CBC News has learned that the broken wisdom teeth of some Ontario children are coming from people who didn’t take a proper dentist’s advice.
A new report from the Ontario Health Department found that between 2011 and 2016, a quarter of all Ontario children had broken wisdom dentures, compared to 11 per cent in 2014.
In the province’s largest city, Oshawa, the report found that in the first five years after the province implemented a new dental crown, half of all the province-wide dental crowns had broken teeth.
In 2014, a similar report from Health Canada showed that Ontario had the highest rate of tooth decay in the country, with an average of 3.2 per cent of children suffering from tooth decay.
A report by Ontario’s health department found that more than 90 per cent had some form of broken tooth or tooth bridge, with many people suffering from this condition because they weren’t taking proper care.
The report also said that nearly two-thirds of children had experienced dental wear and tear, including over 80 per cent who had suffered broken bones or damage to teeth.
“If you’re going to have a tooth, you should be doing it in the best way possible,” said Dr. James R. Levesque, a dentist and clinical professor of dentistry at McMaster University.
“It’s important to get the proper care done and to get it done well.”
In Ontario, the province is also seeing more dental wear.
More than 20,000 Ontario children in the past two years have had their crowns broken.
A study published by the McMaster University School of Dentistry found that Ontario saw the highest percentage of crown-related deaths among all provinces and territories in 2016, with 43 per cent.
While Ontario’s rate of crown related deaths is higher than the national average, the study also found that the province had the lowest rate of child death, which it also attributed to the health system’s response to coronavirus.
“Ontario is the only province in Canada that’s seeing a significant increase in the rate of Crown related deaths, with a rise of nearly 25 per cent over the past four years,” Dr. Leveque said.
The province also saw the second highest rate for crown-associated diseases in the world, at 14 per cent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to the crown-linked diseases, the number of crown and dental injuries has also increased in Ontario.
The U.K. has seen the biggest increase in cases of crown injuries, with about 7,000 crown injuries reported in the last year alone.
The rate of coronaviruses has also jumped in Ontario, with the number reported last year surpassing that of other provinces, according the U and Canada’s Health Ministers.
“It’s a very real, very serious situation, and one that we need to deal with in Ontario as quickly as we can,” Health Minister Eric Hoskins said.
“This is a problem that we’ve had for some time, and we’ve been dealing with it for years and years.”
Dr. Levensque said that while he can’t pinpoint a specific cause for the increase in crown related injuries, it’s clear that people have been spending more time in the home than in public spaces, and are less able to be safe.
“When people are out in the public, their risks are higher, and they’re in the most dangerous environments, which is the workplace,” he said.
According to the Ontario health department, the crowns of about 30,000 children in 2016 were in a “critical” condition, meaning they were showing signs of deterioration and could potentially lead to death.
The health department’s report, which was released Wednesday, said the number one reason for crown related incidents in Ontario is lack of care.
The report found an average one in five cases of acute crown injury was due to lack of adequate care.
“In some cases, a child may not be given adequate care because of an inability to make informed decisions about their own care,” the report said.
While it’s encouraging to see the province has taken steps to prevent more crown related accidents, Dr. Rivesque said the health department still has a long way to go.
“There is a lot of work to be done,” he added.
“We’re in a position where the crown is in some critical condition, and there’s a lot more that needs to be put in place.”
And we know that we’re going have a significant reduction in the number and severity of crown associated injuries, and it’s not going to happen overnight.
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