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Dental care for older Tasmanians

Island Dental is working to improve the oral health of older Tasmanians by offering the only private aged care mobile dental service in the state.

After a long career in the public sector offering outreach services in rural and remote Australia, Island Dental owner and director Dr Girish Sasidharan moved to Tasmania in 2013 to continue his practice.

Dr Sasidharan recognised the barriers preventing many in the community from accessing dental care, and had a strong desire to make dentistry both accessible and affordable for people of all ages.

“When we moved to Tasmania it was clear that Tasmania could really benefit from a less commercial approach to oral health,” he said.

“As I began to understand more about the demography and economy of Tasmania I realised there was a real need for more accessible and affordable dental services, especially in the aged care sector.”

Twice a month Dr Girish and his team of dentists visit aged care facilities across Southern Tasmania. “We have such a large elderly population and no one wants to take the responsibility of offering a dental service that works to reduce oral health issues in older Tasmanians,” he said.

“A lot of the patients we see haven’t been checked by a dentist for a long time, meaning we see a lot of ongoing problems that could have been avoided through regular check-ups.

“Making these patients dentally healthy again improves their quality of life and improves their ability to chew and enjoy food.

It also prevents many adverse health outcomes like aspirational pneumonia and cardiovascular events.

“For many of our older, less mobile patients our mobile dental service allows them to receive dental care from the comfort of the aged care facility.

“We charge just enough to cover expenses, with no focus on profit and instead a focus on improving the overall health of the community.”

Island Dental also work with a number of organisations trying to make dentistry more accessible for Tasmanians, including the Australian Dental Health Foundation, Royal Flying Doctors Service and Tasmanian Aboriginal centre.

The Hobart and Sorell practices also offers discounts for patients with pension or health care cards, and bulk-billed dental treatments for children under the Medicare children’s dental benefit scheme.

To book an appointment, go to www.islanddentalhobart.com.au

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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