FGDP(UK) will use a national conference this month to highlight toothwear and implant failure, two growing problems which it aims to help dental teams build expertise in managing.
Entitled ‘Strategies for the Future Dental Patient’, the event will be held on Friday 11 October at Manchester’s Etihad stadium. Offering six hours of CPD, it is aimed at dentists and dental care professionals from across the UK, and is open both to members and non-members of the Faculty.
Erosive tooth wear is now the third most commonly observed oral condition, and FGDP recently supported colleagues from King's College London in highlighting a simple test to help dentists identify and manage it. Now the issue will take centre stage at the Faculty’s inaugural National Study Day, with which it aims to build on the success of its longstanding programme of regional study days.
While practices are used to seeing elderly patients with an accumulated lifetime of tooth damage, erosion is now as common among 15 year olds as it is among adults, with around 30% of patients affected. However, while FGDP’s Clinical Examination and Record-Keeping guidance says that the presence and progression of tooth wear should be recorded as part of the regular intra-oral examination, research shows it is neither screened for nor monitored routinely by UK dentists.
The rise in tooth wear is attributed to modern lifestyle factors such as the consumption of fizzy drinks and fruit for snacks outside meals, as well as the ageing population retaining their teeth for longer, and can also be seen in people with eating disorders. The increasing incidence among young people represents a ‘time bomb' for dentists, according to conference speaker and Lytham St. Annes-based GDP Matthew Holyoak, who will examine the options for treating tooth wear with an emphasis on prolonging tooth life and function.
Participants will also hear how to deal with dental implant failure. Implant dentistry is one of the most significant advances in oral healthcare of the last 30 years, and is now routinely available, and an increasingly popular treatment from which thousands of patients are benefitting every year. FGDP has long been at the forefront of implant education, with its Training Standards in Implant Dentistry defining UK course requirements, and its Diploma in Implant Dentistry considered the ‘gold standard’. However with the number of dental implants in the patient population growing by over 130,000 a year, increasing numbers of GDPs are left trying to repair the damage from the 5-10% which fail. The Faculty is now turning its attention to the issue at its study day, where GDP Finlay Sutton will discuss the challenges for patients who have lost dental implants, and the option of tried and tested dentures, now state-of-the-art and designed for a new generation.
FGDP(UK) Dean, Ian Mills, said: “FGDP is the only faculty in the UK dedicated to general dental practice, and I’m delighted that we will be using our first National Study Day to discuss these increasingly important areas. Education of the general dental profession is at the heart of our mission, and I look forward to welcoming fellow dental professionals from across the country to the event.”
To find out more and register for the FGDP(UK) National Study Day, visit https://www.fgdp-nw.com.