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Issues & People

Oral Health Service Delivery Approaches in the Context of Indigenous Communities

I had the pleasure to welcome Dr Debbie Martin and Dr. Mary McNally from Dalhousie University to speak about their recent article: Linking Inuit Knowledge and Public Health for Improved Child and Youth Oral Health in NunatuKavut. The article describes the findings of the second phase of a project studying child and youth oral health in NunatuKavut, Newfoundland and Labrador.  Dr. Debbie Martin is Tier II Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples Health and Well-Being; and Associate Professor of Health Promotion in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University Dr. Mary McNally is Head of the Division of Prevention and ...

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How Risky Are Deep Sedation & General Anesthesia in the Dental Practice?

Sedation and anesthesia for dentistry has come under scrutiny in the past few years due to a few tragic events where patients experienced harm. These events have raised several questions about the safety of these procedures in the dental practice. I have invited Dr. Alia El-Mowafy, dental anesthesiologist and Fellow at the University of Toronto, to tell us about a recent study she conducted precisely about the safety of deep sedation and general anesthesia in dental practices in the province of Ontario. Dr. Alia El-Mowafy attended the Bachelor of Science programme at York University majoring in Psychology and Kinesiology. She went ...

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Can Teledentistry Ease Access to Oral Care?

Access to care remains one of the most pressing issues in dental care. At the same time, there are many efforts to develop and implement novel and creative ways to facilitate the provision of care; one of them is the work of the American Teledentistry Association which launched in December 2017. I have invited Dr. Mark Ackerman, the Executive Director or this newly established association to tell us about the role of the association in helping patients access oral care more easily.  Dr. Ackerman is the Director of Orthodontics at Boston Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of developmental biology ...

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Dentists’ Physical Wellbeing: ADA Survey Findings

I had the pleasure to host Tim Caruso, physical therapist; Tamara James, Director of Ergonomics at Duke University; and Dr. Bob Werner, former Chief of the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. They joined me to speak about a data analysis that ensued from the ADA Survey on Dentists’ Wellbeing.  The issue of ergonomics in dentistry is prevalent and many times mishandled. Dentists perform routine procedures that could put a strain on their physical and emotional well being. The ADA Health Policy Institute, in conjunction with the ADA Council on Dental Wellness Advisory Committee (DWAC), conducted ...

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Composite Resin Versus Amalgam for Dental Restorations: A Health Technology Assessment

I had the pleasure to host Chris Kamel, Director of Health Technology Assessments and Rapid Response, Medical Devices at CADTH. CADTH recently published a Health Technology Assessment that compared amalgam to composite resin for dental restorations. The report is available for download here: Composite Resin Versus Amalgam for Dental Restorations: A Health Technology Assessment. CADTH is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our health care system. Learn why we are a trusted pan-Canadian source of credible health care evidence. I ...

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If Not Tooth Decay Then How About Liver Decay!

I had the privilege of attending the International Association of Dental Research and the Canadian Association of Dental Research conference in March 2018. In the multitude of clinical sessions, I attended a keynote speaker session that was quite interesting. It was an invitation to revisit how we think about sugar-triggered tooth decay, dentistry, and health in general. The eminent speaker was Dr. Robert Lustig, who was kind enough to accept my invitation to speak about his session on CDA Oasis.  Dr. Lustig is an American pediatric endocrinologist. He is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, ...

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Drug Shortages: How Can We Run Out of Salt Water?

It is always a great learning moment when I host Dr. Mark Donaldson to tell me more about a given topic. This time, I invited him to speak about drug shortages, a phenomenon that oftentimes puts the patient at risk and leaves the oral health provider stranded. His article “Drug Shortages How do we run out of salt water?” provided a clear picture of how drugs can quickly disappear off the pharmacy shelves and what oral health and health care providers in general can do to mitigate this problem. Dr. Mark Donaldson is Senior Executive Director at Vizient, a national health care ...

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The Role of The Dentist and The Dental Team in Identifying Family Violence

On April 19, 2018, the Canadian Dental Association held its Canadian Oral Health Round table; and the theme of this year’s meeting was dentistry and family violence. A panel of various experts presented on the role of the dentist and the dental team in identifying the signs of family violence particularly when these signs present in the head and neck area of the body.  Family violence affects us all. It has negative social, financial and health impacts on those directly involved, as well as on their friends and family, colleagues, community and society at large. It is paramount that all ...

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