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30 Sep 2018 | Australasian Dental Practice

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14 new grants support dental care

The Wrigley Company Foundation and the Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF) have awarded US$88,000 worth of grant funding as part of their annual Community Service Grant program, to provide oral health care and education to local communities in need across Australia.

Australians living in remote or disadvantaged communities today face multiple barriers to good oral health such as poor diet, access to dental facilities, financial strain and reduced health literacy, all of which greatly impact the health equity of those living in this country.1 To address these issues, the Wrigley Company Foundation and the ADHF have awarded 14 grants to help volunteer dental professionals deliver oral health services for some of Australia's most in-need communities.

"Over the past eight years, the annual Community Service Grants program has helped hard working volunteers carry out important work that provides oral care services and dental education to disadvantaged communities across Australia," said Sophie Lodge, on behalf of the EXTRA® Oral Healthcare Program.

"We continue to be impressed with the work carried out by grant recipients and we look forward to seeing this year's results."

Since 2011, the Wrigley Company Foundation and the ADHF have awarded almost half-a-million dollars in grant funding to volunteer dentists and dental students to provide free-of-charge treatments to patients in some of Australia's most remote regions.

"The ADHF applauds 2018's successful grantees. These grants will go to organisations providing oral care and education at a grassroots level and the ADHF is proud of working to deliver services that are vital to ensuring access to oral healthcare services and education to disadvantaged groups across Australia," said David Owen, Chairman of the ADHF.

The 2018 Wrigley Company Foundation and ADHF Community Service Grants have been awarded to:

Principles in Action Grant - 1 x US$10,000

  • Health in Kind (VIC) will deliver treatment to disadvantaged mothers and children across regional Victoria at community health centres and via a new mobile dental clinic.

Community Service Grants - 13 x US$6,000

  • Poche Centre for Indigenous Health (NSW) will provide Indigenous children living in NSW with a custom fitted mouthguard for use during sport, helping to prevent sports-related oral injuries;
  • Westmead Hospital (NSW) will assist children living with cerebral palsy through a targeted oral health program and the supply of necessary equipment to prevent dental and gum diseases;
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance (NSW) will purchase important equipment to fit out spaces in the new Northern Beaches Hospital;
  • The University of Newcastle (NSW) will provide essential oral health screenings, referrals and education sessions to the Indigenous communities living in the NSW Hunter Region;
  • Little Big Smiles (NSW) will deliver preventive dental care directly to schools in regional NSW via its mobile dental clinic and expand the program to ensure children from disadvantaged backgrounds in regional NSW are able to access screening and treatment for dental issues;
  • Murdoch Children's Research Institute (VIC) will develop an educational video for parents that demonstrates how to correctly care for their child's teeth;
  • Carevan Foundation (VIC) will improve the oral health of over 600 children by expanding its oral health education program to disadvantaged students living in western Sydney;
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service (TAS) will increase the number of trips to remote areas to provide dental care and improve the quality of education and care provided to vulnerable and Indigenous Tasmanians;
  • Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania (TAS) to help decrease cases of pneumonia among residents living in aged care facilities via daily, evidence-based oral care and assessment of the oral hygiene of residents over the course of three months;
  • University of Adelaide Dental School (SA) will open an additional treatment room to accommodate the growing homeless population in Adelaide who need oral health treatment;
  • Cherbourg Volunteer Dental Clinic (QLD) will provide emergency and preventive dental treatment and education to one of the most disadvantaged communities in Australia;
  • University of Western Australia (WA) will work with 180 head and neck cancer patients to monitor their oral health compliance throughout treatment; and
  • Oral Health Centre of Western Australia will stabilise the dentition of children from low socioeconomic backgrounds through expediated access to services and tailored oral care education.

  1. Bishop, L.M. and Laverty, M.J. (2015): Filling the gap: Disparities in oral health access and outcomes between metropolitan and remote and rural Australia. Canberra: Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.
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