Some 60% of Italians do not go to the dentist because they cannot afford it, Higher Health Council representative and advisor on dentistry to the Minister of Health Enrico Gherlone said this week.
Spending on dental care in 2022 fell by 14% over 2018 he said at an event organised by the Italian Dental Association to mark the annual World Oral Health Day on March 20 in Rome.
“In Italy, 36 per cent of children, or more than 1.8 million, have untreated cavities,” said Health Minister Orazio Schillaci.
In the adult population this percentage drops only slightly to 29.6 per cent, or 16.9 million, he added.
“Not to mention total or partial tooth loss, which affects 6.3 million adults over 20 years of age,” Schillaci continued.
It is important, the minister added, “to keep attention high because, apart from the very high prevalence, oral pathologies have a significant impacts on quality of life and general health as well as a a considerable social impact”.
In this respect prevention “represents the first form of oral health”, Schillaci concluded.