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CRE Oral Health

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Centre of Research Excellence in Primary Oral Health Care (CRE)

The CRE is a collaboration of four universities (Adelaide, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Monash) and the South Australian Dental Service.

The impact of oral disease on everyday lives is subtle and persuasive while the prevalence and recurrence of these impacts constitutes a silent epidemic. The CRE will focus its program of research to improve primary oral health care for the disadvantaged Australians.

Theme 1: Successful aging and oral health: The CRE will undertake two projects. One will assess the long-term success rate of screening questions used by physicians and nurses linked to priority dental care in maintaining general health. The other will investigate better options for oral care in residential aged care.

Theme 2: Rural oral health: The research projects will investigate the attitudes, barriers and enablers of Australian dental practitioners towards living and working in rural areas, assess whether more collaborative, interprofessional systems of care can have a positive impact on the oral health of residents, and identify gaps in Australian policy approaches to oral health in rural and remote areas.

Theme 3: Indigenous oral health: The CRE will undertake two research projects into Indigenous Australian primary oral health care. One will discover why Aboriginal adults who are referred for priority dental care do not take up or complete a course of dental care, while the second will investigate the perceptions and beliefs regarding oral health of Aboriginal adults.

Theme 4: The oral health of people with physical & intellectual disabilities: People with special needs, such as the people with physical and intellectual disabilities, experience substantially higher levels of oral disease, with considerably less access to treatment. This project will consult with stakeholders and develop and test an intervention model for carers of adults with disabilities.

The three month follow-up for the "Community-based Trial: train carers of people with physical and intellectual disabilities has been completed for more than 50% of the 150 participants.