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Dental Tribune United Kingdom Edition

United Kingdom Edition April 15-21, 2013 T he British Dental Health Foundation is looking for Buddies to aid its quest to improve oral health in children. The charity is asking den- tal care practitioners, oral health promoters and oral health promotion units to take up the challenge and visit lo- cal schools in a bid to increase oral health education in the classroom. Latest figures reveal a third (33 per cent) of 12-year-olds have some kind of cavity while around one in seven (14 per cent) of eight-year-olds have signs of decay in permanent teeth, with one in 100 losing a tooth to decay. Children who learn good oral health habits early are far more likely to carry them into adult- hood – that is why the Founda- tion has launched www.den- – a website with a range of free materials and re- sources to encourage more den- tal professionals to forge links with schools and deliver oral health messages to children in the community. The symbol of the campaign is Buddy, a spaceman charac- ter who will set out to explore oral health in partnership with children. Director of Educational Resources at the Foundation, Amanda Oakey, is asking for dental professionals to become a ‘Buddy’ themselves and take their expertise into the class- room. Amanda said: “Teachers have a lot of pressure to deliver education that meets national tar- gets in literacy, numeracy and ar- eas such as Personal, Health & So- cial Education, which oral health happens to fall under. “By going into schools and nurseries, and sharing their knowledge and experiences, den- tal professionals and oral health teams can really make a positive difference for many children in the UK, particularly in more de- prived areas where inequalities in health are more apparent. “Oral health levels of children in the UK are generally very good but fundamental problems still exist. Children not being taken to the dentist, not being provided with toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste and having imbal- anced diets loaded with sugar. These are basic lessons we can pass on directly to the children themselves and teach them the value of good oral hygiene.” Resources on the website include lesson plans, ac- tivity sheets and presenta- tions, geared specifically to- wards Early Years, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two chil- dren. DT Do you have what it takes to be a Buddy? The BDHF is looking for Buddies to improve children’s oral health A couple of patients from Queensway Dental Clin- ic who won a £2,500 holi- day with oral health care brand TePe, have decided to kindly donate their prize to charity. Susan and James William- son from Billingham entered the competition to win a £2,500 holiday when attending their regular appointment at Queen- sway Dental Clinic, where they have both been patients for more than 30 years. And while most people would be booking the first flight to some- where hot and sunny, the cou- ple have instead generously decided to donate the prize to a charity. Susan shared her excite- ment after discovering they had won the competition: “We were delighted to win the prize and it was quite a shock, but we’re not big travellers so it was lovely to be given the option to donate the prize to a char- ity. We’ve both been patients at Queensway for decades and my husband uses the TePe brushes, so just to be offered the chance to enter the competition as a thanks from the companies was lovely, but to actually win it was great.” DT Lucky dental winners donate prize to charity Susan and James Williamson won the £2,500 prize P roposals that threaten to set back the cause of improving North- ern Ireland’s oral health are deeply flawed and must be reconsidered, the British Dental Association (BDA) has warned. Responding to the Depart- ment of Health, Social Services and Public Safety’s consulta- tion on the treatment availa- ble in General Dental Servic- es, BDA Northern Ireland has warned that the proposals will undermine dentists’ attempts to improve oral health in com- munities by placing restric- tions on treatment. The proposals would slash the funding available to dental practices, make many treat- ments – including bridges and some root canal work – subject to bureaucratic prior approval processes that will cause anxiety and uncertainty for patients, and undermine the patient-practitioner rela- tionship. The BDA has also warned that the proposals could, if implemented, have unfore- seen economic consequences for dental practices and busi- nesses that depend on their custom. Dr Peter Crooks, the Chair of BDA’s Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, said: “It’s time for Government to admit that this is a danger- ous, deeply-flawed cocktail of change and think again. The proposals threaten oral health, patient care, jobs and the viability of dental practic- es. They are based on saving money and put pounds before patients. “At a time when we should be doing everything in our power to intensify our efforts to fight the poor oral health that plagues too many of Northern Ireland’s communi- ties, these proposals ask pa- tients to accept a downgraded core service that puts health service bureaucracy before patient care. That is, quite simply, wrong.” BDA Northern Ireland led a campaign of opposition against the proposals, encour- aging dentists and patients to make their views on the consultation known. A BDA- organised petition against the proposals has attracted more than 5000 signatures. DT Dental cuts proposals deeply flawed, says BDA T he Dental Defence Union (DDU) has issued advice to den- tal professionals to help them avoid complaints about dental fees, a common fac- tor in many of the cases re- ported by DDU members. In the latest DDU Journal, it warned that such complaints might easily involve patients leaving the practice or, in some cases, lead to bad pub- licity. DDU dento-legal adviser, Leo Briggs, said: “Dental fees often feature in complaints reported to us by members. Common reasons include a patient’s assumption that their treatment was being provided under the NHS rather than privately, that the cost of treatment was high- er than expected, or anger about being charged for treat- ment which had not achieved the desired result, in the pa- tient’s view. “Many complaints about fees are the result of a break- down in communication between the dental profes- sional and patient which can be avoided if the treatment plan and charges are agreed in writing before treatment begins. This is part of the consent process but it also helps reduce the chances of a complaint and demonstrates good practice in the event of a GDC investigation.” DT Dentists can pay a high price for fee complaints 6 News