A number of years ago,I had the privilege of visiting the Sweden.And I was invited by a friend,Dr Sofie Hybels, to visit the Eastman Dental Institute in Stockholm,where she works as a Pediatric Dentist.This is teaching dental hospital for postgraduates as well as a clinic for children under the public dental services.

    

In Sweden,children and young people up to 19 years of age are offered organised dental care free of charge provided by the National Dental Service.Adults 20 years of age and above come under a general dental care insurance,where the adults are given compensation for preventive care,extractions,endodontic/root canal treatments and fillings.The dental insurance will cover a substantial percentage of the cost of dental treatment.

In Sweden,apparently 8% of the total governmental spending on healthcare is spent on dentistry.That is a lot!!There is a Dental Act there which states that all Swedish citizens are entitled to good quality dental care.Note GOOD QUALITY.

Why am I talking about Sweden dental health care? Because I think we have much to learn from them.

When I was visiting Eastman,I was brought on a mini tour around the place and I was so impressed at the quality of work and materials used.That was year 2001.It left quite an impact on me.

Then about 2 years ago,my husband TC and I visited Sweden again,to visit some of our very dear Swedish friends.This time,one of our friends,Goran,arranged for me to visit his dentist,who is in private practice.This was in the town of Linkoping,north of Stockholm.

 

I was deeply inspired to see a thriving private practice with so many happy and smiling staff.They all seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves,and I made a mental note that when I start my own practice, I want my staff to be as happy,if not more.

Why am I writing about this? I believe there is much we can learn from the way this country manages her citizen’s oral health care.Yes,they are a very developed country,but we in Malaysia are catching up in leaps and bounds.We should not be lagging behind.I believe every single Malaysian should be well informed about the importance of their oral health,and encouraged to take proactive measures to take care of their teeth.And dentists both in the public and private sector,as oral health care givers,must rise up to provide good quality dental treatment for our patients.