A dental expert has come up with an idea to extend the life of a tooth filling.
The researcher at the US Medical College of Georgia is hoping that a new nanotechnology technique will extend the fillings’ longevity.
Dr Franklin Tay, associate professor of endodontics in the MCG School of Dentistry, explains: ‘Dentin adhesives bond well initially, but then the hybrid layer between the adhesive and the dentin begins to break down in as little as one year. When that happens, the restoration will eventually fail and come off the tooth.’
Half of all tooth-coloured composite resin restorations fail within 10 years, and about 60% of all operative dentistry involves replacing them, according to research in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Dr Tay aims to prevent the ageing and degradation of resin-dentin bonding by feeding minerals back into the collagen network.
With a two-year, $252,497 grant from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, he will investigate guided tissue remineralisation, a new nanotechnology process of growing extremely small, mineral-rich crystals and guiding them into the demineralised gaps between collagen fibres.
His idea came from examining how crystals form in nature.
He says: ‘Eggshells and abalone [sea snail] shells are very strong and intriguing. We’re trying to mimic nature, and we’re learning a lot from observing how small animals make their shells.’
The crystals, called hydroxyapatite, bond when proteins and minerals interact. Dr Tay will use calcium phosphate, the primary component of dentin, enamel and bone, and two protein analogs also found in dentin so he can mimic nature while controlling the size of each crystal.
Dr Tay says: ‘When crystals are formed, they don’t have a definite shape, so they are easily guided into the nooks and crannies of the collagen matrix.’
In theory, the crystals should lock the minerals into the hybrid layer and prevent it from degrading. If Dr Tay’s concept of guided tissue remineralisation works, he will create a delivery system to apply the crystals to the hybrid layer after the acid-etching process.
‘Instead of dentists replacing the teeth with failed bonds, we’re hoping that using these crystals during the bond-making process will provide the strength to save the bonds,’ Dr. Tay says.
Our end goal is that this material will repair a cavity on its own so that dentists don’t have to fill the tooth.’
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Dental practices to fine patients for missed appointments^
Patients who skip dental appointments face a £1-a-minute fine slapped on them by an NHS practice.
Dental body corporate, Integrated Dental Holdings, runs four clinics across Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland and has been given the go-ahead to fine people £1-a-minute for the length of their appointment for every one they miss.
Health officials agreed the charge at a board meeting on Monday after figures revealed that almost 3,000 patients failed to turn up for a dentist appointment during a six-month period — costing the NHS £54,890.
• The Conservative Party published plans to introduce patient fines in England earlier this year in its proposals to shake-up NHS dentistry.
And last autumn, the Liberal Democrats announced that they would consider slapping a £10 penalty charge on patients missing their dental appointments.
Norman Lamb, the party’s shadow health secretary, said that the ‘persistent’ failure of a minority of people to attend appointments was a form of ‘irresponsible behaviour that needs tackling’ in the health service.
^1247443200^2074^Dental practices to fine patients f…^Patients who skip dental appointments face a £1-a-minute fine slapped on them by an NHS practice.Dental body corporate, Integrated Den…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/fines.png
Can you win this? Yes you can!^
The Preventive Practice of the Year Award 2009, in partnership with Oral-B, is designed to recognise the UK practice with the strongest, best established and well though out preventive ethos, whether it be NHS, private or mixed. As a team, you will successfully communicate the oral health message to your patients, you will work together to raise oral health standards and you will regard prevention as your number one priority above all else.
Who will be judging?
An independent panel of judges including members of the Preventive Dentistry editorial board will compile a shortlist of four finalists from all entries received, and the final say will rest with them.
How do I enter?
To enter, submit your details and 500 words explaining why your practice deserves to win. You may submit as much material as you wish to support your claims such as photographs (please send hard copies as well as electronic), patient testimonials or PR.
The more effort you make to present clear reasons why you should win, the more impressed the judges will be. The cost for entering the competition is £15 per practice.
If you would like to pre-register, please email your details to [email protected].
Is there a prize?
If you are lucky enough to win, you will be exposed as an example of excellence to dental practitioners up and down the country. You will also win £500 for your practice to spend as you wish. Perhaps you could use it for a sophisticated team night out, or that new piece of equipment you’ve had your eye on.
This Award will help you get your practice the recognition it deserves.
What is the deadline?
All entries must be received by 30 October 2009. Enter now…
Thanks to our sponsor
Finally, a special ‘thank you’ must go to our official partners, Oral-B, without whom this Award would not be possible.
^1251158400^2079^Can you win this? Yes you can!^The Preventive Practice of the Year Award 2009, in partnership with Oral-B, is designed to recognise the UK practice with the strongest, bes…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/preventiveaward.png
Devon dental practice is cream of the crop^
Devon dental practice ‘committed to providing patients with quality gentle dentistry’ has been rewarded by the British Dental Association (BDA).
Trinity Dental Centre in Barnstaple, Devon, was accredited as a British Dental Association Good Practice and has joined its Good Practice Scheme.
As a member of the BDA’s Good Practice Scheme, each member of the practice team has signed up to the following 10-point commitment.
1. Providing a quality service
2. Meeting your needs
3. Making sure treatment is comfortable and as convenient as possible
4. Looking after your general health whilst receiving dental care
5. Following BDA guidelines on infection control
6. Checking for mouth cancer
7. Taking part in continual professional development
8. Training our team in work systems and reviewing training plans yearly
9. Welcoming feedback and dealing promptly with complaints
10. Working safely under General Dental Council guidelines.
For the last 12 months, the team at Trinity Dental Centre has been working to comply with 102 requirements of the BDA scheme.
Practice manager Julie Winfield said: ‘It has been hard work, but everyone has found
it worthwhile and we really do feel that we have improved our service to patients.’
Practice owner Donna Hill said: ‘We are committed to providing our patients with quality gentle dentistry and a kind and understanding way, and I am delighted that we have now been recognised by the British Dental Association as achieving this. Our commitment is ongoing and we will continually strive to ensure this in the dental care that we provide.’
^1247529600^2078^Devon dental practice is cream of t…^Devon dental practice ‘committed to providing patients with quality gentle dentistry’ has been rewarded by the British Dental As…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/trinity-copy.png
Obituary for Dennis Carroll ^
Dennis Carroll, 25 May 1946-10 June 2009
Dennis Carroll first burst into my life in the late 1980s when he joined the executive and finance committee of the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), of which I was also a member.
His enthusiasm and dedication was infectious, and over the next few years he took the lead in developing the educational resource sales and leaflet range of the Foundation, bringing his knowledge of sales to the dental profession as dental manager of 3M dental to the table.
Never one to do things by halves, when Dennis felt that commitments to the British Dental Trade Association (BDTA) as a council member would detract from his work with the Foundation, he left the Foundation committees in 1993, but always remained a staunch advocate and a great supporter.
His legendary energy and enthusiasm was given for many years to the BDTA where he rapidly attained high office and was elected president in 1994. Here, he rejuvenated and reshaped the organisation, making it more inclusive and responsive and, by exerting his personal charm and magnetism, increased the membership during his presidency.
Breaking with tradition and unwilling to lose his talents, the BDTA members voted to extend his presidency for a further year and he continued to serve continuously on BDTA Council until 2004 when he retired from the dental industry. On his retirement he was elected to the BDTA roll of honour, an award reserved for very few exceptional people and a distinction of which he was very proud.
Not content with his great impact within the UK dental industry, Dennis also served as the representative of the BDTA in Europe on both FIDE and ADE where his charm and enthusiasm endeared him to colleagues from across Europe. Although he spoke no other languages, he was always able to communicate with his colleagues using his measured and clear approach.
Dennis was instrumental in developing the collection and distribution of dental market data across Europe, no mean feat when this involved sharing sensitive commercial information. He continued to fulfill this role after his retirement and it was at a press conference to launch the latest set of data in Cologne in March that I last saw Dennis. His performance as always was accomplished and entirely without notes.
Dennis was persuaded to rejoin the Trustee Board of the BDHF in 1998 and continued to provide his wise counsel until his untimely demise. He was instrumental in helping to guide the transition from a hands-on Board of Trustee to a true Governance body. He was elected president in 2006 in which role he served for two years. His passion for dentistry and for the Foundation was obvious to all who met him.
Dennis’ impact at the Foundation in his years as a trustee cannot be overstated. He was energetic and focused throughout the most recent years of the growth of the foundation and many people will recall his impassioned speeches at the launches of both National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Awareness campaigns at the House of Commons.
Few could match Dennis’s commitment to the cause and he was a regular visitor to the Foundation’s head offices in Rugby. A telephone call would often be Dennis enquiring after the health of a staff member or simply thanking staff for their efforts. Dennis’s aversion to email was legendary – so there was a steady stream of printed emails being sent to his home by post.
As an active member of the Foundation Trustee board, Dennis fought for the best interests of oral health promotion and was a passionate advocate for the Foundation at any event he attended.
In his private life he had a passion for wildlife photography, the countryside and birds. He would often arrive at Board meetings with pictures from his most recent wildlife photography trip, most notably to India to photograph wild tigers. He fulfilled a lifetime ambition of moving to Scotland where he could indulge this love of nature and could be seen binoculars in one hand and glass of red wine in the other observing the wildlife in his surroundings.
Unfortunately this sojourn in Scotland was to be short lived and Dennis was taken ill and rushed to hospital in April. Whilst he fought bravely to recover, this was not to be.
Dennis will be missed not only for his sense of humour, his wry smile and his passion for a cause, but also for the loyalty he repeatedly demonstrated to any cause or individual in which he had faith and belief.
Our sympathy goes to his partner Kath, who he always referred to as his ‘young lady’, his children Nicky and Paul and his grandchildren.
Dennis will be missed by many, but I for one have lost a valued colleague, mentor and friend.
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NHS registration figures are up, but varied^
Figures show that the number of people registered with an NHS dentist has risen 14% in a year.
However, wide variations persist across Scotland where more than 3.3 million people in Scotland had an NHS dentist, up from 2.9 million a year ago, by the end of March.
The statistics revealed that levels of registration varied around the country, with rates for adults, in some areas, dropping as low as 35%.
Published by ISD Scotland, the figures showed that 61% of adults and 80% of children were registered with a dentist at the end of March – compared with 53% and 74% a year ago.
But rates vary across the country, with a low of 54% for children in the Western Isles and a high of 90% in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. For adults, the percentage registered with an NHS dentist ranged from 35% in Grampian to a high of 75% in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Opposition parties said parents faced a ‘postcode lottery’ when trying to secure an NHS dentist for their children. Six health boards have yet to meet a national target for 2010-11 of 80% of three-five-year-olds registering with an NHS dentist.
Almost £222 million was spent on NHS dental care in 2008-9 – up 10.2% on the previous year. The average cost of treating a child increased from £54 to £60, while the cost for an adult went up from £35 to £39.
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Dental team to log training at the click of a mouse^
Dental professionals will be able to track and submit continuing professional development (CPD) returns online for the first time next month.
Around 47,000 dental care professionals need to provide an annual declaration of continuing professional development (CPD) hours this summer – and a new section of the eGDC website aims to help.
All dental care professionals who registered before 30 July 2008 – and paid the annual retention fee by 31 July this year – will receive their Annual Practicing Certificate and a letter with instructions on how they can log on to the eGDC website to fill in their annual CPD hours electronically.
DCPs will also still be able to submit a return form which will be sent out with the letter this August.
A telephone helpline and email advice service will go live in August to help with any questions registrants may have in filling out their paper forms or hours online.
The new online facility will allow professionals to track and record CPD hours over their five-year cycle at the click of a mouse.
If they have previously submitted paper forms, they will be able to edit and add hours from their current five-year cycle online. Once they’ve entered their hours for this year, the site will tell them how many hours they have left to do.
The deadline for professionals to submit their hours is the end of September.
GDC Registration Development Manager Sarah Arnold said: ‘Lots of registrants tell us that the eGDC website is very user-friendly. As well as submitting your CPD returns you can also check and update your contact details that appear on the Register, pay your annual retention fee by credit or debit card, set up a direct debit and access your annual practising certificate.’
Professionals can contact the GDC by emailing [email protected] or calling the customer advice and information team on +44 (0) 845 222 414.
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Shoppers bag a dentist at supermarket ^
Shoppers at a supermarket can bag a place at an NHS dentist this week.
Staff from the Tewkesbury House Dental Practice still have 10,000 places to fill – and this week they are heading to the Sainsbury’s store in Gloucester to get shoppers to sign up.
With most NHS dentists in the county full to capacity, practice manager Julie King said it was a great opportunity for people without a dentist to get access to treatment.
She said: ‘We want to talk to anyone who is looking for an NHS dentist. We are taking patients from across the county. There are 10,000 spaces left because people just don’t realise we are here.’
The practice has been open for just over six months but is only running at a third of its full capacity.
Dental staff will be in the foyer of Sainsbury’s today and tomorrow (Thursday 16 and Friday 17 July from 10am until 4pm).
^1247702400^2083^Shoppers bag a dentist at supermark…^Shoppers at a supermarket can bag a place at an NHS dentist this week.Staff from the Tewkesbury House Dental Practice still have 10,000 plac…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/trolley.png
Report recommends canning Dental Treatment Benefits Scheme^^1247788800^2089^Report recommends canning Dental Tr…^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/patient-in-pain.jpg
She shall go the ball!^
Elizabeth Summan from Edgbaston Dental Centre registered for tickets to BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 and was selected as the winner of 10 complimentary Bridge2Aid Charity Ball tickets.
Out of the thousands of people that have registered for tickets to this year’s BDTA Dental Showcase so far, Elizabeth Summan was picked at random and won 10 tickets for herself and members of the dental practice in which she works.
Liz Jennings, business manager at the Edgbaston Dental Centre said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have won tickets to such a worthwhile event and our thanks go to the BDTA. I am sure the evening will be a great fundraising event and that we will all enjoy every moment of it.’
The Ball is taking place on the evening of Friday 13 November 2009 during the BDTA Dental Showcase event at the Hilton Metropole, within the grounds of the NEC, Birmingham and is sure to attract hundreds of people from the dental world.
The event is sponsored by Henry Schein, FMC and Dentsply and has been designed to raise money for Bridge2Aid, the charity running Hope Dental Centre, which is a training and community development programme in Mwanza, Tanzania.
If you would like to find out more information about the ball or book tickets, please visit: www.dentistry.co.uk/charityball.
BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 takes place 12-14 November 2009 at NEC Birmingham. To register in advance for your complimentary ticket, visit www.dentalshowcase.com/visit, call the registration hotline on +44 (0) 1494 729959 or text your name, address, occupation and GDC number to 07786 206 276. Advance registration closes 6 November 2009. On-the-day registration: £10 per person.
^1247702400^2086^She shall go the ball!^Elizabeth Summan from Edgbaston Dental Centre registered for tickets to BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 and was selected as the winner of 10 compl…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/B2A-Ball-logo.png
Dentistry graduates – best record for getting jobs^
Graduate unemployment may have reached a 10-year high but vocational courses – including dentistry – have the best record for getting their graduates into employment with a 99.5% success rate.
Almost one in ten are now not in jobs or further study six months after finishing university.
The recent figures on the destinations of last year’s graduates are the first evidence of the long-term impact of the recession upon university leavers.
Graduates from 86% of institutions in England found it harder to get jobs in 2008 than those who finished university in 2007.
Only 18 of 125 English universities improved their graduate employment rate — including Birmingham, Cumbria and University of the Arts London.
Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary of the University and Colleges Union, said that the figures, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, were ‘grim reading’ for the higher education sector.
The figures show that 9% of graduates in 2007-08 were without work and not on a course half a year after completing their first degree. This was a 2.8% rise on the previous year.
The graduates covered by the research began looking for employment just as jobs began to be shed at City firms and large banks. They were also the first to be hunting for a job during a downturn in numbers of graduate traineeships — which had previously been in abundance.
The study comes as prospects for this year’s finalists look bleak with 80,000 fewer vacancies for graduate-level jobs.
Vice-chancellors warned that the figures showed it was important that graduates had good quality degrees if they wanted to progress to graduate-level jobs.
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Mouth bacteria study aims to protect unborn babies^
A scientist is investigating how to halt common bacterium in a pregnant mother’s mouth which can prove deadly when it reaches an unborn child.
Yiping Han, associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in the US, aims to understand how to build roadblocks for a common bacterium that’s harmless in a mother’s mouth but can become harmful when it reaches the baby.
She has received a five-year, $1.85 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at the National Institutes of Health to fund the effort.
This is the professor’s second NIDCR RO1 award. She’s published more than 10 papers from previous research related to the bacterium, Fusobacterium nucleatum, that creates havoc once it leaves the mouth and enters the blood stream.
She has discovered an adhesin protein molecule, called FadA, in the genes of F. nucleatum. This adhesin, or binding agent, on the bacteria allows them to connect with receptors on epithelial cells in the mouth and later the endothelial cells of the placenta.
In tests, bacteria without FadA had less binding capability compared to those with the adhesin, Han and a team of researchers report on this finding in the July issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.
Professor Han says: ‘We want to block the bacteria before it can do any damage. It’s an upstream approach to go back to where the whole process begins and stop it from starting its destruction.’
Once it leaves the mouth, the invasion of the bacteria through the placenta allows the bacteria to multiple rapidly in the immune-free environment that protects the foetus from being rejected by the mother’s body.
The rapid bacterial growth causes the placenta to become inflamed. In turn, the inflammation can trigger pre-term birth and foetal death.
According to Professor Han, this research into the mechanisms of bacterial transport not only has potential to prevent pre-term and stillborn births, it may have implications in preventing periodontal disease.
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e-Den project blossoms for dental learning^
The national e-learning initiative encompassing dentistry’s foundation years’ curriculum – e–Den – is in its pilot phase and will be launched at The Royal College of Pathologists, London, on 15 October 2009.
The e-Den project is the first major collaboration between the four dental faculties of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of England, Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Department of Health.
It is one of several programmes in different specialties that are being developed as part of the
Department of Health’s e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) initiative.
Registration for the launch is at 9.30am and the day will begin with a welcome from the chief dental officer for England Barry Cockcroft.
Presentations for the day will include an introduction to the programme itself from the e-Den clinical lead, Paul Brunton, a view from a trainee’s perspective and live demonstrations of
The launch will conclude with closing comments from the DoH e-LfH National Director, Julia Moore.
The e-Den project will be available nationwide and free of charge to all NHS trainees and all relevant staff with an NHS contract, and will offer educational support for the two years after graduation.
e-Den aims to be a useful tool for deaneries and VT/GPT schemes to use as part of supporting
postgraduate training for dentistry and promoting a consistent standard of
knowledge, skills and expertise across the country.
if you would like to attend the launch, contact the e-Den project at [email protected] or call 020 7869 6815/6814.
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Junk food advertising ban to boost dental health^^1248048000^2092^Junk food advertising ban to boost …^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/doughnut.jpg
Aloe to healthy teeth and gums^
Aloe vera tooth gel is as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities, according to the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
Aloe vera tooth gel is intended to perform the same function as toothpaste, eliminating pathogenic oral microflora in the mouth. The ability of aloe vera tooth gel to perform that function successfully has been a point of contention for some dental professionals. However, research presented in General Dentistry may alleviate that concern.
The study compared the germ-fighting ability of an aloe vera tooth gel with two commercially popular toothpastes and revealed that the aloe vera tooth gel was just as effective, and in some cases more effective, than the commercial brands at controlling cavity-causing organisms.
Aloe latex contains anthraquinones, which are chemical compounds that are used in healing and arresting pain because they are anti-inflammatory in nature. But, because aloe vera tooth gel tends to be less harsh on teeth, as it does not contain the abrasive elements typically found in commercial toothpaste, it is a great alternative for people with sensitive teeth or gums.
However, buyers must beware. Not all aloe vera tooth gel contains the proper form of aloe vera. Products must contain the stabilised gel that is located in the centre of the aloe vera plant in order to be effective. Products must also adhere to certain manufacturing standards.
Dilip George MDS, co-author of the study, explains that aloe ‘must not be treated with excessive heat or filtered during the manufacturing process, as this destroys or reduces the effects of certain essential compounds, such as enzymes and polysaccharides’.
Dr George suggests that consumers consult non-profit associations such as the International Aloe Science Council to see what products have received the organisation’s seal of quality.
Although there are more than 300 species of the plant, only a few have been used for medicinal purposes.
‘Thankfully, consumers with sensitive teeth or gums have a number of choices when it comes to their oral health, and aloe vera is one of them,’ says AGD spokesperson Eric Shapria. ‘If they are interested in a more alternative approach to oral hygiene, they should speak with their dentist to ensure that it meets the standards of organised dentistry, too.’
^1248048000^2091^Aloe to healthy teeth and gums^Aloe vera tooth gel is as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities, according to the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy …^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/aloe.jpg
Dental decay detector secures UK distribution deal ^
A dental technology firm has signed a £4million distribution contract with a national supply company.
CarieScan, the Dundee-based producer of hand-held devices for the early detection of tooth decay and a subsidiary of 3D Diagnostic Imaging, has struck the UK distribution deal with Clark Dental.
The agreement will see the marketing and distribution company promote the CarieScan PRO tooth decay detection system to the dental market.
The CarieScan PRO device is a lightweight caries detection monitor, manufactured at factories in Livingston and Arbroath, which enables the early detection and monitoring of tooth decay.
It’s claimed that the device measures the presence of tooth decay earlier and more accurately than any other device on the market and is more than 90% accurate in detecting both sound and carious teeth, well ahead of current methods.
It also takes away the risks linked with the repeated use of X-rays.
The company, established in May 2008, uses technology developed by nearby St Andrews and Dundee universities and also say the device detects ‘hidden’ tooth decay, providing dental practitioners with the opportunity to arrest or even reverse decay, driving the trend towards preventive dental care.
It was originally developed by university spin-out IDMoS, which went into administration last year, but 3D Diagnostic Imaging snapped up the rights and assets of the business.
Graham Lay, chief executive of 3D Diagnostic Imaging, said: ‘We bought the assets of IDMoS last May, and we secured £2million of investment to keep the company going, which was 50% Scottish Enterprise and the rest coming from private equity.
‘There were a lot of lessons learned out of the demise of IDMoS, particularly entering into the market as a one-product pony without having access to a working distributor and sales marketing system to make it commercial viable. Trying to do all of it independently meant spending an awful lot of money to get the product to market.’
With the first major deal for CarieScan now secured in the UK, Lay is eyeing the North American market for further expansion.
He said: ‘The UK is our home territory, and Clark Dental, in our estimation, are the most appropriate dental distributor available to us, and they have sole exclusivity to distribute the product in the UK. At the same time we expect to get regulatory clearance for the device in the United States by early autumn, and we already have approval in Canada, so we are in discussions with distributors in those territories.
‘We expect sales in the US and Canada, once approval is granted will be substantial, but at this point I’d rather not put a figure on it.
‘The US has around 160,000 dentist, compared to 22,000 in the UK, so the expectations in the US are substantial.
‘There are other products on the market which claim to do similar things, but there is nothing on the market which measures dental decay like our device does.’
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From dentistry to Capitol Hill^
Second year dentistry student Alan Clarke, alongside three fellow Queen’s undergraduates, is currently on a prestigious Washington posting under an exclusive internship scheme run by the Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership (WIP).
Alan is interning for Congressman Tim Murphy. He said: ‘This experience has allowed me to gain insight into how change in the world happens. Working in government is a window into the issues faced by the whole of the USA. I feel privileged to be part of the WIP Class of 2009 and to be in DC at this new chapter in history.’
In week one of their placement, the class met the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, at the US Supreme Court. They have also had the opportunity to listen to award-winning journalist Mark Shields, the Irish Ambassador, Michael Collins, Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, and the former White House Press Secretary, Mike McCurry.
And, during a recent visit to New York, they enjoyed a series of events at the United Nations, gaining private access to the Security Council Chamber, before going to NASDAQ for an informative session on the market system.
WIP is a US-Ireland charity that is helping to prepare the next generation of leaders for Northern Ireland and Ireland. WIP inspires students from Ireland to lead through service at home and expands their skills by placing them in Washington DC’s most prestigious internships.
More than 350 young adults have graduated from WIP, representing 25 different universities throughout Ireland and the UK. Many graduates are now emerging in important careers in politics, law, business, communications and education. As they move into critical leadership roles, they retain their connection with WIP and continue to give back to their local communities through an active alumni network.
For further information, and details of how to apply for the Class of 2010, please visit www.wiprogram.org.
^1248048000^2094^From dentistry to Capitol Hill^Second year dentistry student Alan Clarke, alongside three fellow Queen’s undergraduates, is currently on a prestigious Washington pos…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/capitol.jpg
Dental course cleans up to meet guidelines^
A new course aimed at assisting in raising the standards of effective decontamination of dental instruments in dental practices is taking place in the autumn.
The Decontamination of Dental Instruments (DDI) course is to take place at Eastwood Park training centre in Gloucestershire.
It aims ensure that staff in NHS and private practice are fully proficient and operating to the latest best practices for dental instrument decontamination as laid down in HTM 01-05 Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Practices.
Failing to operate to these standards not only compromises patients’ well-being, the dentists’ reputation but also his/her ability to continue to practice.
Sue Peckham, Eastwood Park’s training manager (decontamination) says: ‘We already run an extensive infection prevention portfolio at Eastwood Park, however, I am delighted to be able to extend this into the dental sector. Effective decontamination of dental instruments has certainly been in the public arena in recent months following reported cases about poor hygiene standards in dental practices in Bristol and Bournemouth, where dental practices had been found to be inadequately decontaminating instruments.’
‘Best practice is certainly the minimum that dentists’ customers expect and I am sure now the profile on effective cleaning, washing and sterilisation in the practice has been raised, customers will be looking for much more re-assurance that standards are being proactively met. A key part of this process has to be addressed through practical staff training.’
Eastwood Park’s new DDI course includes:
• Day 1 Decontamination and Infection Prevention: an overview of current guidelines and best practice; what is meant by decontamination and the full decontamination process for dental instruments
• Day 2 Operation of Decontamination Equipment: staff responsibilities for decontamination; daily testing requirements; processing of dental instruments; tracking and traceability of instruments
• Day 3 Management of a service: management of issues including HTM 01-05 unit compliance; servicing and periodic testing of equipment; log books and record keeping; as well as training of staff in decontamination
Delegates will be able to attend days 1 and 2, with an optional day 3 aimed at senior staff/managers. (Unit managers are recommended to attend all 3 days).
The first courses will run in October and November. To find out more about the Decontamination of Dental Instruments course call 01454 262777 or visit www.eastwoodpark.co.uk/training.
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2009 Show Guide delivers verifiable CPD^
A new dimension has been added to the Show Guide which accompanies BDTA Dental Showcase 2009.
This year for the first time members of the dental team who attend Showcase will be able to gain verifiable CPD hours by reading and answering questions on a selection of dental and business articles.
Five educational articles will feature in the CPD section of the Guide and will cover clinical dentistry, innovations in equipment and materials, business and finance and customer satisfaction.
The articles will complement the information already contained in the guide which includes exhibitor contact details, a product locator and the latest news about the event.
Tony Reed, executive director at the BDTA said: ‘The Show Guide is essential reading for visitors planning to make the most of their time at BDTA Dental Showcase. I believe that the addition of verifiable CPD articles linked to Showcase will further enhance the value of the guide and add to the overall Showcase experience.’
For further information about the Show Guide CPD and other CPD opportunities available at Showcase 2009 visit www.dentalshowcase.com/CPD.
BDTA Dental Showcase 2009 takes place 12-14 November 2009 at NEC Birmingham.
To register in advance for your complimentary ticket visit www.dentalshowcase.com/visit, call the registration hotline on +44 (0) 1494 729959 or text your name, address, occupation and GDC number to 07786 206 276. Advance registration closes 6 November 2009. On-the-day registration: £10 per person.
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Dental students go global with blog peer reviews^
A UK university has joined forces with dental schools around the globe to build an online peer review forum to evaluate each other’s work.
The University of Birmingham’s School of Dentistry has signed up to International Peer Review in Blog Format, a new media project that encourages ‘professional development and global citizenship’ among dental students.
It will encourage dialogue and collaboration among dental students from the universities of Birmingham, British Columbia, Southern California San Francisco, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Tec Monterrey Mexico and Saskatchewan.
The format allows students from the different dental schools to meet online and evaluate each others’ work by peer review. The project is led by Karen Gardner from the University of British Columbia.
Kavita Verma, manager at the dental boutique, is heading for Goa at the end of the year to carry out voluntary work for the charity.
She says: ‘We all decided early on in the year that we wanted to do something to give back in some way and we chose this particular charity as after some research we found that the most of the monies collected were actually getting to the children that needed it most and making a difference at grass root level.
‘The walk across the bridges was an idea the team came up with, being holders of Best Practice London in the Dentistry awards two years in a row.’
Sunita Verma, principal at Sparkle – and Kavita’s sister – adds: ‘It was a great day out. So many people gave us money as we were walking and were extremely generous. Doing this walk has certainly inspired us to do something again…but next time we may try something a little more adventurous like abseiling or jumping out of a plane!’
The team is hoping to have raised £1,500. Donations can still be made at www.mycharitypage.com/kavita.
^1248739200^2117^Dental team crosses bridges to rais…^A dental team walked the bridges of London at the weekend to raise much-needed funds for the slum children of India.On Saturday (26 July), a…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/sparkleA.png
Children need to learn better dental habits^
According to a new survey by Denplan, children need to brush up on their dental habits.
The survey canvassed parents of children across the east Midlands and discovered that many youngsters do not take enough care of their teeth.
16% of parents admitted that their children do not brush their teeth twice a day, which is recommended by dentists.
Researchers also uncovered a widespread lack of awareness over the causes of tooth decay, with over half of respondents not realising that sugar is the primary cause.
Dr Henry Clover, dental advisor at Denplan, said that parents play a vital role when it comes to teaching thorough brushing routines. He said: ‘Parents should not underestimate their role in the supervision of the twice-daily brushing routine. The recommended age to keep a watchful eye on your children as they brush is seven.
According to the British Dental Association (BDA), children should use a pea-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste and start with the top back teeth, making small circular motions with their brush as they move to the other side of the mouth.
^1248825600^2119^Children need to learn better denta…^According to a new survey by Denplan, children need to brush up on their dental habits.The survey canvassed parents of children across the e…^
All that is systemic is…^
Welcome to the first Editor’s blog after the first ever summer issue of Preventive Dentistry. I am, of course, imagining you all reading the magazine on a sun-kissed beach somewhere overseas. Seriously though, producing an issue at this time of year is a wonderful opportunity, and it’s a delight to get the opportunity to bring you even more coverage on all things dealing with oral health and prevention.
In the news
This month, my attention was held by the news that a genetic link between the dental disease periodontitis and heart attacks has been discovered – something that scientists in the UK know about and have been researching.
The link has been found to occur on chromosome 9, where a specific version of a gene appears to be present in both periodontitis and coronary heart disease. While the systemic link has never been denied, it is always interesting to hear more research done on this subject. It just adds more weight to the belief that the mouth truly is a window to the rest of the body.
I attended a medical conference, run by Colgate Palmolive, in London last year. It incorporated the knowledge of hospital surgeons, general practitioners and dentists, talking specifically about the link between periodontitis and systemic diseases. The lecturers presented compelling evidence that strongly indicated the presence of a link, but this latest discovery of a specific gene present at the chromosomal level is remarkable.
Personally, I think this latest research presents a massive leap in the understanding of systemic diseases and those that exist in the oral cavity.
This has particular importance in the field of preventive dentistry because by nature, the practice of prevention is, for want of a better word, holistic. It is not just about preventing decay or the need for invasive oral surgery, but the prevention of general health problems too. Preventive dentistry relies on the ability of the oral health professional to know what to look for in the mouth from gum colouration to marks on the tongue. Now that a link such as this has been established, it is imperative that they remain as vigilant as ever in spotting the early warning signals in the oral cavity.
What is in the Summer issue?
This issue is packed with news, articles and product information. What more could you want?
Firstly, I’m delighted to say that the winner of the Preventive Dentistry Article Awards, Maria Cockle, is back in this issue with the first of what I hope is to become a regular appearance writing for the magazine. Her first article looks at what can be done to get a good oral health message out to teenagers.
Our Marketplace section has a special focus on products that can aid in implant maintenance, as well as the regular listing of preventive products.
Don’t forget to check out Diana Woordward’s latest article in the articles section of this website. It’s a cracking read.
As ever, you can call me on 01923 851756, or get in touch via email at [email protected]. I hope, and look forward to hear from you.
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Alcohol-free Dentyl pH, the mouthwash, has expanded its range of flavours by introducing Minty Citrus Splash. Alcohol -free, Minty Citrus Splash leaves the user with a fresh, citrus flavour in the mouth. In fact, data from an independent research study where users tested Minty Citrus Splash, also found that the mouthwash left their mouth feeling moisturised (Data on file, 2008).
Minty Citrus Splash, consists of two stages, a water-based phase incorporating a special antibacterial agent, and an oil-based solution with natural essential oils, which is much more powerful than the two individual parts on their own. The bacteria and debris adhere to the mouthwash solution and when it is rinsed out you can see what has been removed through brightly coloured masses.
Also, the two-phase Dentyl pH solution can efficiently remove bacterial layers from a solid surface, contributing to Dentyl pH’s smooth mouth feel.
Alcohol Free Dentyl pH Minty Citrus Splash retails for £2.49 for 250ml and £3.99 for 500ml. It is available from supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide.
^1248825600^2121^Extended range^Alcohol-free Dentyl pH, the mouthwash, has expanded its range of flavours by introducing Minty Citrus Splash. Alcohol -free, Minty Citrus Sp…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/citrusph.png
Decisions, decisions, decisions…^
Sometimes it is really difficult working in a busy NHS practice as a Dental Therapist. There are time constraints, UDA pressures, low quality materials, products and instruments all to cope with. It is all too easy for the busy referring practitioner to delegate treatments that are not within our scope of practice, to lighten their load.
In 2006 a new document was published by the BSDHT that put the onus of clinical skill responsibility on the Dental Therapist. The way the document was worded made it appear that so long as the Therapist felt confident in completing a task, they were entitled to undertake it; however this is not the case.
An interesting opportunity presented itself when one of my referring dentists suggested I learnt to provide Cerec inlays to our patients. Cerec is a ceramic inlay designed by using CAD (computer-aided design) technology. The ceramic restorations are completed in the surgery in one visit. After tooth preparation an optical impression is taken, and then the 3D software takes a digital picture and converts into a 3-dimensional virtual model on a computer which is then manipulated by the operator, finished in a milling machine and then cemented in place by the clinician. So in effect there is no laboratory involvement, which makes it a direct restoration (something Dental Therapists are allowed to perform), as opposed to an indirect restoration.
Excited but nervous about learning such a wonderful skill I contacted my indemnity provider to confirm the legality and insurance implications of undertaking such procedures. My provider confirmed two very important issues:
- Although the company was more than happy for me to attend their one-day training course, it was not specifically designed for Dental Therapists.
- The Dental Therapist training courses at university do not teach students on the principles of cavity preparation for indirect restorations.
The published guidelines state that if the Dental Therapist has undergone enough professional training designed specifically for a Dental Therapist on a particular skill and had proved competency to some official, and then felt personally competent they would then be qualified to perform that skill.
Although it is surely the future that Dental Therapists will be taught and given additional clinical skills, at present there are no official courses available that give Dental Therapists additional clinical skills. If your referring dentist asks you to do anything you feel is not within your competency or remit always confirm any concerns with your indemnity provider, after all, that’s what you pay your money for and as a professional clinician you have a duty to always act in your patient’s best interest and a moral ethical responsibility to yourself and our profession.
^1249516800^2139^Decisions, decisions, decisions…^Sometimes it is really difficult working in a busy NHS practice as a Dental Therapist. There are time constraints, UDA pressures, low qualit…^
Diamond conference for dental hygienists ^
It’s a diamond anniversary this year as dental hygienists meet to celebrate 60 years of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) at their annual conference in October.
Hailed as the biggest event in the UK for dental hygienists and dental hygienist therapists, the 2009 Oral Health Conference and Exhibition is taking place in Bournemouth on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October.
The conference will be opened by BSDHT president Marina Harris and features presentations from speakers including Martijn Rosema, Edwina Kidd, Phil Ower, Martin Fulford and David Gillam.
It will also include workshops and a diamond jubilee dinner with a ‘Diamonds are Forever’ theme on Friday 16 October at the Royal Bath Hotel.
The conference offers up to 9.75 verifiable CPD and takes place at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre.
Delegate registration opens on Saturday 1 August and there’s an ‘early bird’ registration fee (book by 25 September 2009). For further details, visit www.bsdht.org.uk.
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Deaf aware courses for dental care professionals^
Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) in Wales have been offered courses to equip them with skills needed to communicate with patients with hearing difficulties.
The Dental Section of the Postgraduate School of Cardiff University commissioned Deafwise to deliver the three one-day courses that also counted towards CPD hours.
Deafwise is a nationwide deaf awareness training provider that helps healthcare workers throughout the UK understand and adapt to the practical needs of deaf people.
Each student received an insight into what it means to be deaf – through theory, demonstrations, workshops and role playing – and learned how to understand and remove the barriers to communication often experienced between hearing and deaf people.
Sian Evans, the dental nurse tutor said: ‘The training was important as more needed to be done to make employees deaf aware and, more importantly, it is vital that deaf patients are able to give consent and understand clearly what treatment is planned. It is no longer acceptable for deaf patients to experience a compromised service to their hearing counterparts because of communication issues.
‘The exercises were powerful, thought-provoking and really enabled participants to experience the challenges that the deaf community faces on a day-to-day basis. What is more, the trainers were deaf, which added to the experience and provided a level of credibility that couldn’t be achieved with hearing trainers.’
By the end of the course, the DCPs were able to recognise different types of deafness, address, greet and take leave of a deaf sign user, understand the technologies used by deaf people, and spell the alphabet in British Sign Language.
Spencer Clark, co-founder of Deafwise, said: ‘Deafwise ensures patients with hearing difficulties have the opportunity to receive the same levels of care as those who are hearing and demonstrates how, by making a few minor changes, healthcare workers can make a real difference to their patients’ experience.’
For more information about Deafwise please visit www.deafwise.co.uk.
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Oral sex-related cancer hits an all-time high ^
A dental charity is hammering home its call on the government to include boys in a planned vaccination programme to guard against the sexually transmitted HPV virus.
The cancer virus is transmitted through oral sex, and is thought to contribute to the doubling of mouth cancers.
The British Dental Health Foundation’s demand is in response to a recent large-scale study in the US of 46,000 mouth cancer cases.
It found that the number of deaths caused by the sexually transmitted HPV virus has increased by a third in the last 30 years and is now the highest it has ever been.
The DoH has already agreed to introduce the HPV vaccine for all 12 and 13-year-old girls, which was rolled out in September 2008 and aims to guard against cervical cancer in the future.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation, said: ‘It is admirable that the government is taking such positive steps to reduce the number of cervical cancer cases for the women of the future but, with mouth cancer killing more people than cervical cancer and testicular cancer combined, it is clear that this little-known condition also needs to be addressed.
‘By expanding its HPV vaccination programme to include boys as well as girls, the government would be able to address the problem of rising HPV-related mouth cancer deaths in a simple, fair and effective manner.
‘With young people becoming progressively more sexually active this problem is not going to go away.
‘It needs to be addressed and sooner rather than later.’
Mouth cancer kills one person every five hours in the UK and affecting more men than women.
‘People need to take steps to reduce their risk of developing the condition; whether that be by cutting out smoking, by reducing their alcohol consumption or by taking a HPV test along with their partner,’ said Dr Carter.
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New guidelines for dental anaesthesia^
Anaesthetists in the UK have been issued with new guidelines on how to prevent and handle emergencies involving the small, but growing, number of people who have a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction during anaesthesia.
Most reports on anaesthesia-related anaphylaxis originate from France, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Other case series have been described from Scandinavia and the USA. The true incidence and their associated morbidity and mortality remain poorly defined. Both the accuracy and completeness of reporting is not optimal.
Dr Nigel Harper, one of the country’s leading experts on anaesthesia and anaphylaxis and Chair of the working party set up by the AAGBI said: ‘Although anaesthetic anaphylaxis is still relatively rare, we have noticed a rise in the number of patients being referred to specialist allergy clinics after an adverse reaction during surgery.
‘We believe that this may be due to more patients having a severe reaction to antibiotics. All anaesthetists are trained to deal with anaphylaxis, which can trigger dangerously low blood pressure and may cause severe breathing problems, but most anaesthetists will only see a small number of cases during their career. That is why it is so important to keep them up-to-date with the latest information on diagnosis and treatment and provide emergency guidance.’
Dr Harper went on to suggest that having operations under local anaesthesia rather than general anaesthesia may reduce the risk of some patients having an allergy-related reaction. He explains: ‘It is estimated that approximately 60% of adverse reactions are associated with muscle relaxant drugs, which are only administered when a patient is under a general anaesthetic.’
A research review carried out by the AAGBI working group also found that:
• Reactions to neuromuscular blocking agents and the latex gloves worn by surgical staff are more common in female patients.
• Antibiotic anaphylaxis is more common in smokers, possibly because of increased exposure to repeated courses of antibiotics for respiratory tract infections.
• Patients with a history of allergic skin diseases, asthma and food allergies appear to face a greater risk from latex, but not from neuromuscular drugs or antibiotics.
• Individuals who have asthma or take beta-blocking drugs may suffer a more severe reaction.
• People who suffer allergies to common environmental chemicals in toothpastes, washing detergents, shampoos and cough medicine may be more sensitive to neuromuscular blocking agents.
• Reactions to local anaesthetics are very uncommon.
The AAGBI states that it is widely recognised that more specialist allergy services need to be made available so that patients don’t have to travel long distances or face delays, especially when they are waiting for surgery.
The detailed guidelines are available at www.aagbi.org.
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Ex Tory leader opens dental practice^
A new orthodontic practice has been opened by the former leader of the Conservative party, Iain Duncan Smith.
The official opening followed a lot of ‘hard work and headaches’ getting the Essex-based practice up and running.
Rehana Yaqoob, principle orthodontist at the Chingford branch of Angle House Orthodontics, explained that it took a year to complete all the legal matters before building work could begin, and prior to this they had two other potential sites fall through. Despite all this, she said: ‘The final result justified all the hard work. We had a lot of help and support from all the staff, so it really was a combined effort.’
Companies with specialised knowledge were used to carry out the building work to specific dental needs and this was completed within three months. Rehana continued: ‘We made the move over the Christmas period and opened to patients in January. The decorating has been an ongoing process but its all finished now.’ The practice now boasts two surgeries and improved facilities, such as digital X-rays.
Angle House Orthodontics has relocated from a single surgery in a health centre to larger premises. The practice – initially set up due to a shortage of orthodontists in the area and a resulting three-year hospital waiting list – needed to expand to cater to the growing number of patients and to ensure it was disabled access compliant. Rehana said: ‘The move was limited by locality because we wanted to expand for our patients, so it was important to stay in the same area.’
The Angle House group has five orthodontic practices across North London with a clinical team of 20 orthodontists treating a mixture of NHS and private patients of all ages. Rehana is one of the managing partners and is working with Maire M.B.O’Donohoe at the Chingford branch.
Rehana said: ‘There are no immediate plans for more practices, we are very limited by the new contract as to what we can do.’
Practice details can be found at www.anglehouseorthodontics.co.uk.
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Suspension for disgraced dentist^
A dentist has been given a four month suspension after a General Dental Council (GDC) hearing which discovered he intimately touched his dental nurse during appointments.
He also questioned a sedated patient about sexual experiences.
The GDC found his conduct was unprofessional, inappropriate and not in the best interests of patients.
Chair of the GDC hearing, Barbara Duffner, told him: ‘Whilst you had a patient in the dental chair, on a number of occasions you engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviour with the same nurse.
‘The Committee had no doubt in deciding that such conduct betrayed your profession and was plainly not in the best interest of your patients and was such that it could have brought the profession into disrepute.’
The Committee heard that in September 2002, while a patient had two teeth removed under sedation, she was asked about her sexual history. Barbara Duffner said: ‘You [Mr Drabu] and/or (in your presence) the dental nurse asked the patient questions about the patient’s sexual experiences.’
When the patient came to the practice to collect some medicine, Mr Drabu repeatedly stated the name of her first sexual partner.
Ms Duffner said the panel had noted that Mr Drabu was highly respected by patients and fellow dentists. They did not criticise his work.
Mr Drabu has also been called into a meeting with bosses at the Manchester Dental Hospital – where he works one day a week training dentists – to discuss his future.
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Tooth germ successfully bioengineered^
A research team has successfully bioengineered a tooth germ that develops into a fully functioning bioengineered tooth with sufficient hardness for mastication and a functional responsiveness to mechanical stress in the maxillofacial region.
The research also provided the results that the nerve fibres that have re-entered the pulp and periodontal ligament (PDL) tissues of the bioengineered tooth have proper perceptive potential in response to noxious stimulations such as orthodontic treatment and pulp stimulation.
The research group, led by Takashi Tsuji, a professor in the Research Institute for Science and Technology at Tokyo, has demonstrated growing the teeth in adult mice.
This research is expected to substantially advance the development of ‘tooth regenerative therapy’, which has potential to replace diseased or damaged teeth with bioengineered teeth.
The paper has been published in Proceeding of the National Academy of Science – see www.pnas.org for the full article.
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Dental nurse and technicians: a year on^
It’s the first anniversary of compulsory registration with the General Dental Council (GDC) for dental nurses and dental technicians in the UK.
For one year, dental patients have been able to step into the surgery in the knowledge that both professional groups had joined clinical dental technicians, dental therapists and dental hygienists in having to sign up to the GDC register of dental care professionals.
Today, there are almost 44,500 dental nurses on the GDC register and more than 7,500 dental technicians.
Compulsory registration means that all members of the dental team are signed up to the same high standards that are implemented and regulated by the GDC.
The change meant both groups have had to register with the GDC once they’re qualified. They can only work unregistered whilst in training, during which they can only carry out tasks under supervision and that are within their competence.
Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GDC, said: ‘Patients can rest assured that we’re now regulating the entire dental team. Dental nurses and dental technicians – like all other registrants – are expected to always act in the best interests of patients. We’re currently working on plans to introduce revalidation for the dental team over the next few years. By demonstrating that they remain up to the standard expected of them over the course of their working lives, dental professionals will be able to enhance the trust of patients.’
One year on, around 47,000 of those who joined the registers before 31 July last year are preparing to submit their first returns of their five year-cycle of continuing professional development (CPD).
Claire Harris, a dental nurse manager at the Centre for Social Policy and Community Development at Kings College London, said: ‘Registration can only be a positive experience, opening new avenues to dental nurses with extended duties, such as fluoride application and new opportunities to further their careers. I believe it’s generated a new respect for the profession which was lacking before.’
Simon Butler, honorary treasurer of the Dental Technologists Association and a dental technologist from Hampshire, said: ‘Registration has made me feel more like a member of an official profession. It will also benefit the patients with better quality work throughout laboratories.’
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It’s back to dental school for review leader^
Jimmy Steele is heading back to dental school, having set himself the task of implementing the training to take NHS dentistry into the realms of a world leader.
In his independent review published in June, Professor Steele set out a blueprint for a better, more accessible delivery of NHS dental services, recommending significant changes to the way the system is organised.
And, at a recent Westminster Health Forum seminar evaluating these recommendations, he promised that NHS dentistry could ‘lead the world in providing an oral health service’ if changes are made ‘in an evolutionary way’.
Now, having landed the new role of head of school of dental sciences at Newcastle University [he was formerly professor of oral health services research there] he faces the challenge to ‘educate students to incentivise patients in good oral health’.
Speaking with Dentistry magazine, he says: ‘I now have to look at the review and ask myself: “Do I agree with the principles, what’s my role and is the school following these pathways?”
‘The principles within the review are probably what we are training for, even though we are not training for the NHS system itself. The principles of prevention are the principles of good dentistry and this is what we want to achieve.
‘We’ve had 60 years of doing things in a certain way and I’ve got to change, too, and it’s a difficult thing to do.’
Regarding the timescale for when NHS dentistry could become a world-leading oral health service provider, he warns: ‘I think we will have a system in place within five years, but everyone has to think brutally in terms of cuts in public spending, because these would be really bad for the consumer.
‘A three per cent cut, for example, is much worse for the citizen than just the cut in spending and will have a long-term effect. Patients are going to need a strong voice because we don’t die of poor oral health.’
Meanwhile, Professor Steele will be welcoming dental students to the school of dental sciences at Newcastle University on 4 September.
Speaking of his six months working on the review, he admits that engaging with dentists at a grass-root level, as he did in his roadshows, was ‘difficult, challenging and a bit scary at times’.
‘I miss it. It seems ages ago and a completely different world.’
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Dental nurses could ease swine flu pressure^
Dental nurses could be drafted in to ease pressure on Tyneside hospital staff if the swine flu pandemic becomes worse and puts the hospital under strain.
Dr Meng Khaw, director of public health for North Tyneside Primary Care Trust said: ‘[Dental] Nurses are not qualified to treat medical conditions, and the sorts of roles that dental nurses would be asked to do might be taking phone calls, triaging patents, and providing information and signposting patients to other services.’
BDA spokesman Martin Fulford said: ‘I think with the appropriate training it’s time for everyone to pull together.
‘We need to look at the NHS in its entirety and prioritise our working practices.
‘Nurses are trained healthcare professionals and would expect to help out in such an emergency.’
Although dental nurses are not employed directly by the NHS – as dentists work as independent contractors – discussions would be held with dental businesses if there were weaknesses in the health service, said the PCT.
Dr Khaw said: ‘There’s no indication at the moment that we’ll get to a stage where we have to call on the whole health economy to help in our response.
‘We’re looking towards autumn time when we’re expecting to hit the peak weeks of this pandemic.’
The nurses would receive specific training for any such work, he added.
^1249344000^2133^Dental nurses could ease swine flu …^Dental nurses could be drafted in to ease pressure on Tyneside hospital staff if the swine flu pandemic becomes worse and puts the hospital …^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Nurses.jpg
The figures are up^
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is delighted to announce that it has achieved record attendance figures for its 2009 Talking Points in Dentistry lecture programme. With almost 5000 delegates over the seminar series, the attendance at the Motor Cycle museum in Solihull totalling 900 delegates alone.
For three weeks, the event aimed at the whole dental practice, visited nine venues across the UK offering topical evening lectures to the whole practice team. Speakers this year included Philip Ower, Graham Smart and Ashley Latter.
Jeremy Meader, sales director pharmacy and dental channels, comments: ‘The premise of Talking Points has always been to provide further education in an engaging and entertaining manner. Using the positive feedback that we have received from delegates over the years, has meant that Talking Points has grown into the largest dental seminar programme in the UK.’
GSK looks forward to celebrating 25 years of Talking Points in Dentistry in 2010 and once again providing an informative and worthwhile event for the whole dental team.
^1249344000^2136^The figures are up^GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is delighted to announce that it has achieved record attendance figures for its 2009 Talking Points in Dentistry lectu…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/tp.png
Northern Ireland dentists’ pay revealed^^1249344000^2134^Northern Ireland dentists’ pay re…^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/pay-day.jpg
Brave steps against mouth cancer^
John Dabell, a teacher from Nottingham who developed tongue cancer will complete the 10k Mouth Cancer Walk, ‘with a drip stand attached if necessary.’
He was diagnosed on 31 March, his daughter’s second birthday, after weeks of being in pain with ulcers and a lump on the side of his tongue.
John had been back and forth to his GP who initially thought it was a virus, and then an allergy. Eventually he went to see his dentist: ‘He didn’t know what to make of things, so referred me to a maxillofacial consultant.’
After the consultant made the diagnosis, John underwent a 15-hour operation at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, which involved breaking his jaw and opening up his face. The cancer had spread to the neck so his lymph nodes were also removed. The operation was a success but he lost 75% of his tongue, so a muscle and skin graft was taken from his left arm to replace it.
John said: ‘It was a delicate, time-consuming and incredibly skilful operation that I think about constantly. I am in awe of what the surgeons at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham did. They saved my life.’
Despite all the trauma, John’s spirits remain high: ‘It’s tough, but I’ll cope because I have far too much I want to achieve. Although a lot of my taste buds will have been destroyed, I’m determined to eat my Christmas dinner at school [Forest Fields Primary and Nursery School in Nottingham where he teaches Year Six]. Attitude determines altitude and I’m determined to fly high again.’
Because tongue cancer is rare, John had never heard of it, so he is determined to raise awareness of the disease. He is taking part in the 10k Mouth Cancer walk in Hyde Park on 26 September. ‘It might not seem much considering I did Ben Nevis a couple of years ago, but it’s an important goal for me and I’ll do it with a drip stand attached if necessary.’
John’s dentist acted responsibly by referring him to a specialist. Vinod Joshi, founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation says: ‘As dental health professionals, we are the natural leaders to lead the fight against mouth cancer.’ Here are some signs to watch out for in patients:
• A sore or ulcer in the mouth that does not heal within three weeks
• A lump or overgrowth of tissue anywhere in the mouth
• A red or white patch on the tongue that will not go away
• Persistent numbness in the mouth
• A sore throat that does not go away
• A sore spot on the tongue that does not go away
• Pain when swallowing.
To support John’s charity 10k walk, visit www.justgiving.com/johndabell.
^1249603200^2145^Brave steps against mouth cancer^John Dabell, a teacher from Nottingham who developed tongue cancer will complete the 10k Mouth Cancer Walk, ‘with a drip stand attached if n…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/trainers.jpg
Dentists’ average earnings revealed^
Self-employed dentists in England and Wales earned on average £89,062 before tax in 2007/2008, according to the NHS Information Centre.
The NHS Information Centre’s chief executive Tim Straughan said: ‘The England and Wales report looks at earnings in the second year of the new contractual system and reveals the average earnings of NHS dentists varies greatly depending on whether they personally held a contract with their Primary Care organisation.’
The report also shows that in 2007/08 in England, all self-employed dentists earned on average £88,790 (before tax), with contract-holding dentists earning on average £126,527 (before tax) and dentists without a contract with a PCT earning on average £65,668 (before tax). In Wales, all self-employed dentists earned on average £93,924 (before tax) with contract-holding dentists earning on average £131,287 (before tax) and dentists without a contract with an LHB earning on average £66,259 (before tax).
The earnings and expenses of full and part-time, self-employed primary care dentists who undertook some NHS work in England and Wales in the year were considered, covering both their NHS and private work.
A separate report also looked at the earnings of dentists in Northern Ireland showing that self-employed dentists earned an average of £89,756 before tax, contract-holding dentists earning on average £121,174 (before tax) and dentists without a contract earning on average £66,134 (before tax).
The findings of both reports will help the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration make their next set of recommendations on dental remuneration.
^1249344000^2135^Dentists’ average earnings reveal…^Self-employed dentists in England and Wales earned on average £89,062 before tax in 2007/2008, according to the NHS Information Centre…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/pay-day-cake.jpg
Water jet for the win^
The Waterpik Dental Water Jet is rapidly becoming the choice for outstanding dental care, creating healthier gingival tissue and helping prevent the progression of periodontal disease.
With regular brushing, the Waterpik has seen great survey results, including a significant reduction in gingival bleeding (up to 93 %) and a reduction in gingivitis compared to regular brushing and flossing (up to 52%). (www.waterpik.co.uk)
The biggest problem with periodontal pockets is daily cleaning, but the Waterpik dental water jet with a Pik Pocket subgingival delivery tip, allows easy and gentle deep cleaning, even for pockets of up to 6mm.
For your professional courtesy discount on the Waterpik Dental Water Jets speak to a wholesaler. The product is also widely available in Boots stores.
^1249344000^2137^Water jet for the win^The Waterpik Dental Water Jet is rapidly becoming the choice for outstanding dental care, creating healthier gingival tissue and helping pre…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/wdj.png
New professor at dental institute^
Shahram Tabibi has been awarded the title of Professor at the Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Professor Tabibi has worked at the University of Central Lancashire since 2003, initially as course leader of the MSc in Dental Implantology, and senior lecturer in oral surgery, before becoming director of the newly created Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education in 2006.
In his current role, Professor Tabibi has been responsible for curriculum development, quality enhancement, learning, research and marketing, developing the Institute into one of the country’s leading postgraduate dental establishments.
He said: ‘I am delighted to have become a professor at UCLan – I believe my appointment is a great endorsement of the work of the entire Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education since its establishment in 2006. Over this short period we have become recognised as a centre of excellence for the continuous professional development courses we offer dental practitioners.’
During his career, Professor Shahram Tabibi has developed vast experience as an oral surgery specialist having undertaken attachments to oral surgery departments at many hospitals. He has attended advanced courses in occlusion and restorative dentistry and has been placing implants since 1989. He also has experience of chin grafts and sinus lifts.
Professor Tabibi co-established the North West Implant Training Centre in 1997, providing further training in the field of implantology to GDPs.
^1249516800^2140^New professor at dental institute^Shahram Tabibi has been awarded the title of Professor at the Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education at the University of Central Lanca…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Shahram-Tabibi.jpg
Newly appointed GDC members^
The General Dental Council has announced the names of the new members appointed to the restructured council.
From 1 October 2009, the Council will consist of 24 members – 12 will be lay and 12 will be professional – replacing the current Council of 29 members.
The new composition comes after the Government published its 2007 White Paper, Trust, assurance and safety; the regulation of health professionals in the 21st century, which set out plans for the future of healthcare regulation in the UK.
Chief executive and registrar of the GDC Duncan Rudkin said: ‘The General Dental Council is moving into a new era and I look forward to the challenges ahead as we continue to strive for excellence in patient protection and healthcare regulation.
I would like to thank all the current Council members for their hard work and dedication. With their help we have come through an exciting period of change with the statutory registration of all dental nurses and dental technologists. We couldn’t have done it without them. I look forward to working with the newly appointed Council.’
The appointed members are:
1 Grace Alderson (Lay)
2 Rosemary Carter (Lay)
3 Peter Catchpole (Lay – Returning)
4 Suzanne Cosgrave (Lay – Returning)
5 Elizabeth Davenport (Registrant – Dentist)
6 Mary Dodd (Registrant – Dentist – Returning)
7 Helen Falcon (Registrant – Dentist)
8 Robin Field-Smith (Lay)
9 Hazel Fraser (Registrant – DCP)
10 Janet Goodwin (Registrant – DCP)
11 Wakkas Khan (Registrant – Dentist)
12 Anthony Kilcoyne (Registrant – Dentist – Returning)
13 Alison Lockyer (Registrant – Dentist – Returning)
14 Alan MacDonald (Lay)
15 Kevin O’Brien (Registrant – Dentist)
16 Grahame Owen (Lay)
17 Derek Prentice (Lay – Returning)
18 Mabel Slater (Registrant – DCP – Returning)
19 David Smith (Registrant – DCP)
20 Neil Stevenson (Lay)
21 Linda Stone (Lay)
22 Anne Marie Telford (Lay)
23 Denis Toppin (Registrant – Dentist – Returning)
24 Carol Varlaam (Lay – Returning)
^1249516800^2141^Newly appointed GDC members^The General Dental Council has announced the names of the new members appointed to the restructured council.From 1 October 2009, the Council…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Mabel-Slater.jpg
Dental commissioning report released^
The Department of Health (DoH) today released the statistics for dental commissioning for the quarter ending June 2009.
The data shows the number of Units of Dental Activity (UDAs) commissioned as at 30 June 2009.
The DoH states these key findings this quarter:
• All 152 commissioners (PCTs and Care Trusts) returned data
• 84.5 million UDAs have been commissioned as at 30 June 2009
• This represents an increase of 1.1 million (1.4%) on the UDAs commissioned as at 31 March 2009.
The statistics can be viewed at:
^1249516800^2142^Dental commissioning report release…^The Department of Health (DoH) today released the statistics for dental commissioning for the quarter ending June 2009.The data shows the nu…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/dentist-reading-report.jpg
Tribute to Sir Bobby Robson from mouth cancer victim^
The mother of a young mouth cancer sufferer has paid her respects to football legend Sir Bobby Robson, who raised over £1.6million to help fight cancer during his life.
Daniel Sewell was diagnosed with a rare form of mouth cancer when he was 13 months old, after tests at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital on a malignant tumour in his mouth.
He was then transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for an operation that involved breaking his jaw to remove a large part of his tongue.
Daniel also had chemotherapy but is now, aged five, free of cancer. He was supported by the children’s charity Rainbow Trust, of which Sir Bobby was a patron.
Alison Sewell, 39, of Crook, County Durham said: ‘He did so much for cancer sufferers and, if it wasn’t for people like him, Daniel wouldn’t be here today. It was fantastic that he raised so much for the treatment of cancer and helped so many people.’
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has given money to hospitals and he had just opened the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital.
^1249603200^2143^Tribute to Sir Bobby Robson from mo…^The mother of a young mouth cancer sufferer has paid her respects to football legend Sir Bobby Robson, who raised over £1.6million to …^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Bobby-Robson.jpg
BDA Director defends dentists’ earnings^^1249603200^2144^BDA Director defends dentists’ ea…^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/receipts.jpg
Redheads more susceptible to dental pain^^1249862400^2146^Redheads more susceptible to dental…^^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/redhead.jpg
Redheads may be avoiding the dentist^
Redheads are twice as likely to avoid the dentist due to low pain tolerance, according to a new study published by Journal of American Dental Association.
Researchers believe variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene play a role. This produces melanin, which gives skin, hair and eyes their colour.
While the relationship between MC1R and pain sensitivity is not entirely understood, researchers have found MC1R receptors in the brain and some of them are known to influence pain sensitivity.
‘Redheads are more sensitive to pain than people with other hair colours and will thus experience more discomfort during painful procedures,’ said Cleveland Clinic anaesthesiologist Dr Daniel Sessler, who led the study. ‘This can lead to dental care-related anxiety and dental care avoidance.’
The study involved 144 participants – including 67 redheads and 77 people with dark hair – who completed surveys designed to measure dental care-related anxiety, fear or dental pain and previous dental care avoidance.
The next phase of research is to evaluate whether more anaesthesia is needed for people with red hair and those with variants of the MCR1 gene for dental procedures.
^1249862400^2147^Redheads may be avoiding the dentis…^Redheads are twice as likely to avoid the dentist due to low pain tolerance, according to a new study published by Journal of American Denta…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/redhead.jpg
Mouth cancer expert calls for booze abstinence ^
A mouth cancer expert is calling for an abstinence from alcohol to stem the rise in mouth cancer in the UK.
New figures suggest that booze is largely to blame for an ‘alarming’ rise in the rate of oral cancers among men and women in their forties.
The figures, released by Cancer Research UK, show that since the mid-1990s, rates of oral cancers have gone up by 28% for men in their forties and 24% for women.
Alcohol consumption has doubled since the 1950s and is the most likely culprit alongside smoking, says Cancer Research UK.
Now Dr Vinod Joshi, founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation is suggesting people should ‘avoid drinking alcohol altogether’.
The Department of Health’s current advice is that men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol per day, and women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units of alcohol per day.
He says: ‘In view of the latest reports from Cancer Research UK, the current alcohol guidelines that we’ve got are actually very high.
‘To reduce the risk of mouth cancer risk, the Mouth Cancer Foundation recommends that people should limit or avoid drinking alcohol altogether.’
For men, the Mouth Cancer Foundation recommends no more than occasional drinking of two standard drinks a day and for women no more than one standard drink a day.
Experts suggest that increased alcohol consumption is to blame as they say cancers caused by smoking often take 30 years to develop, and smoking rates have gone down while drinking has gone up.
Hazel Nunn, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, says: ‘These latest figures are really alarming. Alcohol consumption has doubled since the 1950s and the trend we are now seeing is likely to be linked to Britain’s continually rising drinking levels.
‘It’s possible that HPV and diet are also playing a role, and the evidence – particularly for the role of HPV – is growing.’
Each year in the UK, around 1,800 people die from the disease and there are 5,000 newly diagnosed cases per year.
Other risk factors that may be involved include a diet low in fruit and vegetables, and the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), which also causes cervical cancer.
For further information, visit www.mouthcancerfoundation.org.
^1249948800^2148^Mouth cancer expert calls for booze…^A mouth cancer expert is calling for an abstinence from alcohol to stem the rise in mouth cancer in the UK.New figures suggest that booze is…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/over-40-drinks.png
Prisoner resorted to DIY dentistry^
A prisoner has pulled out his own tooth because he had to wait so long to see a dentist.
A report has revealed that inmates at HMP Kirklevington Grange, near Yarm in the north-east, were waiting seven weeks or longer for treatment.
Inspectors said: ‘This had resulted in some desperate self-treatment measures. We spoke to some of the individuals concerned; all stated that they still had dental pain, two had obvious facial swelling, one showed us that he had pulled his own tooth out to try to relieve the pain and another admitted to “self medicating” with illegal medications.’
The long wait for dental appointments was caused by category C prisoners having to wait for officials to complete risk assessments and approve permission for them to leave the grounds to visit a dentist.
Director of the Prison Reform Trust Juliet Lyon said: ‘This report finds that Kirklevington Grange prison is performing well its vital role preparing long-term prisoners for release.
‘But it shows that even a well-run prison sometimes struggles to provide basic health and dental services equivalent to those in the community.’
^1249948800^2149^Prisoner resorted to DIY dentistry^A prisoner has pulled out his own tooth because he had to wait so long to see a dentist.A report has revealed that inmates at HMP Kirkleving…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Prisoner.png
Win a FREE place to Private Dentistry Live!^
We are giving you the chance to win one of 30 free places at Private Dentistry Live!
Celebrating its 10th annual conference, Private Dentistry Live! brings you the core principles of private dentistry, which includes everything from how to survive in this climate to top clinical tips on crown and bridge and periodontics.
It’s being held on Friday 23 October at The Royal College of Physicians, London.
There is something for everyone, including an extensive exhibition keeping you up-to-date with all the latest developments.
• Surviving and thriving in the credit crunch – Jane Lelean
• Crown and bridge – Joe Oliver
• Top 10 tips for clinical practice – Joe Oliver
• Periodontal management and systematic treatment planning – Paul Baker
• Case acceptance for all the team – Mervyn Druian
• Essential habits of a successful business – Jane Lelean
• Customer Service – Emma John
• The role of the treatment co-ordinator – Laura Horton
You can enter the competition by answering the question below:
At which London venue will Private Dentistry Live! be held?
Call 0800 371652 or email your answer and full contact details to [email protected] by 31 August.
You can find full details of each session, speaker, and the exhibition online at www.pdlive.co.uk To book a place at Private Dentistry Live! call 0800 371652 or visit www.pdlive.co.uk.
Terms: The first 30 names drawn out of the hat will win a place. No refunds on previous bookings.
^1249948800^2150^Win a FREE place to Private Dentist…^We are giving you the chance to win one of 30 free places at Private Dentistry Live!Celebrating its 10th annual conference, Private Dentistr…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/Private-Den-Live-logo.png
Redheads less likely to go to the dentist^
Research has shown that people with red hair are more averse to seeking dental treatment, linked to a gene that creates their hair colour.
Experts believe that people with red hair will require larger doses of anaesthetics to numb the sensation, than those with other hair colours.
Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, looked at whether redheads were more likely to avoid visiting the dentist than others.
The study looked at 144 people aged between 18 and 41. 67 were natural redheads and 77 had dark hair.
They were all asked to complete a survey designed to show if they were worried about seeing a dentist, how they felt about dental pain and whether they would avoid having dental work done.
The findings, indicated that 85 participants had the MC1R gene variants associated with red hair and pain, including 65 of the 67 red-haired group and 20 of the 77 with dark hair.
They were more than twice as likely to avoid the dentist, even after the researchers controlled for those who had generally more anxious personalities.
The researchers advise that dentists should assess all their patients, but especially those with red hair, for fear of dental work.
However, dentists suggested that the gene might occasionally drive redheads to their dentist more swiftly.
^1249948800^2151^Redheads less likely to go to the d…^Research has shown that people with red hair are more averse to seeking dental treatment, linked to a gene that creates their hair colour.Ex…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/redhead.png
Threat to fluoridation in the north^
A legal attempt to overturn a decision to fluoridate Southampton’s water supply could disrupt moves to explore a similar process in the north west of England.
The North West Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is due to discuss progress on a feasibility study for adding fluoride to the tap water in Greater Manchester and further afield in September.
The next stage would involve the SHA presenting to the region’s primary care trusts a formal set of proposals for how fluoridation would work and asking them whether they wanted the SHA to kick off a consultation.
However, the North West SHA has said it is waiting to see whether a formal application for a judicial review into the way South Central SHA ran its consultation into fluoridation for the Southampton area is successful.
Chief executive Mike Farrar said: ‘Should permission be granted, the process may take several months and it is prudent for NHS North West to wait for the outcome before committing significant resources on this matter.’
The application for a judicial review in Southampton – the outcome of which is expected shortly – has been initiated by city resident Geraldine Milner, who is being represented by solicitors Leigh Day & Co.
Ms Milner is opposed to the proposals, which were approved by health authorities in February, because of uncertainties regarding long-term health risks associated with fluoridation, as well as concerns about possible adverse environmental effects.
The legal challenge argues that the SHA failed to have regard for the government’s policy that mass fluoridation of drinking water should only go ahead in any particular area if a majority of the local people are in favour of it.
Chief dental officer Barry Cockcroft has already said there is ‘a lot of interest around the country’ in the outcome of the challenge, which if successful would be a serious blow to supporters of fluoridation. Such supporters include the new health secretary, Andy Burnham, who said he wanted health authorities in Greater Manchester to ‘take forward’ proposals for fluoridation there.
Burnham calls for debate
Health secretary Andy Burnham has called for a national debate on the merits of fluoridation.
Mr Burnham, a long-standing supporter of the process as a way of reducing tooth decay, said while it could not be ‘imposed’ on a community that did not want it, the government had a responsibility to set out the health benefits.
Mr Burnham stressed the benefits fluoridation could bring to areas such as north west England, and said as a backbench MP representing the Greater Manchester constituency of Leigh he had campaigned for a change in the law to make fluoridation easier.
You can’t look at evidence like that and say we can’t have a debate about it. I think there’s a very powerful case for fluoridation, but it shouldn’t be imposed on anybody
The health secretary, who stepped down as vice-president of the British Fluoridation Society following his promotion in June to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, pointed to the stark contrast in oral health between the West Midlands, which had added fluoride to its water supply for four decades and whose children’s teeth were in relatively good condition, and Manchester, where there was a much higher rate of tooth decay.
He said: ‘The West Midlands has been fluoridated for 40 years and if you look at children’s dental health there compared with dental health of children elsewhere in the country, Manchester being a good example, there’s a significant difference between the number of decayed, filled or extracted teeth per child at age five – the difference is really marked.
‘If you looked in Birmingham at how many children are having their teeth extracted under general anaesthetic and compare that to Manchester, you will see quite a big difference.
‘There is no evidence of adverse health impact to people in the West Midlands, but there is major evidence of health gains, particularly to children.’
Mr Burnham said while he wanted Greater Manchester to bring forward fluoridation because children’s dental health in the area was ‘the worst in England’, he said the process was ‘not necessarily’ appropriate for every area.
He explained: ‘You have got to pay for it so the health bodies have got to decide it’s worth doing, given their levels of dental health need, and it’s a matter for local decision in the health service.
‘However, if the 10 PCTs of Greater Manchester were to say, in my view rightly, this is something we should be doing, then absolutely I would encourage them to take forward a proposal and have a debate, but also listen to local opinion.’
Mr Burnham acknowledged there was opposition to fluoridation, but said: ‘I am personally persuaded that while there is a small loss of personal liberty for the person that doesn’t want that one part per million [of fluoride in the water], there is a major public health gain in terms of the quality of children’s dental health. Actually it improves adults’ teeth as well, and that’s the evidence.’
The Labour MP cautioned: ‘It can’t be imposed – it’s got to be a matter for local decision making by the health authorities obviously listening to local opinion.’
But stressing the need to start the ball rolling across the UK, he said: ‘I have always felt quite strongly about it. If we know of a health gain that could improve children’s lives, on what basis would we not put that question to a local population? Because we’re frightened of the debate that might create? Let’s have that debate.’
Mr Burnham complained that the debate over fluoridation was often taken in ‘a certain direction’ by a minority of ‘very vociferous people’.
He said: ‘Sometimes, the other side of the story does not come out as clearly as it might. I am not aware of a clamour in the West Midlands to remove [fluoride] but I am aware of major evidence of improved child dental health in the West Midlands.
‘You can’t look at evidence like that and say we can’t have a debate about it. I think
there’s a very powerful case for fluoridation, but it shouldn’t be imposed on anybody.’
^1249948800^2152^Threat to fluoridation in the north^A legal attempt to overturn a decision to fluoridate Southampton’s water supply could disrupt moves to explore a similar process in th…^http://dev.dentistry.co.uk/sites/all/themes/dentistry/images/news_images/tap.png
News feature: Children are our future^
Having gone through the traumas of the ‘wet the toothbrush under the tap and put it back in the mug without brushing’ moments, the ‘I’ll only do it if it’s Barbie pink’ obsession and the ‘sweets and biscuit-treating grandma’ scenarios, Sara and Mike Reece are well-equipped to understand the frustrations of parents who have toothbrush-reluctant children.
In August 2007, the husband and wife team opened their third dental practice – Reece Associates Dental Care Solutions – and, with it, the pilot site for the Smilescool programme, a new approach to preventive dentistry for children.