Only 2 percent of Chinese between the age of 35 and 44 have healthy teeth, and that number drops to just 0.33 percent for people over the age of 65, medical experts told a Sino-Japanese dental conference held in Shanghai over the weekend.
More than 500 experts took part in the meeting, discussing the latest dental technology, disease prevention and treatment, and the importance of educating the public about dental care.
Dentists said 12-year-olds should have the healthiest teeth, but only 24.96 of 12-year-old Chinese have a healthy set of teeth. That percentage drops with age.
One problem is that China has a huge shortage of professional dentists. There is only one dentist for every 45,000 people on Chinese mainland on average, and only one for every 7,500 people in Shanghai, according to Chen Zuliang, an official from Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital, a leading dental facility in the city.
"However, every 4,000 Hong Kong residents or 1,200 American can have a dentist. In Japan, there is one dentist for every 800 to 1,000 people." Chen said that Chinese seldom visit dentists for regular check-ups and in-time treatment.
(Eastday.com November 14, 2005)