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Dental Tribune United Kingdom Edition

I t has been revealed that Queen’s University in Belfast, is currently being inquired regarding concerns about the level of resources and teaching. The university, which is the only dental school in Northern Island, has not only found itself at risk of losing its teaching accreditation which it requires from the GDC, but also having to make £11m in efficiency savings and absorb 200 job losses. The Belfast Telegraph re- vealed the GDC’s chief executive and registrar, Evlynne Gilvarry, wrote to the vice chancellor at Queen’s following concerns about the level of resources be- ing dedicated to teaching dentist- ry. The letter was followed with an inspection and the report is due to be published. Just three years ago Queen’s University was named as hav- ing the top dental course in the UK by the Times Good Univer- sity Guide. At the time, Profes- sor Paddy Johnston, Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen’s, was quoted as saying: “This is a wonderful achieve- ment by my dental colleagues, especially as we drive towards the development of an interna- tional research-led dental school in the next few years.” One report stated how Jim Wells, deputy chair of the Stor- mont health committee, was disappointed to learn about the inspection, and was quoted saying: “We don’t know what the findings of the inspection will be but it is extremely worrying that professionals felt the need to raise concerns in the first place.” “This is a blow for the uni- versity and hopefully will not re- sult in the closure of the dental |school, which would be an ab- solute disaster.” A spokesman from Queen’s said: “We can confirm that the GDC undertook an inspection as is normal every four or five years. We are awaiting the re- port.” However, a GDC spokes- woman said: “From time to time the GDC is contacted by dental professionals who are concerned patient safety may be at risk. It is usual for the GDC to write to the university or education provider in question for further informa- tion and a response. “The GDC’s chief executive and registrar, Evlynne Gilvarry, has written to the vice chancel- lor at Queen’s University Belfast following concerns about the lev- el of resources being dedicated to teaching dentistry. An inspec- tion was carried out earlier this month and a report from the inspectors will be available in due course.” DT Queen’s dentistry school could lose teaching status R ecent research in the United States has re- vealed that Vitamin D could lower susceptibility to gum disease and other oral infections. The research – instigated by Gill Diamond, of the New Jer- sey Dental School in Newark – shows that Vitamin D can help prevent gingivitis, which affects more than a quarter of adults. Diamond’s earlier research has shown that Vitamin D – ab- sorbed by the body through ex- posure to sunlight and foods such as fish and egg – stimulates lung cells to produce natural anitbiotics that kill bacteria. The latest research has highlighted that specific genes – previous- ly thought not be in part of the Vitamin D pathway – are now also likely to play a vital role in fighting infections and killing bacteria. This discovery is likely to lead to new Vitamin D treat- ments, which will help those suf- fering from gingivitis and other medical illnesses, possibly cycs- tic fybrosis. The study has also suggested that cells within the body – such as lung cells and the epithelial cells in the gums – can activate in- active forms of Vitamin D. Upon discovering this, Diamond stated “this means that we may even be able to use vitamin D thera- py topically, if that proves true.” The Food and Nutrition Board in the United States has established guidelines, rec- ommending that children and adults need 700 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D, with the elderly recommended a high 800 IU. However, other experts have recommended a much high in- take is needed, with 5,000 IU be- ing recommended for adults and teenagers. Those with health issues may be recommended a high Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D has been a research area of interest recently; recent studies suggest that Vitamin D can could also help protect us some forms of cancer and atuo- immune diseases, as well as tar- geting infections and gingivitis. The study was published in the American Society for Micro- biology. DT Could vitamin D lower suspectibility to gum disease Research suggests that vitamin D could help with oral health S cientists at the Israel In- stitute of Technology have created an artificial nose that could hold the key in detecting head-and-neck can- cer (HNC). The artificial nose, which was built by Professor Hossam Haick and his team, can detect molecules in human breath that are symptomatic of head and neck cancers, meaning it will become a critical tool in identifying hard-to-detect can- cers in their early stages. According to one report, the Nanoscale Artificial Nose (NA- NOSE) has shown that it can distinguish between not only head-and-neck cancer patients, but also lung cancer patients; it can also distinguish those who are free of oral cancer simply by sampling a breath test. The Nanoscale Artifical NOSE (NA-NOSE) consists of five gold nanoparticle sensors, which are linked to software. The software is capable of de- tecting patterns of molecules that are found in the breath of people with head, neck or lung cancer. Although NA-NOSE pro- duced remarkable results, more testing is needed before the device can be cleared for use in doctor’s offices. DT Artificial nose smells out oral cancer Artifical nose could smell out cancer I t’s smiles all round for the first 30 dental students who have completed their studies at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) £5.25million School of Den- tistry. During their training the students have seen over 5,000 patients, undertaken nearly 9,500 fillings and provid- ing treatment ranging from preventative advice up to quite advanced procedures. The stu- dents are the first to complete their course in an entirely new model of dental education based on training in community. UCLan’s School of Dentist- ry came about as a result of a close cooperation between the University and the NHS who were keen to support the train- ing of dentists in the local area. Not only would the stu- dents provide dental treatment during their training; but it was envisaged that many of them would stay and work in the locality after qualifica- tion. 21 of the 30 graduates have secured their mandatory train- ing places in the North West and hope to remain in the re- gion to enhance local NHS den- tal services. When it opened its doors in September 2007, it was one of two new schools to be created in England for over 100 years. To help mark their achieve- ments the graduates were joined recently by Barry Cock- croft, Chief Dental Officer from the Department of Health, at a celebration dinner, held at UCLan’s Westleigh Conference Centre. Professor Lawrence Mair, Head of the School of Dentistry at UCLan, said the University’s new dentistry model has been a huge success: “Clinical expe- rience has been at the root of our approach because dentist- ry is a skill and skills develop through practice. We have, of course, also provided an excellent aca- demic foundation for our stu- dents and I’m very grateful to all the teachers, specialists and consultants who have helped established the school. We are all very grateful to all our den- tal nurses, receptionists and technicians who have support- ed the students through what can sometimes be a challeng- ing experience.” Barry Cockcroft, Chief Den- tal Officer at the Department of Health, said: “I’m delighted that the first dental students from the new School of Dentistry at the University of Central Lan- cashire have graduated.” Shreena Mistry, 24, trained at the Morecambe DEC work- ing in Ormskirk said: “I feel ecstatic to have graduated from the course. I wanted a profession that was practical, science based and gave me the opportunity to interact with people. The course has been ideal preparation, we were drill- ing on practice teeth from the first day and advising patients from the end of year one. In fact we’ve been really spoilt, our lab equipment is state-of- the-art and the student/staff ratio is excellent. In the future I plan to continue my studies and may look for a postgradu- ate course in implants or root canal treatment.” DT First graduates to help fill North West dental gap by Lydia Chapman July 11-17, 20114 News United Kingdom Edition