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Posts tagged “preventative treatments”

An extensive dental campaign launched

Known as “Dubai Healthy Smiles”, the campaign was launched recently at a star-studded event at the Dubai Centre for Special Needs where it hopes to spread the message of leading an excellent level of oral health.

The CEO of Primary Health Care, His Excellency Ahmad Bin Kalban who launched the campaign, said “The aim of this campaign is to reach out to all sections of society, especially children and educate them about the importance of oral hygiene because they are more likely to carry these habits into adulthood. The campaign is in line with the DHA’s strategy to focus on preventative aspect of healthcare by conducting community awareness initiatives. We are pleased to launch this campaign at the Dubai Centre for Special Needs and are glad to partner with Signal in this regard.”

This campaign was also approved for by the Marketing Director from Unilever Gulf States, Kenneth Lingan: “We are delighted to partner with the Dubai Health Authority to educate consumers about oral-care and encourage a change in behaviour. Unilever is committed to encouraging people to look after their oral health. One way we do this is through our on-going school programmes where we teach children about dental hygiene and how to brush their teeth properly. We believe children can be strong agents of change. Our target is to reach 500,000 consumers by the end of 2011 through many initiatives across multiple touch points in the UAE.”

The Director of Dental Services at the DHA’s Primary Health Care Sector, Dr. Tariq Khoory, said: “This campaign is of crucial importance because we find that one of the main causes of dental problems arises because of the lack of awareness and therefore while we will pay special attention to children, we will also target other audiences like geriatric patients, because maintaining regular oral care is important for all ages in order to prevent dental problems such as dental decay and gum disease.”

Dr. Khoory also stressed one of the main messages this year’s campaign will pay attention to: Focusing on those in society who are medically compromised, such as those with diabetes, as they are more prone to gum disease and likely to suffer from dental problems. Mobile dental units will be provided as part of the campaign where they will be able to reach remote areas. These are due to be launched at the end of this year.

“The mobile units will be equipped with an x-ray section and will have other state-of-the-art facilities. The units will be designed to have a clinic set-up. We will use this unit to carry out our preventative services such as fluoride varnishing etc. as well as curative services such as basic caries restoration” said Dr. Khoory.

New technology could detect oral problems faster

Researchers are developing new technology that could help dentists identify problems with teeth much earlier, and through less invasive procedures,

At the moment, dentists rely on visual diagnosis and X-rays – but these are only used once the problem is advanced enough to be noticeable or painful.

The new Canary system, developed by Canada-based Quantum Dental Technologies, claims to be able to identify potential problems in teeth before they develop, allowing preventative treatment to be taken.

Dr Stephen Abrams, the president of Quantum, says that the Canary allows dentists to monitor teeth non-invasively and will help them spot and track the lesions and patches of decay on the surface of teeth that can become cavities over time.

The hand-held system scans the teeth with a low-power near-infrared pulsating laser light, which detects the presence of decay on the patient’s teeth. The light is reflected back as both light and heat.

’By simultaneously measuring the luminescence of the reflected light and the heat created by the absorption of the laser energy by the tooth, the system is then able to provide a user with information on the presence and extent of tooth decay both at its surface and to a depth of 5mm below it,’ said Abrams.

The difference between the Canary and other similar devices is that they use an ac luminescence of their own design, rather than a continuous luminescence signal. This is better at detecting any degradations in the signal, caused by lesions and decay on the tooth’s surface.

’The integrity of the tooth surface can be mapped by means of scanning the laser across the tooth surface. By using modulated frequencies that are compatible with the luminescence decay rate, we can highlight both demineralised and healthy areas of the tooth, which is where ac luminescence technique has an advantage over continuous luminescence techniques,’ he added.

Changes to be made to dental contracts

A new dental contract is to be introduced by the Coalition government to substitute the one introduced by the Labour Party in 2006 which paid dentists per patient.

Dental surgeries were given an individual target to meet, meaning that some dentists had to reimburse money at the end of the year after not treating enough patients, while others met their targets early and were forced to stop treating people.

As part of a range of plans to improve oral health across the country, dentists will now be paid on a registration basis rather than per treatment. It is hoped that this will improve the treatment people get from their dentist, as the new contract focuses on quality rather than quantity.

By paying per patient, rather than  per treatment, dentists should concentrate more on preventive treatment, rather than waiting for dental problems to develop and being paid for then fixing the conditions.

Health Minister Lord Howe said: “As set out in the NHS White Paper, we are committed to delivering a new contract for NHS dentistry. We want to give dentists the freedom to deliver high quality care and reward them for the outcomes they achieve for their patients, not for the volume of treatment delivered, as is the case now.”

“This is about prevention, not cure. People need a dental service that helps them maintain good oral health and prevents decay, rather than one that is based solely on treatment. It is important that we get this absolutely right so that our reforms will give dentists the encouragement they need to provide a service that meets the needs of today’s population.”

Dr John Milne, Chairman of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee, welcomed the planned changes, saying: “The current arrangements, which were implemented in 2006, have failed to promote preventive care for patients and have been deeply unpopular with dentists.”

“The BDA has campaigned hard for a re-think and we are encouraged that the Department of Health is to begin testing new ways of delivering care. We are pleased that two principles that we believe are particularly important – quality of care and a continuing care relationship between practitioner and patient – are central to what is being piloted.”

Dentists call for junk food to be more expensive

Vikash Singh, who is the current the president of the Fiji Dental Association, has called for junk food to be made more expensive on the islands in an effort put a halt to the major dental problems that can be caused by a poor diet.

Singh made the comments in response to recent criticisms about the price of private dental treatment in Fiji, which he said was down to the cost of dental equipment which often cannot be bought locally, and sometimes even has to be bought abroad and shipped to surgeries.

He added that the high costs of dental treatment could act as an effective method for preventing tooth decay, claiming that if people cannot afford to get their oral problems fixed, then they are more likely to take better care of their own mouths.

“FDA’s view is that all dental problems are preventable, especially major problems like decay. If costs of dental services were cheaper, people would not be motivated to take preventative measures. The solution is not to point at the dental charges but to practise proper hygiene,” Dr Singh said.”Parents need to look at this and the lack of parental supervision on a child’s diet which eventually leads to dental problems is tantamount to parental neglect.”

Dr Mansoor Ali who is the former FDA president and now works as the national advisor on oral health also called for government legislation to increase the price of junk food and poor quality snacks so that people would not be able to afford them. “The authorities should concentrate on not developing the problem at all,” he said. “By increasing the cost of junk food, people won’t be able to afford it and in turn they have better chances of preventing tooth decays.”

Kids in Scotland benefit from fluoride varnish programme

Children across Scotland are being given preventative dental treatments to try and reduce rates of decay and improve standards of oral health amongst children.

The fluoride varnish scheme is part of the wider National Childsmile School Oral Health Improvement Programme, which has been launched to raise awareness of oral health and encourage parents and children to get involved in oral hygiene and healthy living.

Children from eleven schools in the Inverclyde region are set to benefit from the fluoride varnish programme. Today, primary school children from King’s Oak were given the treatment by specially trained dental nurses.

Fluoride varnish helps to strengthen the teeth and make them more resistant to decay; numerous studies have confirmed that children benefit from fluoride varnish treatments and studies also show that people who live in areas with fluoridated water supplies have better standards of oral health than those who live in areas without fluoridated water.

Investing in preventative treatments will reduce the risk of children developing serious health problems in the future; this will prevent them from suffering needlessly and will also reduce the cost of dental treatment in the future.

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