The Richmond Foundation brings research home

26 02 2010

With a program titled, “Caring for Patients,” The Richmond Foundation (associated with Young Innovations) provided a stage for four presentations that help draw the correlations between ongoing research and the way dental professionals think about treatment.

A quick synopsis of the presentations:

Dr. David T.W. Wong | Salivary Diagnostics for Oral and Systemic Diseases

Dr. Wong, the Associate Dean of Research, Professor of Oral Biology, and Director of the Dental Research Institute at UCLA School of Dentistry, shared brilliantly about his work with the UCLA Collaborative Oral Fluid Diagnostic Research Center and the Human Salivary Proteome Project. His research represents the newest frontier of salivary diagnostics, looking into a future where simple spit can help diagnose not only oral diseases such as oral cancer or Sjogren’s, but also things like breast cancer or diabetes. In a recent JADA article, 87.7% of dentists said they would be willing to collect saliva for diagnostic purposes. It will be interesting to see how, in the next 3 to 5 years as the technology is more fully developed, whether or not the dental community stands by that statistic and welcomes the further integration of oral-systemic issues.

Dr. Christopher H. Fox | Advancing Oral Health Through Research

The Executive Director of the International and American Associations for Dental Research, Dr. Fox presented a great overview of different studies recently completed or underway, with thoughts on how they might help shape future treatment planning and patient care.

Dr. David Alexander | Mapping Oral Health: A neglected global health issue

Using maps from the recently published Oral Health Atlas, Dr. Alexander, Executive Director of FDI World Dental Federation, brought into sharp focus the contrasts between the level of care we receive in the U.S. and other developed nations, versus the profound lack of treatment in other, less affluent countries. With a focus on disease itself, risk factors and workforce, he painted a compelling picture for why the work of FDI is so critical. He shared some of the main programs/initiatives FDI was involved in, such as the Global Caries Initiative and Global Mercury Project, to demonstrate that there are achievable action steps that can be taken to help eradicate dental disease.

Mr. Peter A. DuBois | Emerging Workforce Models in U.S. Oral Health Care Delivery: A survey of key activities around the nation

A hotly debated topic between dental professionals, Mr. DuBois, the Executive Director of the California Dental Association, outlined some of the models that have been getting attention recently, but more importantly, made the case for why state associations and state legislatures can no longer afford to remain log-jammed on potential access to care solutions. CDA has formed a task force to look at the issues around this problem, with the hopes of finding efficient, cost effective solutions.

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