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Posts tagged “Dental education”

Cross Border Dental Partnership Formed

A partnership with the California based Centre for Advanced Dental Studies (CCADS) and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry (UBC Dentistry) in Vancouver, Canada has been formed.

The aim of the new partnership is to develop better training of dentists on both sides of the Canadian and USA border. Speaking with reporters, Garrett Caldwell, President of CCADS said: “The UBC Dentistry partnership is a great way for dentists to experience two of the most credible brands in dental education. UBC Dentistry has a long history of providing world-class education, and CCADS’ post-graduate programs are renowned for providing an excellent educational experience.”

The CCADS is an international postgraduate institution, which offers programmes in the USA, Canada and the UK. The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Dentistry is one of the best dental schools in Canada. It is also apparently one of only a small number of institutions that specialises in what’s called problem-based learning. This uses student centred learning as the heart of the education process rather than the traditional lecture approach to learning. The aim of this approach is for the students to have to solve problems associated with dentistry, rather than be told the solutions. That said the university has not abandoned traditional methods of learning.

Echoing Garrett Caldwell’s comments, Dr. Charles Shuler, Dean and Professor, UBC Dentistry said: “Aligning with, and offering CCADS’ programs as part of the UBC Dentistry’s Continuing Dental program, is another way to ensure the quality of education that dentists experience at UBC is continued once they graduate. At UBC Dentistry, we are committed to providing the highest level of education and educational experience and we welcome a partnership with CCADS.”

New Resource for Parents

The National Museum of Dentistry based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA has produced a new resource for parents who have autistic children.

Autistic children generally need to follow a strict set of procedures and changing those procedures can have devastating effects. With that in mind, the new resource aims to help parents teach their offspring how to clean and floss their teeth regularly. Getting them into the habit of doing so will ensure autistic children benefit from developing proper oral hygiene just as well as other children.

Speaking with reporters, Jonathan Landers the Executive Director of the National Museum of Dentistry said: “We want to be able to give parents readily usable tools to help their children to develop a good oral hygiene regimen.”

He added: “We’ve combined best practices for autism education, such as visual sequencing cards and rewards systems, with proven personal oral hygiene techniques to help make the process a little bit easier.”

The new resource for parents is a collaborative project between the museum, the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Centre for Autism and Related Disorders and the University of Maryland Dental School. An ambitious project, but one that everyone feels is important.

Autism is a difficult disorder, as there isn’t just one particular problem but a spectrum covering a range of behavioural problems. At one end of the spectrum are people whose condition could be described as mild, at the other end, symptoms are much more severe. Whatever the severity of the symptoms, one common feature is an inability to communicate properly in ways non autistic people take for granted.

As such, this new project aims to help improve the communications skills of the parent to help teach their children in a non confrontational way the need to clean teeth. In so called normal children, teaching the benefits of good oral health can be turned into a game and made fun, but with autistic children this can be difficult, so other ways are needed.

Research in the USA has found that children with special needs generally fall at the wayside where dental health issues are concerned. This project aims to improve the situation.

Another Practice Using the Internet to Educate

Making use of the Internet by dentists and dental practices is fast becoming the norm. While many just used the Internet to advertise services or for dentists to upload information for other dentists, some are embarking on educating their patients.

One such practice is that run by Dr. Brad Louie who is using a website created by ProSites Inc, web designers.

The aim of the website is to help the practice patients become better informed before making decisions about treatment. With that in mind the site will feature before and after pictures, videos, and links to other websites giving further information about treatments and general oral health.

It is also hoped that the site will attract new patients looking for particular treatments. The dental practice specialises in children’s dentistry, conservative and preventative techniques, non-metal restorations, bonding, and veneers.

Making use of the Internet to enable better decisions to be made is fast becoming the norm. However, using such tools should be done with care. Not all information loaded onto web sites is accurate. As such, anyone using the Internet to search for medical and dental information should only visit sites that are considered valid. This particular practice’s website also has information about the dental practice itself, which prides itself on offering a caring, professional service and patients visiting the surgery are welcomed by music, TV and even a garden where they can relax before, during or after treatment.

Along with other dentists, Dr. Louie believes the public need to be educated about the relationship between good oral hygiene and disorders such as heart disease and diabetes.

Speaking with reporters Dr. Louie said: “The website has some very good video clips that describe most dental procedures including root canal therapy and implant placement. These videos are informative and complete. The written descriptions found on the site make patients very comfortable with the care we recommend.”

He added: “To me, gentle means soft and caring. From the first appointment, the staff and I strive to create a happy and relaxed atmosphere. Patients frequently remark on how well we get along. We truly care about our patients’ experience.

“We do not rush anaesthesia and like to explain how the procedure is progressing as we go. We listen well and patients know they are always in control. Our reward is often the remark, ‘you never hurt me doctor’.

“Music, television, and garden settings all can add to the relaxed atmosphere we create to reduce anxiety for our patients. Oral sedation is appropriate for some individuals.”

North West Dental Gap Helped Out By Recent Graduates

After completing their studies at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) £5.25 million School of Dentistry, thirty students will soon be finding themselves in the world of gainful employment, a lot sooner than they thought.

The training which they have undertaken hasn’t been easy and they have seen over 5,000 patients, been involved in giving out 9,500 fillings and advised patients on a variety of dental means, with many dental procedures involving the former students as well. These graduates have been the first to get involved in a new model of dental education, which is based on training in the community.

This training was the result of a close relationship made between UCLan and the NHS and the intention of this relationship was to provide high-class training for dentists in the local area. However, although it was urged that these new dentists would stay in the immediate area, this would not be a guarantee.

Of these thirty graduates, twenty one have secured a training position in the North West and after training it is hoped that the graduates would stay in this part of the UK. The school opened in September 2007 and was one of the first new schools to be created in over a hundred years.

So that their efforts could be marked perfectly, a celebratory dinner was held at UCLan’s Westleigh Conference Centre. The Head of the School of Dentistry at UCLan is Professor Lawrence Mair, who commented about this wonderful opportunity for the chosen few: “When I qualified in 1975, I went straight into dental practice and was profoundly grateful to everyone who had taught me practical dentistry. Clinical experience has been at the root of our approach because dentistry is a skill and skills develop through practice. We have, of course, also provided an excellent academic foundation for our students and I’m very grateful to all the teachers, specialists and consultants who have helped established the school. We are all very grateful to all our dental nurses, receptionists and technicians who have supported the students through what can sometimes be a challenging experience.”

Also present at the dinner was Barry Cockroft, the Chief Dental Officer, who couldn’t hide his excitement at the prosperous future these graduates could have: “’I’m delighted that the first dental students from the new School of Dentistry at the University of Central Lancashire have graduated…The government has made a clear commitment to further improve access to NHS dental services and to introduce a new contract focusing on improving the oral health of the population with a particular focus on improving the oral health of children…With its innovative approach to dental course delivery within a primary care setting, the University of Central Lancashire is playing a major part in realising those objectives.”

Politicians visit dental institute

A group of politicians from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for dentistry have visited the King’s College London’s Dental Institute for the first time.

The aim of the visit was to help the group learn more about dental education in the UK in general and at the Institute itself in particular. The day included a tour of the dental facilities and research centre, a visit to the Institute’s specialist centre for treating nervous patients and the classroom facilities where students begin their training.

Professor Nairn Wilson, dean and head of the dental institute, said: ‘We were delighted to  welcome the APPG for Dentistry to King’s today. I hope we have demonstrated that there is more to a dental school than meets the eye.’

‘At a centre of excellence such as King’s College London Dental Institute undergraduate education is inextricably linked to clinical service provision, research and the education of all members of the dental team,” he added. ‘Dental education at all levels is vital to ensure that members of the dental team of tomorrow are fully equipped to deal with the existing and anticipated future challenges in dentistry in the 21st century.’

Professor Wilson continued; ‘We were delighted to host the first visit of members of the APPG to a dental school. Having insight of arrangements for dental education is considered important in overseeing the national provision of dentistry.’

Sir Paul Beresford MP and chair of the APPG for dentistry, said: ‘This was a great opportunity for Members of the House of Commons and the Lords to visit one of the world’s leading dental schools.

‘It was a chance to witness first hand the fantastic facilities that King’s College London Dental Institute has to offer and further our knowledge in dental education. It is very kind of King’s to have organised this tour for us and the APPG for Dentistry found it extremely helpful and interesting.’

Seminars on the future of dentistry

A number of seminars are to be held for dentists and dental staff to discuss minimal intervention dentistry and it’s role in the future of oral healthcare.

The seminars have been organised by Denplan, experts in dental payment plans, in conjunction with Oral-B, to introduce the concept of MI dentistry to professionals who may not have heard of the procedures or who are interested in hearing about potential news ways of treating patients.

Entitles MI: Examine the future of preventive care – profitable minimal intervention dentistry, the seminars will include presentations by guest speakers and interactive sessions, where dentists can try out the technology for themselves.

Speakers will include Dr Avi Bannerjee from Guy’s Dental School and Dr Louis MacKenzie of Birmingham Dental School, who will be discussing, among other things, the use of MI dentistry in a modern practice and what evidence there is for the success of MI dentistry.

The interactive sessions will allow attendees to experiment with some of the developing MI dentistry technology, including dental plaque imaging analysis, intra-oral imaging and airbrasion techniques. It is hoped that by showing the dentists what kind of improved treatments they would be able to offer their patients, more of them will support the introduction of MI dentistry in the future.

Roger Matthews, chief dental officer at Denplan, says: ‘I’ve been a keen supporter of minimal intervention – opting for preventive measures where possible, minimally invasive restorations, and treating caries and periodontitis as infectious diseases amenable to a medical as well as a surgical approach.

‘That’s why I’m so looking forward to Denplan’s MI Seminars, which utilise our connections with other national brands such as Oral B, GC and Velopex.

‘These hands-on workshops not only reflect our passion for MI dentistry, but show how DCPs can make it profitable in the real world, as well as eight hours of verifiable CPD.’

Wales oral health programme a success

A scheme launched in Wales in 2009 which aims to improve oral health in the region, especially among families in deprived areas, is continuing to be a success.

The Designed to Smile (D2S) campaign has been handing out toothbrushes and toothpaste in schools as well as providing educational sessions and advice for both parents and children. The scheme is now being expanded into nursery schools and playgroups across Wales.

Since the programme was launched nationally, more children from deprived areas have been targeted, including a mobile dental unit that can actually carry out check-ups and treatments in school.

Cardiff University have been researching the success of the Designed to Smile campaign, and have found that 30,000 children have benefited either from a home pack containing their own toothbrush and toothpaste or from classes in oral hygiene.

More than 2,000 parents have received their own educational sessions and advice on how to ensure their children grow up with healthy teeth, while 12,000 dental sealant treatments have been provided, which can prevent tooth decay and reduce the need for fillings in later life.

Health Minister Edwina Hart said: “The latest survey of the dental health of five year olds in Wales showed that a little under half had active decay and the majority of these children are from areas of deprivation. By targeting these children, Designed to Smile will deliver a range of preventative care interventions for children in schools and nurseries to help reduce the risk of dental decay.

“The progress on this programme has been excellent. It is a One Wales target to provide a public health-focussed, strengthened Community Dental Service and Designed to Smile has helped to deliver improvements across Wales.”

Dental Education Consultation About to Close

The General Dental Council is calling for more people to get involved in its online consultation about standards and quality in dental education. The “Learning Outcomes” project aims to encourage a fresh approach to dentistry education that would lead to registration with the GDC.

There are currently two General Dental Council publications that set out the organisation’s aim for the future of dental education; the dentists’ curriculum ‘The First Five Years’ and the dental care professional curricula ‘Developing the Dental Team’. Part of the consultation process will identify if these two publications should be merged into one.

The “Learning Outcomes” project will look at the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours the potential registrant must have in order to be able to practice safely, effectively and professionally in their relevant registration category.

Chair of the GDC Alison Lockyer says: “We’ve identified four areas to focus on – clinical, communication, professionalism and management and leadership. ‘Learning Outcomes’ sets out the GDC’s expectations for each different registrant group.”

In putting together the consultation, the GDC has been guided by the recent government White Paper on Trust, Assurance and Safety by including the protection and quality of care for patients along with sustaining, improving and assuring professional standards. It will apply to the whole of the UK, with some country-specific changes and flexibility.

The consultation has been open since September and will close in mid-December.

Alison Lockyer adds: “We always value the opinions and thoughts of the people our work affects. With a project of this size and scope, it’s even more important to ensure we get the message across that we want to hear your views. We’re pleased we have already received some responses but we’d encourage you to find out more and see how you can help us shape the future.”

Florida University Gets $7 Million Funding

While the UK is worrying about cuts and increased tuition fees for University students, the University of Florida (UF) is getting a boost to its funding to the tune of $7 Million.

The money, paid by the Federal government is being paid over a series of five grants. Some of the money is to be used for the benefit of children and adults who in particular have financial difficulty accessing dental health care.

The much needed boost was given to the University by the Health Resources and Services Administration, (HRSA) an organisation within the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. As well helping Florida’s poor, the money is to be used for enhancing dental education for both UF’s dental students and dental specialists.

Speaking with reporters in the US, Dr. Teresa Dolan, who is Dean of the College of Dentistry, said: “These grants direct much-needed funding and resources to allow us to build our infrastructure to train more dentists.”

Ms Dolan was one of four members of the Dental faculty to receive an individual grant of $300,000 which will be used to develop the department’s dental simulation laboratory. This will help first and second year students in particular.

Further, the development and expansion of the department will also enable it to offer more places to prospective dental students.

Teresa Dolan added: “The grants address a range of issues, including paediatric dental care, tobacco cessation, minority enrolment and care.”

Unfortunately Florida is one of 9 US States which was recently awarded a ‘Fail’ by the Pew Centre. It seems the State does not take seriously enough the dental treatment of many of its disadvantaged citizens, in particular children’s dental health.

The grants given to the University of Florida will go some way in addressing this issue.

Other individual grants were given to Mr. Frank Catalanotto who in fact is to receive two grants totalling $3.7 Million to be paid over five years and $300,000.

The first award is to be used to focus on developing the curriculum, recruit more students and advance public dental health. The second amount will be used for equipment and support.

Another grantee is Dr. Scott Tomar who gets $1.3 Million over five years. This will be used to expand the Teaching Hospital’s residency programme. For instance, it will help towards offering an additional year for dentists who wish to undergo further training in public health dentistry.

Dental Awards To Be Held In November

The 17th November will see the Dental Education Awards held at the Royal Society in London.

The ceremony is aimed at recognising the talents of six prominent dental teachers from across the higher education sector in the UK.

The presenter of the awards will be the under secretary of state for health, Earl Howe. The House of Lords, peer who has specific responsibility for dentistry in the Health Department will be giving out the awards; he is also expected to give a keynote speech.

Commenting on the announcement Rupert Hoppenbrouwers who heads the Dental Defence Union (DDU) told reporters: “We are delighted that Earl Howe, has agreed to be involved in this way. It’s great for those working in dental education to receive this kind of recognition and we look forward to hearing his views.”

He added: “The DDU Educational Awards are a great way of demonstrating the respect and regard students have for their dental teachers and this year we received more nominations than ever before.

“Dental education is very much in the spotlight at the moment, following the publication of the GDC’s Student Fitness to Practice guidance in April 2010 and the recently launched GDC consultation into a new curriculum for dentists and dental care professionals. Dental teachers are largely responsible for putting these developments into practice and ensuring they are a success, so we believe it is important to reward their hard work and dedication.”

There are two categories in the DDU awards. These are Dentist Teacher of the Year and Dental Care Professional Teacher of Year.

Some people argue sometimes about the value of such award ceremonies. However in recent years, teaching has become recognised as vital for the training of dentists and other medical professionals. Although dental research is a very important area, with many professionals recognised for their achievements, teachers on the other hand tend to be overlooked.

The DDU awards ceremony does a valuable job in rectifying this.

As well as receiving just recognition, each finalist will receive £250 with the award winner receiving an extra £1000 to be used for the benefit of respective institutions.

During the award ceremony, finalists will be able to give a short presentation which will include a question and answer session. It will be moderated by a panel using a variety of criteria to determine the winners in each group.

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