Around the world, there is a huge inequality in access to professional dental care and advice. This means that visiting a dentist to address oral health problems is often delayed, or problems are not treated at all. Inequality in access is especially severe in low- and middle-income countries where problems of unequal distribution of oral health services, shortages in formally trained dentists, and high costs of dental treatments are more pronounced.
The result of delayed treatment is ultimately, tooth loss. According to a global research by Pepsodent, In Ghana, 4 out of 5 people will have lost all their teeth by the age of 65. Tooth loss has serious consequences affecting general health and wellbeing, quality of life, and economic and social opportunities, which exacerbate inequality. Adults who have lost teeth have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and are at risk of malnutrition, can experience sleep deficiency, be discriminated against, or suffer a loss of self-confidence and anxiety. Having access to a dentist’s advice as soon as a problem arises is the most effective way to avoid serious dental outcomes like tooth loss.
The World Health Organisation recommends a dentist-population ratio of 1 dentist per 7,500 people. However, there are 570 dentists currently serving the needs of 31 million population in Ghana which implies a ratio of 1 dentist to 58,400 people. Inequitable access also causes people to deprioritise seeking professional treatment.
Driven by the belief that everyone has a right to good oral health, Pepsodent is providing free dental check-ups via dental camps across the country. Through giving people the opportunity to visit a dentist, Pepsodent hopes to encourage them to build long-lasting and good oral care habits – from waiting too long to get treatment, to taking action early when problems are easier to solve.
Since 2005, Pepsodent has partnered with the FDI World Dental Federation, an independent organisation representing over 1 million dentists worldwide to drive awareness on the importance of oral health. As part of Pepsodent’s ongoing commitment to give people access to dentists, Pepsodent will jointly organize free dental check ups across the country in partnership with the Ghana Dental Association this year to celebrate World Oral Health Day, the largest global awareness campaign for oral health.
Joel Boateng, Oral Care Category Manager at Unilever Ghana, says “As part of our brand’s ongoing mission to unleash the power of healthy smiles by eradicating oral disease for everyone, we are providing free dental check-ups via dental screenings centres around the country. We are also televising free dental consultation in partnership with the Ghana Dental Association through our popular TV programme Time with The Dentist. Through these services, we aim to help millions of people take control of their oral health and avoid severe pain, costly and complicated treatments, and ultimately tooth loss. Our World Oral Health Day 2022 campaign, ‘Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late #TalkToADentist’ aims to help raise awareness to ensure people understand the importance of acting early, from the moment a problem arises.”
Dr. Paapa Puplampu, President, Ghana Dental Association says, “People often ignore the warning signs of a problem, such as toothache or gum bleeding, hoping it will go away. However, talking to a dentist at the first sign of a problem can help to fix issues before they become serious. Understanding the terrible consequences of waiting such as severe pain, more difficult and costly treatments and ultimately, tooth loss, is vital to helping people realise why early identification and treatment is so important.”
You can get your free dental screening at Accra Mall, Achimota Mall, Junction Mall, Makola and some selected communities in Kumasi, and Takoradi.