Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2018

| psychology of prophylaxis Knowing-doing gap in dentistry By Dr Ana Stevanovi ´c, Switzerland According to a 2002 study by Douglas CW in The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, 38 million adults in the US will be in need of one or two complete dentures by 2020. What is being done to address this shocking prog- nosis? There are more than 14 million implant placements per year worldwide. Consequently, the efforts invested in preventing implant complications have risen significantly. But are we doing enough to reduce the need for implants in the first place? Why, when we know that 99 per cent of dental disease is due to nothing other than biofilm, are our predictions on the future of oral health still so pessimistic? Despite dentistry’s knowledge of these facts and pre- dictions, results indicate that not enough is being done. There is a vast difference between knowing and doing, a gap between intention to make a change and the action of bringing about such a change. It is a gap that dental professionals experience daily. So the question is sim- ple: how do we bridge the gap between knowledge and action? i ´c v o n a v e t S a n A r D As a dentist, communication with my patients was never an easy part of my job. For example, telling a patient to brush better. What does brushing better even mean? If I simply advised the patient to apply the Bass technique, I would see 100 different forms of the technique. A changing world without change A colleague once commented that pa- tients are responsible for their own oral health. I could not agree more. However, as medical experts, do we not first have to empower patients by providing the knowledge and teaching them the skills necessary to assume full responsibility? The truth is that most patients received their oral care instruction from their par- ents. This contrasts with the modern ap- proach of individual prophylaxis and this is the gap that must be bridged. Present-day dentistry does not seem to allow enough time for proper training and instruction. Either patients are not willing to pay for this service or the dental pro- fessional does not have the necessary time during an appointment to provide this service. Most countries do not have the luxury of a one-hour appointment with a dental hygiene specialist, which would al- low enough time for cleaning and instruc- tion. Switzerland is one exception. Other countries need to follow its example in or- der to implement an effective knowledge transfer during dental appointments. 54 prevention 1 2018

Pages Overview