The Truck

The inadequate availability of necessary, comprehensive dental care for residents of remote and regional Australia has been well documented. Inadequate dental care contributes to a high incidence of debilitating dental pain, with uncontrolled dental diseases strongly linked to the development of chronic illness.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in Australia. Despite this, dental services attract only 2.1% of government health expenditure. We have been conditioned to believe that the mouth is a remote part of our health with no real effect on our general health and wellbeing. This reflects itself in the reactive rather than proactive delivery of dental services to remote areas.

This needs to change.

“the compartmentalization involved in viewing the mouth separately from the rest of the body must cease because oral health affects general health by causing considerable pain and suffering and by changing what people eat, their speech and their quality of life and well-being”

World Health Organisation (2005)

The access to dental services in the Australian outback is grossly deficient. In 2012, major cities were found to have 72.3 dentists per 100,000 people, compared with only 22.7 dentists per 100,000 in remote/very remote area. The comparative oral health statistics of cities and rural towns are staggering:

– 31.7 per cent of rural residents have untreated decay compared to 24.8 per cent of urban residents

– 32.8 per cent of rural residents have moderate to severe periodontal (gum) disease compared to 26.1 per cent of urban residents

– Of the dentate population, 18.5 per cent of rural residents have fewer than 21 teeth compared to 13.8 per cent of urban residents.

– Child Dental Health Survey (2009) shows that 51% of 6 year olds and 45% of 12 year old children have dental decay

– 33% of residents in remote/very remote areas received a tooth extraction in the previous 12 months, compared with 12.1% in major cities

 

Thirty percent of Australia’s population lives in regional and remote areas. There is a constant challenge to good oral health in these communities because of:

– fewer dental practitioners

– a lack of fluoridated water

– higher costs for healthy food and oral hygiene products

– inadequate clinical infrastructure

The numbers speak for themselves!

Dr Jalal saw this problem and thought he’d do something about it. So he bought a mobile dental clinic and took it to the bush! By bringing the dental clinic to the people he is removing their logistical problem and bringing the dentistry to them. It’s a small start but he has a big vision.

Since it’s inception in 2017, The Dental Truck has added more towns. We are actively seeking schools that are interested in receiving our services. We have also added more clinicians to the team which is aiding our expansion. 

ABC News recently covered Dr Jalal’s work in the outback.

Dr Jalal actively seeking to expand this service. If you would like to help in anyway, please contact him directly by clicking here

We are deeply grateful for all donations we receive as it helps us achieve our ultimate goal of closing the gap between dentistry and the bush. 

Please continue to read below about the progress we are making!

Our next trip to Quilpie is in:

Our next trip to Cunnamulla is in:

Our next trip to Thargomindah is in:

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number of appointments provided to residents in remote towns
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days on the truck

The Dental Station is looking for new team members.
If you are a Dentist, Dental Assistant/Hygienist/Therapist and are interested in working on the truck (regularly or as a locum) please get in touch via the form below.

Want the Dental Truck to come to your town? Please get in touch via the form below.

Need more information?

Fill in the form and we will be in contact with you shortly.