Oral Health Research in Canada: Trends and Implications
Dr. John O’Keefe, Director of Knowledge Networks at the Canadian Dental Association, interviewed Drs. Debora Matthews and Jeff Dixon about current trends in oral health research in Canada and their implications.
Dr. Debora Matthews is Professor and Assistant Dean Research, Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University, and Director of the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR)
Dr. Jeff Dixon is Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Schulich Dentistry at Western University in London, Ontario.
Listen to the Audio Interview
Three main issues in the area of oral health research funding in Canada today:
- Health research budgets are stagnating, not only for oral health research but for health research in general.
- Lack of succession planning: there are too few young trainees to replace people who are retiring.
- Given current advances in research technology, and if the first two challenges are addressed, then considerable progress in oral health research is possible.
The nature of research is changing from an individual endeavour to a collaborative interdisciplinary activity. Canadian oral health researchers work with their colleagues in other disciplines and dental researchers in other countries.
The Network for Canadian Oral Health Research facilitates collaboration amongst Canadian oral health researchers, and stimulates young trainees to seek out research opportunities in Canadian dental schools.
Canadian research is leading to improvements in oral health and is enhancing the profession by enabling dentists to work more effectively and have better control over oral disease.