Windsor

Windsor health unit survey wants to know if you go to the dentist

A survey offered by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will give officials a snapshot of the region's oral health.

Survey is available online until March 2, 2018

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is looking for input from the community on its access to dental health care.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is looking for input from the community on access to dental health care.

The health unit has put out a survey, available online and in paper form at its office, aimed at providing a snapshot of the oral health in Windsor-Essex County.

Shannen Janisse, the health promotion specialist with the health unit, said the survey is for those over 18, who may not be able to get dental care because they can not afford it.

"When we look at the individuals in the community, these may be people who have a job, but don't have enough insurance to cover things, like regular check-ups or root canals," she explained.

Clinic offers support for some

The St. Clair College dental clinic offers a lower cost option for some, with checkups cost that cost $25, but Janisse said calls to the health unit go beyond just looking for a checkup.

Many are already at the point that they have tooth pain, need a tooth pulled or need dentures.

She added some have had success with the clinic, but it can be difficult for those who lack transportation to make it out to multiple appointments at the college.

"I recognize the merits of it. It meets some peoples needs, but not everyone's needs," Janisse explained.

There's still a large number of individuals who don't have any insurance.- Shannen Janisse, health promotion specialist at WECHU

The survey has been translated from English to French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese in paper copies. Janisse described it as the first step to assessing the need for oral health care programs and services in the region. 

"From there we will develop a strategy that addresses any oral health issues that are found in our community," she said.

In 2016, there was a community health needs assessment, which showed dental needs for adults as a support many felt they needed to remain healthy. But Janisse said 35 per cent of residents 18 and over in Essex County don't have any dental coverage. 

"The positive side is the majority of people do have insurance, however there's still a large number of individuals who don't have any insurance," she said.

About 1,200 surveys have been completed. Janisse is hoping to increase that to 1,500 by the March 2 deadline.

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