our next Aboriginal Outreach Dental Clinic will be on Thursday 11th July at our Kooly centre.
For more information please contact Carolyn on 02 4729 0442.