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Dyson listens to dentists’ plea

Dyson listens to dentists’ plea to help injured patients

Last year nearly 4,000 kiwi kids under the age of 18 were rushed to doctors and dentists because they had injured their mouths in sporting accidents.

In last night’s Budget there was good news for children who suffer mouth injuries. The Government have increased the ACC subsidy for some payments related to dental injuries.

“This is the first increase in patient entitlements for nearly 20 years,” said Dr David Crum, Executive Director of the NZ Dental Association.

At this stage the subsidy increase is targeted at those under the age of 18 years.

The Association and its member dentists have done a huge amount of work to promote patients interests in this issue and Dr Crum thanks the Minister for responding.

“The next challenge is for us to convince the Government that other age groups deserve appropriate levels of financial assistance to correct dental injuries.”

Dental injuries have significant life long impact. Remember,

BROKEN BONES MEND. BROKEN TEETH DO NOT.

Dental injuries are the most common type of facial injury sustained during participation in contact sports.

The winter sports season is almost upon us, and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) has an important reminder for parents.

“The most crucial piece of equipment a child can wear onto the sports field is a mouthguard”, says Dr David Crum, NZDA Executive Director.

There are two types of mouthguards available:

custom fit - made by a dentist the "boil and bite" variety - bought over the counter.

A good mouthguard should:

be comfortable to wear stay in the mouth easily fit well cause minimal interference with breathing or speech

These features are more likely to be found in a custom-fit mouthguard made by a dentist. Custom mouthguards provide the right thickness of material in the right areas of the mouth, so they absorb shock better than other mouthguards. Effective mouthguards will help prevent most teeth and jaw injuries as well as concussion.

Costs for custom fit mouthguards can vary between approximately $80 to $200. The NZDA suggests people should contact their own dentist for a quote.

ACC have dedicated another $900,000 a year to children under the age of 18 who damage their teeth in accidents. Until now, there has only been $1,000,000 per year available, and parents often had to bear the costs of treatment.

Dr Crum says “It’s great that ACC have recognised the funding shortage, and addressed it in this budget. The NZDA hopes that this decision will result in more children accessing the treatment they should be entitled to when they have suffered a dental accident.”

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