Dental care in Greece is apparently low on the list of people’s priorities, according to the Hellenic Dental Association (EOO).

Data from a recent report by the country’s statistics authority (EL.STAT) showed that 46.8% of respondents required dental attention or treatment. However, 32% of those in need did not receive any, with 9 out of 10 people citing financial reasons for not visiting a dentist.

Experts also cite a shortage of dentists in state’s primary healthcare facilities a serious reason for the apparent deficit in dental care.

EOO President Athanasios Devliotis said “dental care was a main victim of the financial crisis and the pandemic, as over the last 15 years, already limited public funding has disappeared.”

“Today, public expenditure as a percentage of total dental spending in Greece is near 0%, whereas the EU average is 31% (OECD 2021). Furthermore, private expenditures have decreased by almost 72% (ELSTAT 2022). As a result, citizens do not have the financial means to resort to the private facilities, while at the same time, the public dental sector is understaffed and seriously deficient in infrastructure and organization,” he said.

He emphasized that the current efforts to tackle the issue, such as a preventive program for children aged six to 12 called Dentist Pass and the restoration of the National Oral Health Committee, among others, are positive but not enough.