CAPHD Conference Examines Disparities in Oral Health

November 12, 2013

Members of the Canadian dental community gathered in Toronto for the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry (CAPHD) conference in September 2013. The conference, The Paradox in Oral Health Care in Canada: Bridging the Gap Between Abundance and Scarcity, examined issues around public health dentistry in Canada, including barriers to oral health care and public policy programs aimed at improving access to care.

Speakers at the conference examined the factors that have left some people and communities—such as recent immigrants and low- and middle-income families—disadvantaged when it comes to oral health care.

Front row (L. to r): Dr. Patricia Main, associate professor dental public health, University of Toronto; Dr. Albert Adegbembo, CAPHD president-elect; Sandra Lawlor, Canadian Dental Hygienists Association president; Dr. Peter Doig, CDA president. Back row (L. to r.): Dr. Peter Cooney, chief dental officer, Public Health Agency of Canada; Dr. James Leake, Royal College of Dentists of Canada past president; Dr. Patricia Abbey, Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry president; Dr. Doug Brothwell, CAPHD past president; Dr. Myron Allukian, Massachusetts Coalition for Oral Health president; Irwin Fefergrad, Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, registrar; Dr. Amir Azarpazhooh, assistant professor, faculty of dentistry, University of Toronto.

The keynote presentation by Dr. Myron Allukian Jr. was followed by a panel discussion on access to oral health care. Dr. Peter Doig, CDA president, was joined by fellow panel members Sandra Lawlor, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association; Dr. Peter Cooney, chief dental officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Irwin Fefergrad, registrar of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. Doig underscored the need to build on the Canadian oral health framework and develop a comprehensive strategy for oral health in Canada.

“It’s clear that gaps in the Canadian system of oral health care are leaving some Canadians behind,” says Dr. Doig. “CDA is committed to developing the National Oral Health Action Plan—an initiative that will provide a blueprint for concrete actions around access to care and prevention of oral diseases.”

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