Holistic Dentistry

FGDP(UK) 25th Anniversary Conference: Holistic Dentistry - Putting the Mouth Back into the Body

In partnership with Simplyhealth Professionals, the Faculty hosted a unique conference on Friday 3 November at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, featuring a keynote address by Professor Iain Chapple as well as presentations from leading names in the industry.

Professor Nairn Wilson, Honorary Professor of Dentistry at King’s College London Dental Institute, chaired the conference, which offered a unique insight into the research and innovation which collectively demonstrates the need for transformational change in the clinical practice and resourcing of dentistry.

His presentation, entitled 'Inter-professional working and education: the need to broaden horizons to integrate dentistry into general healthcare', he examined the ways dental care and general health care have the scope to become integrated. He commented: "To meet future health needs and expectations efficiently and effectively, healthcare systems must develop and incentivise interprofessional education and working and make shared, longitudinal care of patients the norm. Dentistry must broaden its horizons and refashion itself to facilitate integration into general healthcare provision."

"Dentistry must broaden its horizons and refashion itself to facilitate integration into general healthcare provision" - Professor Nairn Wilson

Professor Mike Curtis, Dean of Dentistry at Queen Mary’s University of London gave the first lecture at the event entitled 'How strong is the link between oral and other diseases – hype or reality.'

In his presentation he summarised some of the work in this area and highlighted recent advances, particularly in relation to colon cancer, which indicate the subtle interplay between oral bacteria and human tissues remote from the oral cavity.

Professor Avijit Banerjee, Professor of Cariology & Operative Dentistry at King’s College London discussed the topic 'Dental caries and the human body – the “MI”ssing link?'

His presentation provoked the audience into thinking about dental caries differently, asking delegates to consider two aspects of managing this non-communicable disease: the caries pathology (and how it differs to other chronic inflammatory conditions); and behavioural management (appreciating the holistic approach to managing all lifestyle-related conditions).

He posed the question: "Do patients appreciate the vital role they play in maintaining their oral and general health? We need to bring the mouth back into the body as well as the mind!”

The keynote afternoon lecture was delivered by Professor Iain Chapple, Head of the School of Dentistry, Professor of Periodontology and Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at the University of Birmingham. He delivered a presentation entitled 'Time to put the mouth back into the body: the truth about periodontal-systemic links.'

"We need to bring the mouth back into the body as well as the mind!" - Professor Avijit Bannerjee

His presentation looked at the global challenge of chronic non-communicable diseases and the role of periodontitis in co-morbidity and in premature morbidity. During the session he shareed new data and video graphic sequences that provided insights into how periodontitis may produce systemic effects that contribute cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases. The audience also glimpsed at the future role of the dental team in the medical management of patients.

Deputy Chief Dental Officer for England, Janet Clarke, rounded up the day with a thought-provoking conclusion, delivering an important take-home message for delegates.