The University of Melbourne
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Looking Back Looking Forward - Oral health in Victoria 1970 to 2022 and beyond

Version 2 2024-01-05, 06:27
Version 1 2023-07-26, 08:57
posted on 2024-01-05, 06:27 authored by JOHN ROGERSJOHN ROGERS, Jamie Robertson

A key reference for public health practitioners, policy makers and those concerned about a fair go for all people.

Are governments doing too little too late on dental health?

Looking Back Looking Forward – Oral health in Victoria and Australia 1970 to 2022 and beyond is a forensic examination of changes in oral health, shifts in government policy, professional practice, technological advancements and public expectations. With a lens focussed firmly on health equity, the book proposes a pathway to achieve good oral health for all.

While often taken for granted, good oral health is fundamental to good mental and physical health. Poor oral health precipitates and perpetuates low self-esteem and adversely affects a person’s ability to eat a nutritious diet, find employment, and engage socially without embarrassment.

Australia’s public dental system is a tattered safety net failing Australians on lower incomes, forcing them to face long years waiting for general care. Dental care remains mostly excluded from Medicare. The mouth has been left out of the body. We urgently need a national conversation about how this situation can be remedied.

John Rogers is a Specialist in Public Health Dentistry with more than 45 years’ experience in management and policy development. Jamie Robertson AM has had over 40 years in private dental practice, extensive public governance and practice experience. He is a noted historian of the dental profession.

Drawing on the latest WHO Global Strategy for oral health, the authors delve into the past to chart a future in which better oral health is achievable for all.

Professor Richard Watt, Professor and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Oral Health Inequalities and Public Health

This important and timely book traces the complex interactions of social, political and economic factors that have shaped the oral health of Victorians, and more broadly Australians, over the past five decades. It provides a roadmap of how we arrived at the current dental health system as well as a compass indicating future trends and directions.

Professor Alastair J Sloan, Head of Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne

The book is extremely well written, easy to read and well referenced. Whilst it is long, that reflects the richness of its contents, and its chapters can be mined individually. I highly recommend it.

Tony McBride, Public Health Expert

Very comprehensive and will be a really useful resource for those interested in this policy area.

Professor Stephen Duckett, Honorary Enterprise Professor, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Rogers and Robertson’s detailed work and insightful perspectives enable those individuals, communities and governments committed to ‘a fair go’ to learn from the past and create an oral health system that is much more equitable.

Professor Rob Moodie, Professor of Public Health, School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne and Professor of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Malawi.


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