June 21, 2010 – Ottawa – The Canadian Dental Association highlights the Wait Times Alliance (WTA) report card on wait times for pediatric dental care delivered in hospitals across Canada. Dental surgery for Early Childhood Caries (ECC) under general anesthesia is the most common day surgery procedure at most pediatric hospitals in Canada, but in 2009, more than 17,000 Canadian children waited longer for pediatric surgery than medical experts recommend. Delays in performing surgery on children can have a lifelong impact. Grades of ‘D’ in dentistry mean nearly half of all children wait longer than medically acceptable, jeopardizing normal development.

Early Childhood Caries (ECC, also known as tooth decay) is the most common childhood disease. Some of its potential consequences are acute and chronic pain, interference with the child’s eating, sleeping and proper growth, tooth loss and compromise of general health. A daily regimen of brushing and flossing is an important part of good oral health while equitable access to professional dental care for all Canadians is essential for diagnosis, prevention and treatmentleading to good oral and general health.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) urges the Canadian Government to treat pediatric surgery wait times as a serious access to oral health care issue facing Canadian children. “Canadian children should not have to wait for urgently needed dental care,” said CDA President, Dr. Ronald G. Smith. “A child with tooth decay can suffer from great pain and an inability to learn. We should ensure that children have what they need to succeed in their development through regular preventive oral health care and decreased dental surgery wait times when surgery is needed.”

The 2010 Wait Times Alliance Technical Report can be found at:

The Canadian Dental Association Position on ECC can be found at:

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) is the national voice for dentistry, dedicated to the advancement and leadership of a unified profession and to the promotion of optimal oral health, an essential component of general health. Visit www.cda-adc.ca

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