Fluoride Action Network

New Zealand dental therapist to study Vanuatu teeth

Source: Radio New Zealand International | December 13th, 2012
Location: Vanuatu
Industry type: Volcanoes

A New Zealand dental therapist set to begin doctoral study into dental health in Vanuatu says she expects to find many people with fluorosis.

Liz Webb has just completed a post-graduate diploma in clinical research at Victoria University that focused on the relationship between the oral health of Maori women and that of their children.

She says the study she is starting next year will concentrate on ni-Vanuatu people living on the islands of Efate and Tanna, home to the Yasur volcano.

Ms Webb says constant volcanic eruption over the past 300 years has built up the level of fluoride in the environment.

“I’m expecting fluorosis and I’m expecting periodontal disease. And I’m unsure about the decay rate. I’m interested to see what role – what influence – the newly set-up shopkeepers have that sell cheap lollies and cheap drinks to the children.”

Liz Webb says she is also interested to find out about the role of village chiefs and traditional medicine in dental care.

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