|Time for debate|
|Monday, 21 May 2012|
The central role of the Dental Faculty is to develop and maintain standards of care for the patients whom we serve. We have a role in supporting continuing professional development and we seek to influence the provision of care for the better, with the broad aim of improving the oral health of our patients. In respect of the latter, there is a fine line between influencing healthcare provision whilst remaining apolitical.
At an individual level, we are all concerned with the long-term health of patients. For those of us who work in the restorative field, there is sound information on what affects the longevity of teeth. We know that the more restorative intervention a tooth receives, the less tooth structure that remains and the less good its ultimate progress from both pulpal and structural perspectives. The recent PIP breast implant scandal in
“We see too many cases where excessive tooth structure has been removed to achieve a cosmetic result”
In many dental publications, particularly those free titles that drop through our letter boxes advertising courses and linking treatment to profitability, we see too many cases where excessive tooth structure has been removed to achieve a "cosmetic result". Publication gives these some authority and we could draw the conclusion that such unnecessarily aggressive treatment is reasonable.
The past 10 years have seen an exponential rise in such seemingly aggressive treatments for aesthetic problems which could have been solved in conservative ways requiring little or no removal of tooth structure. It is my personal observation that much unnecessary damage is being caused to patients' teeth through very useful restorative procedures being applied inappropriately – particularly when there are effective and much more conservative alternatives available.
Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605
There is a connection between this previous discussion and our forthcoming Symposium in
This September, we have arranged the event Optimising Outcomes in Restorative Dentistry, which will examine some of the issues outlined earlier and suggest a practical and ethical approach to patients looking to improve the appearance of their teeth. It will emphasise quality, what works, and give practical information for colleagues to apply in their own place of work. We have nationally and internationally recognised speakers and it is a day not to be missed – we need your support! The web link is: https://ubis.rcsed.ac.uk/courses/coursedetails.aspx?diaryId=1027
Why not make a weekend of it? We have the Annual Dental Faculty Dinner in the College on the Thursday evening after the symposium. I hope to see you there.
Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery