Dr Norah Ayad on ABC Brisbane

29 July 2022

ADAQ Past President and Gold Coast Councillor Dr Norah Ayad, was recently on ABC Brisbane Breakfast radio with Craig Zonca and Loretta Ryan, to discuss the annual ADA survey.

Listen to the interview here.


Loretta Ryan (radio host)
Craig Zonca (radio host)
Dr Norah Ayad (ADAQ Past President and Councillor)

Transcript auto-generated by Meltwater.

Loretta Ryan: When was the last time you went to the dentist. Mine is about. This is probably I'm going on to my third year because during COVID of course, you couldn't get to the dentist, even though I usually would go every 12 months. Well, the Australian Dental Association's yearly survey has found 26% of Aussie adults haven't seen a dentist in over 5 years.

Craig Zonca: That is horrible news for someone like Dr Norah Ayad from the Australian Dental Association. Norah good morning to you.

Dr Norah Ayad: Good morning to you.

Craig Zonca:  For those people who haven't been to the debt is for 5 years, do you dread those appointments yourself?

Dr Norah Ayad:  Look as the dentists we definitely don't dread them. I think we dread the state of people's oral health and that's always been the concern. Even before COVID the statistics weren’t great and now we're seeing there even dropping further.

Loretta Ryan: Yeah, but it's not a reluctance of people to go, though, is it? Why aren't they coming?

Dr Norah Ayad:  Definitely over the last couple of years with lockdowns and changes to people's schedules, we know that that's affected people's attendance, but we also know that dentists aren't always people favourite place to be. We always maintain that your regular checks and screening appointments are much less invasive and much less costly compared to all the stuff that people worry about about some of the dentist.

Loretta Ryan: What can be some of the problems we face if we don't go for regular check of check-ups and if we are leaving it for years?

Dr Norah Ayad:  Yeah, so rather than, you know, potentially have some small cavities that require small fillings. We're now dealing with much more extensive treatment like root canals and crowns bridges and losing teeth and you know all that all the complex stuff that comes with it. So, get in early, while it's manageable. A lot of the preventative measures to hopefully prevent people even getting those points in the first place.

Loretta Ryan: I see dentists are also concerned about people who are whitening their teeth. Why is that?

Dr Norah Ayad:  I guess it comes down to what people are using. There are so many products available out there that aren't regulated. In Australia, we're pretty lucky. The TGA regulates in quite well when you have access to. But all this stuff where no-one knows the concentration of active ingredients in it, or what's in it, or people not using it properly or safely. There is definitely the potential where we see a lot of sensitivity to and damage to gums if people using the wrong kind of product. 

Loretta Ryan: Now, I'm finding my teeth as sensitive after having COVID, is that something you're seeing?

Dr Norah Ayad:  We haven't seen any definitive studies to look at any dental effects are post-COVID. It could just be that you're a little bit overdue and the dental check-up. 

Loretta Ryan: I was going to say I was blaming COVID but yes, obviously I need to see the dentist. didn't ignore it just before you go as well.

Craig Zonca:  I see that the survey found that children aren't going to the dentist early or often enough. As a parent of a toddler when should someone's a baby's first visit to the dentist be? What age?

Dr Norah Ayad:  We say, by the time they have teeth. It's a good idea to start going on along so, usually by the age of two kids have all of their baby teeth and so we want to catch things early want to make sure we're looking after them our hygiene is good. We're screening for any early issues. So the sooner the better. We'd definitely like to start seeing them getting them comfortable.

Craig Zonca: Thank you Norah you have served to give us all a nice gentle reminder that we need to be calling our local dentist today and booking in for an appointment.

Dr Norah Ayad:  My pleasure. Have a great day.