OPEN WIDE: Dr Abraham Zacharia’s colleague, dentist Dr Ho-Chieh.
OPEN WIDE: Dr Abraham Zacharia’s colleague, dentist Dr Ho-Chieh. Allan Reinikka Rokadental

Preventing teeth decay is better than a costly dental bill

WITH great teeth comes great responsibility - and A2Z Dental Rockhampton's dentist Dr Abraham Zacharia says big dental bills are often the result of poor dental health.

Dr Abraham said after 26 years as a dentist and 10 years in Rockhampton, he likes to tell people that "prevention is better than a cure".

"Be a little more regular with the dentist and they are not going to have all these big, expensive things," he said.

"That, along with behavioural management - looking after the nutrition that goes into the mouth.

"If someone wants to drink a hell of a lot of soft drink, all that sugar, and not be up with their own personal hygiene, that's really a case of neglect.

"If a person neglects their dental, of course there is going to be a price to pay."

Dr Abraham said flossing was a big one - and he said teeth were sometimes not looked after as well as they should be.

"For example, let's just say you want to be fit and healthy, you want to be trim," he said.

"The things you need to do: exercise, healthy food, eat only what you need to eat.

"If you look at dentistry in the same way, if people just do the basics - brush teeth twice a day, floss regularly - it will not be such a big issue."

Dr Abraham said if people did not take responsibility for their own dental health, dentists were left trying to fix issues that could have been prevented.

"Floss is an issue with a lot of people," he said.

"Cost becomes an issue when people have ignored things and let it go too far.

"If it is caught early, it can be prevented."

Department of Health chief dental officer Dr Mark Brown said "Queensland Health recognises covering the cost of dental care can be difficult for some people".

"If people are concerned about the cost of their dental care, they should talk to Centrelink to confirm if they can access free public dental services," Dr Brown said.

"Some people may be entitled to benefits associated with their concession card; Pension Concession Card or a Health Care Card.

"It's important for all Queenslanders to adopt healthy oral health behaviours every day."

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service executive director rural and district wide services Michele Gardner said the longest wait for a general appointment at a public dental clinic in Central Queensland was 11 months.

"This is well under the national recommended waiting time of two years," she said.

However public dental clinics are for eligible clients who meet criteria.

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