“Homeless people associate oral health with feelings of human dignity,” says Patricia De Palma, dentist and author of a new doctoral thesis on homelessness and dental health. “If dental care is made more accessible, it could be an important link between homelessness and a tolerable life.”
The formal account of the dental health of the homeless – the first ever – makes depressing reading. The 147 homeless people included in the study had an average of 18 teeth each, eight less than the average Swede. Seventy per cent of the homeless had no toothbrush, and their remaining teeth were often in such a poor state that they had to be removed. Many found it difficult to chew and ingest food.
Using in-depth interviews, Patricia De Palma has also examined homeless people’s thoughts about dental care and dental health. The interviews, which were conducted both before and after dental treatment, show that dental care can achieve much more than healthy teeth.
“Many of those who’d lost teeth talked about a changed personal image,” she says. “They felt stared-at, amputated. After treatment, however, they felt that they had grown as people and become a little more normal.”
Despite the universal right to state-subsidised dental care, homeless people are effectively denied access to it, according to Patricia De Palma.
“We have the world’s best dental care in Sweden, but only for those who can pay,” she says. “This is unacceptable. The national health insurance and national dental insurance must be coordinated to make sure no one falls through the net.”
Since 2002, Patricia De Palma has been running a dental surgery in Stockholm for homeless people.
Thesis: Oral health among a group of homeless individuals from the dental professional’s and patient’s perspective
Katarina Sternudd | alfa
New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences