Make the world cavity free

Worldwide health leaders launch global campaign through an information website called the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future.

During the 2010 FDI World Dental Congress, the alliance called for a global collaborative action to challenge global leaders and other regional and local stakeholders to develop comprehensive programs for prevention and management.

The first initiative completed by the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future is a free, online resource that provides professionals and communities with evidenced-based tools and support materials (eg: case studies, systematic reviews) for local action.

The goal of the site is to provide communities, groups and individuals committed to stopping cavities with a common place to mobilise resources, share best practices and connect with other stakeholders.

To access the toolbox, visit www.allianceforacavityfreefuture.org.

According to the alliance, the caries continuum recognises that cavities are preventable and, in the early stages, reversible.

But in a country where more than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line, a vast majority will not be able to afford to receive even the most basic oral health needs.

It is estimated that 77% of Filipinos have never been to a dentist.

Studies by the WHO World Oral Health in 2003 show that there is particularly very high caries prevalence among Filipino children, making the Philippines the only Asian country in a ‘high’ incidence category with one of the highest caries rates in the world.

According to the Philippine National Oral Health Survey conducted in 2006, caries prevalence among six-year-olds is 97.1% and 82.4% among 12 year olds.

Although 20.7% of six-year-olds and 16.3% of 12-year-olds complain of pain due to dental problems, none of the six-year-old children received any treatment and only 7% of 12-year-olds received dental treatment by tooth extraction.

Only 1.9% of the tooth surfaces of 12-year- olds received fillings.

‘The level of resources and intervention from both a public health and clinical perspective is inconsistent around the world,’ said Professor Raman Bedi (pictured above), co-director of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future, director of the Global Child Dental Health Taskforce and chairman of the Global Child Dental Fund.

‘This means that millions are suffering from a problem we know how to stop. Caries deserves greater attention in order to elevate it as an important health issue.’

‘Collaboration is essential for comprehensive prevention and management of caries around the world,’ said Professor Nigel Pitts, co-director of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future and director of the Centre for Clinical Innovations at the University of Dundee.

‘We must commit to developing systems on a global, country and local level that encourage the public health and clinical communities to work together in addressing the disease. Together we can educate the public and challenge leaders in dentistry and public health to take action.’

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