eCite Digital Repository

The relationship of dental practitioners to the primary care networks in rural and remote Queensland and the application of technology in the management of dental problems


Stuart, J and Barnett, T and Hoang, Ha and Crocombe, LA, The relationship of dental practitioners to the primary care networks in rural and remote Queensland and the application of technology in the management of dental problems, Centre for Rural Health, School of Health Sciences Seminar series, 15 April, Launceston, Tasmania (2014) [Conference Extract]

Not available


Background: People who have difficulty in accessing dental services may present to hospital emergency departments (EDs), medical practices for treatment of their dental problems or seek treatment and advice from pharmacists. However, it is suggested that these services are only used for temporary relief of pain and do not provide definitive treatment. Rural communities are served by a range of health care professionals. Such practitioners provide a network of heath care professionals serving rural communities. Stronger links and cooperation between rural health care practitioners and dental health practitioners may improve service provision such that interventions are both timely, effective and result in appropriate follow-up or referral.

Aim: describe strategies that can be used by primary care practitioners to improve the provision of oral health services to rural and remote communities.

Methods: Case studies with semi-structured interviews were employed. Interview data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis with the assistance of SPSS 20 and Nvivo 10. Study progress: Seventeen interviews were conducted with 35 primary care providers in 4 rural/remote communities in QLD. The number of people presenting to primary care providers with oral health problems varied from practice to practice and community to community. Common presenting problems were toothache, abscess and oral/gum infections. Primary care providers advised patients to see a dentist, provide short-term pain relief, see a doctor and provide prescriptions for antibiotics. Primary care providers were not always confident in providing oral health care advice. Over 70% of primary health providers did not consult any other health professionals when they needed to solve an oral health problem for their patients. Only one third arranged emergency appointment with a dentist for their patients but never received feedback for the patients they referred.

Conclusions: People in rural and remote communities do present to primary care providers with oral health problems. There appeared a few links between dental practitioners to rural primary care networks in solving oral health problems for these communities.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:rural, oral health
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Dentistry
Research Field:Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Barnett, T (Associate Professor Tony Barnett)
UTAS Author:Hoang, Ha (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Crocombe, LA (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
ID Code:133870
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2019-07-12
Last Modified:2019-07-12

Repository Staff Only: item control page