The latest issue is all about change; improving lives, adapting behaviours and challenging preconceptions.
There are big changes on the horizon for the dental profession. Of course, it’s easy to argue that change is always afoot in dentistry. Even when I look back over the last 10 years, I realise just how much it has transformed. We’ve seen a surge in short-term orthodontics and whitening, the widening embrace of minimally invasive techniques, and even a gradual acceptance of facial aesthetic treatments such as Botox and fillers as being part of the dental offering (for some, at least).
But the changes I’m talking about are set to be much more profound.
From what I witnessed at the NHS Expo in Manchester this September, the dental profession could be headed for a larger role in healthcare. The chief dental officer was outspoken about her desire to see dentistry – seen so often as the poor cousin of healthcare in the UK – become part of a more integrated system.
By teaming up with general medical practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists, she argues that dental teams will be able to offer an important message to the benefit of all.
This lofty ambition is coming to the fore closer to home, too. For the last year, a group of inspirational women known as the DCP champions have been visiting other dental practices across Cheshire and Merseyside, offering guidance on dementia, antimicrobial resistance and the friends and family test. These heroes will also be soon adding cancer support to their offering. They share their story, and explain how you too can become a champion, in this issue.
Diabetes screening in dental practices was another hot topic at the Expo. Engström et al’s (2013) study, published in Diabetic Medicine, argues that dental surgeries may be the ideal place for screening of diabetes mellitus due to the high numbers of patients coming through the doors. More studies are needed to figure out how this would work, but diabetes screening could prove be a valuable addition to the healthcare services that dental practices are routinely offering their patients. Another interesting direction for the future of dentistry!
In the here and now, we’re backing Mouth Cancer Action Month 2016, which is why we have devoted this issue to oral cancer.
Many patients’ knowledge of mouth cancer is poor – but you can help change that. In this issue, you’ll find all the information you need on how to spread the word about oral cancer; a life-threatening disease that’s on the rise.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation looks at the possible reasons for these escalating statistics, and offers two simple mouth cancer screening protocols – one for dental professionals and one to be shared with patients to do at home. Be sure to photocopy this special page ready to hand out for patients in your practice.
Communicating with your patients about oral cancer is another small step on the road to more integrated healthcare. Let’s come together and unite with other professionals to offer healthcare that fits our vision of the future.
Also in this issue:
- Exploring the oral microbiome
- Taking the risk out of repetitive strain injury
- Plaque and gingival issues in orthodontic patients
- How to plan for your retirement
- A review of the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene
- People of Prevention (POP) on tour: BDIA Dental Showcase
- Getting the most of social media in practice
- Say hello to our Industry Insiders
- And lots, lots more.
If you’ve not yet received the latest issue, and would like to get your hands on it, call 01923 851771 or visit the website.