People Affected by Mental Health at Higher Risk of Poor Dental Outcomes

Researchers from The University of Western Australia say more needs to be done to help improve the quality of dental health care for people who are affected by mental health issues.

In a study published this week in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week (7-13 October), the researchers found many dental professionals in Perth did not feel adequately trained and equipped to best support patients with mental health conditions.

Researcher Professor Linda Slack-Smith from UWA Dental School said while evidence indicated people affected by mental health had poor oral health outcomes, the team wanted to find out more about what the key challenges were and how dental professionals could better support patients.

The researchers carried out 16 interviews with a range of dental professionals across Perth.

“People living with mental health conditions face many challenges and we know that access to good quality dental health care is one of them,” Professor Slack-Smith said.

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