‘Unprecedented opportunity to integrate’
Suitable remuneration is needed to incentivise the uptake of preventive dentistry, according to Peter Mossey, Professor of Craniofacial Development at Dundee Dental Hospital and Research School.
“Remuneration is key; even though the Determination 1 document does not provide the granular detail, the greater emphasis on primary prevention does shine through,” he said.
Writing in the forthcoming edition of Scottish Dental magazine, he said: “Even though not every aspect of primary prevention and minimal invasiveness in clinical practice carries the same level of evidence base, there is no doubt that there is a massive room for improvement in the provision of preventive dentistry and less invasive procedures – and suitable remuneration is needed to influence behaviour and incentivise uptake.”
Professor Mossey added that there was “an unprecedented opportunity to integrate oral care with holistic care/general health and wellbeing. Oral health is now on the elevated platform of the NCD Alliance alongside cardiovascular diseases, diabetes/obesity, cancers and respiratory disorders.
“One of the unique aspects of dentistry is the access to healthy people and this in turn offers the potential for dentists to play a much more proactive role in general risk assessment and screening for a range of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a whole range of diseases, disorders and health conditions that have oral manifestations.
“In addition, there are things that dentists are uniquely qualified to diagnose early such as oral cancers, but dentists could also play a role in the screening for other cancers and a range of other general health conditions.
“There is also evidence of reciprocation – it is noteworthy that in the United States, the American Medical Association has announced what is hailed to be a landmark gesture towards dental caries prevention – the approval of the application of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) by medical professionals to arrest cavities.”
The next edition of Scottish Dental , featuring Professor Mossey’s article, will be with subscribers towards the end of June.