Prevention in everyday practice: The cornerstone of successful treatment
Dr Ece Eden, Professor at the Department of Pedodontics in the School of Dentistry at Ege University, will cover a range of topics during her three interventions in Buenos Aires – from managing dental emergencies to practicing preventive dentistry to prevention and management of Early Childhood Caries.
Prevention is highlighted in two (out of three) of your lectures. In your view, are dental practitioners doing enough to educate their patients in the everyday practice?
Today, there is evidence available showing the dental caries process and related prevention methods. Unfortunately, this knowledge is not being fully transferred to dental practitioners and few dentists educate their patients on preventive measures for success in their daily routine.
Dentists all around the world work mostly on treating the symptoms of oral diseases through intervention, rather than addressing the cause of the problem. This is more of a 'repair' rather than a 'heal' approach, which does not help cure the patient.
Prevention in everyday practice is the cornerstone of successful treatment at all ages. Only by advising patients on good oral care practices can we provide well-being. As dentists, we have a great responsibility to strongly defend oral health, which is an integral part of general health.
Early Childhood Caries is a global issue. What would you say is the main preventive measure families can take to avoid dental problems in children?
As we all know, dental caries is no longer considered an infectious disease but is rather accepted as a bacteria-related behavioural disease. Therefore, families play a very important role in avoiding dental problems in children. Risk factors for developing dental caries include the oral health status of family members, as well as oral health behaviours and diet, all which are the responsibility of children's families.
Early transmission of cariogenic bacteria is possible through saliva-sharing activities from children's family members, such as sharing a cup or 'cleaning' a pacifier in their mouth. Dental practitioners can provide guidance on avoiding such activities and advise on proper eating habits and oral hygiene practices, which can help parents improve their children's oral health and avoid future dental problems.
In terms of dental trauma, what is the main factor practitioners should always consider for successful treatment?
Traumatic dental injuries are seen with relatively high prevalence in children and adolescents and have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life in the long term. Therefore, dentists should consider dental trauma as an emergency and should treat it immediately to relieve pain and improve prognosis.
Trauma may affect dental hard tissues, periodontal ligament, and the pulp, as well as soft tissues of the face. Accurate diagnosis of the affected structures plays an important role in successful treatment and prognosis. Information gathered from various examination procedures helps dental practitioners to decide on treatment priorities.
The dynamics of the wound repair should also be understood. Every dental trauma case is unique, so practitioners must be knowledgeable on proper diagnosis for on-time emergency treatment to be implemented.
You have lectured at the FDI World Dental Congress in the past. What is your motivation to come back this year with a set of new lectures?
The FDI World Dental Congress truly gathers dentists from around the world and gives everyone an opportunity to share and improve their knowledge on all aspects of dentistry. It has always been a pleasure for me to attend the FDI congresses, known for having highly qualified lectures and a very nicely distributed scientific programme that sparks the interest of dental practitioners and specialists in dentistry.
It is a great honour and privilege for me to be presenting three lectures and sharing my experience with colleagues from all over the globe this year. I look forward to being a part of this year's programme, and to share knowledge and remarkable memories with everyone.