Worst dental health in Northern Norway

Only 63 percent of the residents in the northern part of the country aged 21 years or older in 2008 had visited the dentist in the past year.  Photo: Lise Åserud / Scanpix

Only 63 percent of the residents in the northern part of the country aged 21 years or older in 2008 had visited the dentist in the past year. Photo: Lise Åserud / Scanpix

Rare to go to the dentist and dental visits have most acute problems.

The population in the three northernmost counties have poorer oral health than people in the rest of the country. They go to the dentist less often than the rest of the population, but sits on top of the statistics on most dental visits because of acute problems.

This emerged in a new report on dental health . Statistics presented today selected characteristics of the dental health status in Norway.

Worst in Northern Norway

The survey has mapped their rated health over several years and shows that there are clear geographical differences.

Occupants in northern Norway have by far the worst dental health in relation to the rest of the country. Surveys in 2008 show that 11 per cent over 21 years report having poor or very poor oral health, compared with 8 percent nationwide.

In Nordland dentist Therese Bakke can see that the needs are greater than in the south.

“I see a difference between north and south, as I sometimes worked in Oslo in recent years. Some wait too long, acute toothache occurs before they visit me. Their is not enough information about the importance of going once a year to the dentist,” she said.

Rare visits to the dentist

The poor dental health in Northern Norway seems to be related to the frequency of dental visits.

17 percent have not been to the dentist in more than two years, and when they first go to the dentist, it is often an acute need. 25 percent of residents have contacted the dentist for emergency assistance in the past year.

Best dental health, the residents of Agder, Rogaland and Western Norway.

Bad deals in the private sector

There is reason to believe that the frequency of dental visits in the adult population aged 21 years and older is related to the offer in the private dental clinics. This age group will primarily use the services in the private sector. Figures show that the three northernmost counties have the lowest coverage of dental health personnel in the private dental clinics, the very lowest in Finnmark.

The report is based mainly on figures from KOSTRA (County-State-Reporting) and Living Conditions Under the increase on health, care and social contact.

Source: NRK

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