Following the recent release of the Inuit Oral Health Survey, Nunavut Tunngavik President Cathy Towtongie called for greater investment and innovation in the provision of oral healthcare services in Nunavut’s communities.
Results indicate that 70 percent of the 1,216 Inuit who participated in the survey required immediate dental care, in part due to services not readily available in Inuit communities. The results regarding Inuit children are especially disconcerting, showing that on average, children aged 3-5 experienced 8.22 decayed, missing, or filled deciduous (baby) teeth.
“Oral health is a strong indicator of overall health, and the results from this survey show an unacceptable reality. More needs to be done to provide dental services for Inuit, and to work with government on prevention and promotion programs in the area of oral health,” said Towtongie.
The release of the survey coincides with the federal government’s funding cut to the National School of Dental Therapy (NSDT) housed by the First Nations University. NTI is calling on Health Canada to work with NTI and the Government of Nunavut to develop new approaches to dental therapy training.
“NTI believes that made in Nunavut solutions is what’s required to address the disparities in Inuit oral health,” said Towtongie.
The results from the Inuit Oral Health Survey are now available on the NTI website. Please defer to Health Canada website for all associated links.