Let’s Talk About Some Good News

August 27, 2016 at 9:38 am Leave a comment

Article for “Cranio UK” journal – June 2016 (British Society for the Study of Cranio-Mandibular Disorders)

For a considerable number of years dentistry has been sidelined from medicine and practitioners have focused almost exclusively on structures within the oral cavity. However there are some signs that this may be about to change. The subject of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is now appearing regularly on conference programmes and special hospital clinics for sleep disorders are being set up and manned by dentists. One example is the Sleep Disorders Centre at Guy’s Hospital which provides mandibular-repositioning splints and is run by Professor Mark Woolford, director of Education at King’s Dental Institute.

Our patients will gain the most benefit when there is co-operation and understanding between all health workers and that includes Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Cranial and other complementary therapists.

The list of interdisciplinary societies is growing. I have listed a number of these on my blog roll on www.connectingheads.com eg: the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines, the American Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry, the Australian Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine. All these academies set out to provide a platform for interdisciplinary discussion with an holistic approach to treating patients. They seek to find the cause as opposed to only addressing the symptoms.

Last year I was invited by the Dean of King’s Dental Institute, Professor Dianne Rekow, to give a presentation to final year dental students at Guy’s Campus. The title was to be “Beyond BDS” and I chose the sub-title “Exploring the Wider Role of Dentistry”. Professor Woolford said that the students had “found it useful” and I was invited back this May. Again it was captured on video. I have already been given a date for 2017! I know that Professor Rekow has a special interest in integrating medicine & dentistry and I hope that will be reflected in the undergraduate curriculum at some time in the near future.

We should be encouraging young practitioners of all disciplines to enhance their knowledge in this wider field and not be intimidated by the so-called lack of Evidence Based Research.

The American Dental Association defines evidence based dentistry as:

“An approach to oral health care that requires the judicious integration of systematic assessments of clinically relevant scientific evidence, relating to the patient’s oral and medical condition and history, with the dentist’s clinical expertise and the patient’s treatment needs and preferences.”

This has been endorsed by Professor Kevin O’Brien in his blog of March 7, 2017 entitled “Evidence based orthodontics is not as straightforward as it seems…”. In his summary he states “My general feeling is that we should base our treatments on the evidence when it is there. When it is absent, we need to accept that our treatment is based mostly on clinical experience and other sources and we need to explain this to our patients. When we do this we are practising evidence-based orthodontics.”

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Role of Dentistry in Sleep Medicine Orthodontics is changing!

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