PUBLISHED IN PAKISTAN www.dental-tribune.com.pk MAR-APR 2021 - Issue No. 02 Vol.8 An exclusive interview with Prof. Dr Shahjahan Katpar Only a few countries enable denitsts to administer vaccines Low SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among dental hygienists INTERVIEW Page 4 NEWS Page 9 NEWS Page 10 Global celebration of healthy mouth By Dr Sumaiya Hasan 2 W O H D , 020 certainly taught us that health is prosperity and the greatest blessing. Health demands persistent efforts for maintenance and is not a one day job. However certain significant dates throughout the year are designated for various dimensions of a healthy mouth. One such example is the World Oral H e a l t h D a y (WOHD) which is observed every year on 20 March. Healthy mouth and WOHD: Reflecting back over the years f i r s t declared in 2007 and fully activated in 2013, unites the world to dedicate efforts to reduce the b u r d e n o f o r a l d i s e a s e s , a n d therefore shape the future of societies. Each year, a precise theme on this day, convey a strong o r a l h e a l t h - related message. For the past few years, the FDI Wo r l d D e n t a l F e d e r a t i o n , through powerful themes, has been motivating people to attend their dental hygiene. Few such themes include 'Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body.' 'Think Mouth, Think Health", 'Act on Mouth Health' etc. Last year when the public observed this day and the world united against the surge of COVID-19, FDI urged the public to unite for oral hygiene. FDI announced the theme will be 'Say Ahh: Unite for Mouth Health.' 2021: Be proud of your mouth This year's theme 'Be proud of Your Mouth' is yet another card to swiftly transform the attitude of the general public towards oral health. The message targets multiple oral health- related goals in the following ways. .. In order to be proud of your of owning their dental health. Owning their oral health will not just motivate them to work for its betterment but also consider it as an integral part of their systemic health, s o m e t h i n g w h i c h t h e d e n t a l associations have been unanimously working for many years. Need of time Regardless of date and time, dental mouth, you have to strive for its i m p r o v e m e n t . T h e r e f o r e , t h e thoughtful slogan of WOHD 2021 is indirectly motivating people to nurture their dental health. This will not only allow them to maintain their oral hygiene but also get their dental problems treated. .. "Be Proud of Your Mouth" inclines individuals towards the idea professionals around the globe have been working remarkably well for the oral healthcare of the public. Nevertheless, WOHD can be considered as a golden opportunity to disseminate the message of oral hygiene and to work in spheres where there is room for improvement. Few examples of such spheres include, .. Focussing on preventive aspect and not just treatment. .. Focussing more on specific age groups such as children and aged people. Without a shadow of a doubt, every individual is equal in terms of dental treatment. But, certain characteristics of the aforementioned groups make them an important target population. This is due to the following reasons. .. Children are a t a s t a g e where they are d e v e l o p i n g habits including dental hygiene- related protocols. If the emphasis is on correcting and m a k i n g t h e m h a b i t u a l o f following correct dental hygiene p r o t o c o l s , changes can be seen. They may follow it for the rest of their lives a n d s a v e themselves from t h e h a s s l e o f dental treatment. .. The elders are at a stage of life w h e n a g e i n g a n d o t h e r m e d i c a l p r o b l e m s i n t e r p l a y t o catastrophically impact the health. This impact may also be observed on dental health. The absence of effective dental treatment may allow nutritional deficiencies and further add up to their problems. Working on strategies that may be helpful in providing basic oral hygiene necessities to certain populations.
4 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition MAR-APR 2021 INTERVIEW Dental Tribune Pakistan: This pandemic has affected dentistry a lot especially the education system. How was your response to such an unprecedented situation? Prof. Shahjahan Katpar: Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world. Everyone, us, and the education i n c l u d i n g system has also been affected negatively. Post-graduate and u n d e r - g r a d u a t e training has been s u f f e r e d d u e t o lockdown. DUHS has three dental colleges, so the task to maintain and regulate education was which was established by Prof. Dr Mervyn Moin Hosein, my mentor and supervisor. I am trying to follow in his footsteps at the same time. There's a difference in the degree's completion time in various places. It takes four years in Pakistan while it is five years in the USA. In 2012, we started a five-year program, but that didn't seem to go well. What is your opinion on this? You are talking about my mission, vision, passion and the main goal for this country, Alhamdulilah. The five-year program that began at DUHS in 2012 had to be discontinued within three months when they realized that certain things were not on point and hence the process was halted. Unfortunately, my senior colleagues who succeeded, didn't catch up with the process and hence it was delayed and eventually it was stopped. God was kind to me when I was at LUMHS, Jamshoro things started to look better again, all thanks to Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Naushad Sheikh. He allowed us to conduct Pakistan's first and pioneer in dental education conference. We were able to identify the setbacks in dental education of Pakistan and concluded that the solution lies in turning it into a five-year graduate program. We conducted seminars and invited all the honourable speakers from Pakistan. They suggested that we need to have seven new dental specialities taught as separate teaching and examination subjects. This was something which does not exist in Pakistan. All of these specialities are trained internationally, and they have a different exam. I Dental community requires their separate PDC Prof. Shahjahan Katpar our priority and it was also our biggest challenge as well. We tried our best by providing online teaching, assignments, and lectures to continue the process of education and not compromise it in any form. DUHS took special measures to ensure that the gap developed by online teaching methods can be overcome by uploaded some lectures ahead of time. It was impossible to escape from the impact of pandemic, but we tried our best and continue to do so. The biggest dilemma is where does letter of 'D' for dentistry exist in the PMC? You have an amazing career as dental academician to sustain your passion for spreading knowledge. How has been your journey so far? It has been unique, beautiful, challenging, thrilling, and crazy. You see, life is all about ups and downs. I may appear calm and composed on surface, but you don't know what went behind my back. This is life! Every day is a new challenge. I graduated in 1991 from Liaquat Medical College, Jamshoro. A house job followed that, and I came back to Karachi. Here I did my first membership and then fellowships from the CPSP. I was very fortunate by the grace of Allah. I am one of the pioneers in the fellowship of the CPSP in dentistry. I happen to be the first dental graduate from my parent institute to do a fellowship in any dentistry speciality. So, hard work pays off, and Allah made things very easy for me. I started my teaching career at Hamdard University as an Assistant Professor in 2002 and moved to DUHS in 2006. I joined Bahria University in 2010 or 2009 and then LUMHS in 2017. I am now back at DUHS and Insha'Allah plan to retire from here whenever the time is right in this whole process. I did my training in Pakistan's first FCPS training centre in any dental speciality By Dr Muattar Hanif P rofessor Shahjahan Katpar is Dean and Chairman Board Faculty of Dentistry at Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS). After completing BDS from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Pakistan in 1991, Prof. Katpar passed both Fellowship and Membership Examinations (FCPS/ MCPS) in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) from the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) in the year 2000 and 2001 respectively. He formally started his career as Assistant Prof. OMFS and Head of Oral Biology Department in 2002 at Hamdard University. In 2010, Prof. Katpar worked as Vice Principal Dentistry, Associate Professor and Head of OMFS department at Bahria University Medical & Dental College (BUMDC) Karachi. Later, he served as Associate Dean, Post-Graduate Programs Dentistry and Masters of Dental Surgery (MDS) Program Director at Dow University of Health Sciences from 2007-2009. Prof Katpar then moved back to his alumni varsity and joined as Professor Maxillofacial Surgery and in-charge of Dental Skill Lab in 2014. Prof. Katpar is currently serving as Head of OMFS Speciality, Dow Dental College (DDC) at Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi and Shaheed Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto Institute of Trauma, DUHS from Nov 2017 till date. Among many feathers in his cap, Prof. Katpar has developed a new OMFS surgical procedure, to treat fractured mandible infant cases. The published document is available on Google as 'Prof. Katpar's Innovative Splint Technique.' Dental Tribune Pakistan recently spoke to him about his contributions to the dental profession and representing Pakistan on the international level. think this was where the future lies. We need to follow the international guidelines and introduce behavioural sciences, forensic odontology and research methodology, which are equally important subjects. However, let me tell you that University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore did an excellent job. They have started teaching behavioural sciences in dentistry and got one step ahead. I still think that to attain international standards; dentistry has to move forward. We need new dental specialities and faculty as well to improve the profession. This will allow fresh dental graduates to be more qualified and trained than us. That is my aim. What do you think is the crucial difference b e t w e e n e d u c a t i o n h e r e a n d a b r o a d ? They are more focused in terms of research and clinical skills and have structured training programs. Their teaching is directed as they are not very commercial oriented. They will produce dental graduates based on society's need, whereas we are in a commercial rat race. Growth in dental colleges is exponential, and the focus lies in quantity rather than quality. Another significant difference is that they have standardised criteria all set, which we lack. I also feel that only those passionate about dentistry are enrolled abroad. Growth in number of dental colleges is exponential, and their focus lies in quantity rather than quality Everyone in the medical society took part in helping the masses during the current situation of pandemic, but dental community was side- lined. What is your view on this? Unfortunately, political corruption has a major role. Some of the stakeholders didn't allow us to come forward and contribute. This is where the Continued on Page 11
6 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition MAR-APR 2021 NEWS BUM&DC welcomes a new batch with white coat ceremony K ARACHI - Bahria University Medical and Dental College r e c e n t l y ( B U M & D C ) welcomed the 9th batch of BDS with a white coat ceremony. induction in this prestigious institute. T h e D i r e c t o r- G e n e r a l congratulated the students on their admission in the field of dentistry. Dr Kulsoom Fatima, Vice Principal, Dental Section, the students for devotion to their profession, hard work and disciplinary rules in university. Principal, Vice Principal medical and nursing institute and all faculty m e m b e r s a t t e n d e d t h e AMDC presents endodontic cases ARACHI - Under the supervision of Dr Nabeel Naeem Baig, Director Ameen Medical and Dental Centre (AMDC) and Chairman ERC- CIRS recently organised one-day workshop on K Endodontics-Case Presentation. The course coordinator was Dr Bisma Anwar, Administrative Officer AMDC and Educational Research Centre-Centre of International Research Sciences (ERC-CIRS). Photo: DT Pakistan Vice Admiral (R) Khalid Ameen HI (M), Director General, BUM&DC, was invited as the chief guest. Dr Wahab Bukhsh Kadri, Principal, Dental Section, BUM&DC, gave the welcome address and acknowledged the e ff o r t s o f s t u d e n t s o n BUM&DC, addressed the audience about the academic years of the study program of BDS, development programs and seminars conducted in the university. Prof. Dr Ambreen Usmani, Dean and Principal, Medical Section, (BUM&DC), guided ceremony. The Head of various departments distributed the w h i t e c o a t s , w h i l e t h e Principal, Dental Section took oath from the students. The program ended with group photographs followed by a sign in ceremony for the students.-PR BUMDC highlights the fundamentals about research K ARACHI - Bahria Medical & Dental College (BUM&DC) recently conducted a seminar on dental research seminar. The seminar titled 'Fundamentals of Research' was organised by Dental Research Cell (DRC). T h i s seminar was headed by Dr Muhammad Khawaja Hammad Uddin, Assistant Professor, Department of Science of Dental Materials, BUMDC and Organiser at DRC. He has been recently awarded and recognised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the postgraduate degree program. Prof. Dr Wahab B Kadri, Principal Dental Section and Head of Department of Oral Surgery, BUM&DC, was invited to be a chief guest. Dr M K Hammad Uddin, Dr Kiran Fatima and Dr Akbar Abbas Zaidi spoke on occasion. The event concluded with distribution of certificates of appreciation was distributed among organisers and speakers. -PR Photos: DT Pakistan Photos: DT Pakistan The lecture was delivered by Dr Amber Ahtesham, Dental Surgeon, AMDC. She discussed the endodontic case diagnosis, tooth anatomy and morphology, methods of working length determination, obturation techniques, procedural errors its prevention & postoperative complications. She also shared her experience and clinical cases with the participants. -PR HBS celebrates orientation and white coat ceremony I SLAMABAD - The Dental Section of HBS Medical and Dental College recently organised 'Orientation Day- White Coat Ceremony' for the newly inducted BDS batch. The event was lead by Dr Qurat-Ul-Ain, Head of the Department of Community Dentistry. Photo: DT Pakistan The event aimed to allow students to learn how things work at their new institute and meet other students, faculty, and staff members. A good orientation program helps students feel enthusiastic about starting college and smooths the transition to campus life and the independence that comes with it. The event started with students taking the Hippocratic Oath and celebrate the White Coat Ceremony. During the ceremony, a white coat was placed on each student's shoulders. The Hippocratic Oath was recited by Prof. Zahir Abbasi, Principal, Medical Section, Continued on Page 11
8 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition MAR-APR 2021 NEWS FJDC holds orientation day of batch 29 K ARACHI - Fatima Jinnah Dental College ( F J D C ) r e c e n t l y hosted an Orientation Day of Batch 29 with strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The event was held at the Preclinical Campus. Every year the orientation day is held to help students get acquainted with the environment and explore the campus. FJDC is the pioneer of dental colleges in Karachi. It has treated over one million patients and produced top-notch dental graduates who are excelling in different fields worldwide. It is a translated vision of Her Excellency, Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, to establish a dental college par excellence that produces dental graduates who are the best in the country. The event started with Quranic recitation followed by the National Anthem. An onscreen presentation was held by Dr Hussain Askary, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FJDC, who introduced the e s t e e m e d f a c u l t y a n d enlightened the audience about the arduous task of opening the first private dental college in Karachi. He also summarized FJDC's successful journey of 29 years of existence, including the uphill regulatory task and getting the learned faculty on board. He shared the vision and expressed it to make it evident for the eventual stakeholders, students, and guardians. The white coat ceremony has been part and parcel of FJDC's culture. Unfortunately, this Photos: DT Pakistan ceremony was not convened due to COVID restrictions. Therefore, to give the students a visual feel, video footage of the White Coat Ceremony 2020 was also shown. It was inspiring to the students and comforting for the parents. Prof. Dr Tasleem Hosein, Principal, FJDC) talked about the college's promising future for the new batch. She spoke about priming students for discipline, integrity, empathy and compassion. Dr Babur Ashraf, Vice Principal, Clinical Campus, FJDC, said that the ideology of FJDC is to make the students responsible, ethical, professional, life-long learners who can practice independently. D r S a b i h a M i r z a , Vi c e Principal, Preclinical Campus, FJDC, mentioned that she would be monitoring the students' progress daily since assessment tests are taken place weekly. She also pointed out that the students can come to her anytime to seek counselling and that parents will be kept in the loop. Moreover, it was highlighted that to cope with the upcoming challenges, especially in the c o n t e x t o f c o m p u l s i v e lockdowns, the college is adopting innovative solutions, including blending learning. New flavours of time tested and e v i d e n c e - b a s e d t e a c h i n g methodologies are also to be i n t r o d u c e d t o t h i s n e w induction. Staying connected on WhatsApp was emphasized. The new students will be trained accordingly. After the event was over, students and their parents took a tour of the campus. -PR HITEC-IMS holds a one-day workshop on designing MCQs R AWALPINDI - The Department of Medical Education, HITEC- IMS Dental College, HITEC- IMS recently held a workshop. The event aimed to highlight the m o s t c r i t i c a l m e t h o d o f assessment through Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Dr Ambreen Gul, Head of D e p a r t m e n t ( H O D ) o f Biochemistry, facilitated the comprehensive workshop. The workshop was attended by the HODs and senior faculty members of all dental departments. Photo: DT Pakistan The event put a spotlight on various types and difficulty indexes of MCQs. The assessment of students can be fair and impartial and honing faculty skills in making good quality MCQs. -PR FJDC celebrates womanhood on International Womens Week K ARACHI - Fatima Jinnah Dental College (FJDC) recently celebrated International Women's Week to acknowledge women's achievement, work toward eliminating challenges faced by women today, and provide a platform for women to raise their voice. It is necessary to have women's rights because they are half the population on earth. If we ignore them and not address their issues, the world would be in great peril. Dr Hussain Askary, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FJDC, said, "There is a lot to be desired starting with gender equality, access to education, health, equal job opportunities and even elimination of domestic violence However I am glad that those days are behind us when women needed platforms and organizations to make statements like women are equal to men. Today we have reached general understanding that men and women both have their strengths and weaknesses and that women can also excel in any field. I see no reason why men and women both should not work shoulder to shoulder and progress towards a successful Nation. In education and healthcare, women have a very important role. They have many qualities that makes them most suitable. The biggest challenge in organizations is to provide women an environment which is safe, congenial and friendly for women, where they can have a good work-life balance. FJDC is an institution which is known for the healthy environment for girls and women especially the women leaders that have come up." Dr Sabiha Mirza, Vice President, Pre-Clinical Campus, FJDC, stated, "Women started out by saying they want equality but now I think we are looking at the world where there is no gender gap. Each person is judged as an individual, be it a man or a woman and you are judged on your qualities, your productivity, your thoughts and how much you can contribute to whatever work you are doing in your home or any other environment. I think FJDC is doing extremely well. I can safely say 80% of the students are females and also the faculty staff is around 70% dominated by women. This is really telling you that we are on the right track".-PR
NEWS MAR-APR 2021 Pakistan Edition DENTAL TRIBUNE 9 A recent FDI World Dental Federation global survey revealed that two-thirds of the responding countries are not allowing dentists to administer SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. However, dentists will be among the first to receive the vaccine in half of the responding countries. (Image: Leremy/Shutterstock) FDI survey: Only a few countries enable dentists to administer SARS-CoV-2 vaccines By Iveta Ramonaite Dental Tribune International G ENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Like other oral health professionals, dentists are front-line workers who provide an e s s e n t i a l h e a l t h c a r e s e r v i c e . Accordingly, many countries have i n c l u d e d d e n t i s t s i n p r i o r i t y vaccination groups. But what about allowing dentists to administer SARS-CoV-2 vaccines? A recent survey conducted by FDI World Dental Federation revealed that only one-third of the responding countries permitted vaccine administration by dentists. In light of the results, FDI has urged more countries to enable dentists to administer the vaccines. Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are considered crucial by many as they could potentially help relax certain control measures that are in place to help slow down the spread of the virus. The US Food and Drug Administration has already granted emergency use authorisation to three vaccines: those developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, Moderna and, just recently, Janssen. In Europe, besides the BioNTech and Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, a vaccine from AstraZeneca has been recently been accepted as safe and effective by the European Commission. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently 262 vaccines either in preclinical or clinical development, and FDI recently stated that, by late January 2021, approximately 100 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses had been administered in over 50 countries. Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and at-risk groups such as healthcare workers, are among the first to receive the vaccine. Dentists have regular interactions with patients about their oral and overall health and have received extensive training in the medical field, which is why FDI believes that they are well positioned to support the national COVID-19 vaccination programmes. However, the survey showed that many member countries do not share this opinion. Survey results The survey included 57 member national dental associations from all over the world and was facilitated by FDIs COVID-19 Task Team. It revealed that nearly two-thirds of the responding countries had not granted dentists permission to administer SARS-CoV-2 vaccines as part of national vaccine roll-out strategies. European countries that do not permit dentists to administer the vaccine include Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Slovakia and Russia. According to FDI, lOrdre National des Chirurgiens-Dentistes (National College of Dental Surgeons) in France has urged the French government to permit dentists to distribute the vaccines, but without success. Discussions are also taking place in Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Australia, Kenya, Hong Kong and Germany, FDI noted. Oral health is a fundamental component of overall health and well- being and oral healthcare is an essential public service, Dr Gerhard Konrad Seeberger, president of FDI World Dental Federation, said in a press release. Efforts should be made to enable dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines when possible within national legislation and regulations, and with minimal disruption to oral healthcare services, he continued. According to the survey results, the countries that have granted vaccine administration authorisation to the profession include Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Serbia, Slovenia and the UK. In the US, approximately 20 states currently permit dentists to administer SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. FDI noted that some of the aforementioned countries have not previously allowed dentists to administer vaccines, or at least not the influenza vaccine. Besides vaccine administration by dentists, the survey also examined the prioritisation of dentists in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine roll-out programmes. According to the findings, 53% of the responding countries said that dentists would be included in priority vaccination groups, 12% said that they would not, and 18% responded that the v a c c i n a t i o n p r o g r a m m e a n d priority groups were still pending. Countries that did not include dentists in the first phase of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine roll-out include Cambodia, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Thailand.
10 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition MAR-APR 2021 NEWS Study reports low SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among dental hygienists in the US By Franziska Beier Dental Tribune International C HICAGO, U.S. - As no studies have reported on the SARS-CoV-2-associated experiences of dental hygienists in the U.S., the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) together conducted a survey to investigate infection prevalence, infection prevention and control procedures, and associated trends in mental health. They found that the infection rate among dental hygienists was lower than in nondental health care workers, but higher than in the general U.S. population. A significant number of respondents reported elevated anxiety and depression. In October, a study regarding the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among U.S. dentists based on a web survey was published by the ADA. The current survey was conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 8 and a total of 4,776 dental hygienists from all 50 U.S. states and from Puerto Rico participated in it. The survey questions covered p r o b a b l e a n d c o n f i r m e d SARS-CoV-2 infection results, COVID-19 related symptoms experienced in the last month, and level of concern about SARS-CoV-2 transmission to patients and the dental hygienists themselves. T h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s c r e e n e d respondents for depression or anxiety and asked about their use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The researchers found that, at the time of the survey, an estimated 3.1% of the dental hygienists had or had had a SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the month preceding the survey, 70.3% of the respondents had provided dental care to patients, and for 90.7% of them, this care included dental procedures likely to generate aerosols. Of the respondents who had provided care in that month, 99.1% reported at least one enhanced infection prevention or control effort in their primary dental practice in response to the pandemic; however, 28.2% reported not following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) interim guidelines for PPE use for patient care. At the time of the survey, these CDC guidelines included wearing eye According to a survey, 3.1% of dental hygienists in the U.S. were infected with SARS-CoV-2 as of last fall. (Image: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock) protection in addition to a mask during all patient care encounters and using an N95 respirator or the equivalent during dental procedures likely to generate aerosols. Among the r e s p o n d e n t s , P P E u s e w a s significantly associated with years of experience as a dental hygienist, level of concern about SARS-CoV-2 infection and level of PPE supplies available, but was not associated with any particular type of dental practice. These practices and the low infection rate assure the public that seeking dental and dental hygiene care is safe The low infection rate among dental hygienists can be attributed to following many of the national guidance practices in dental practice settings, including telescreening patients, taking temperatures of patients and frequent hand sanitizing, incorporating appropriate disinfection practices, screening all dental team m e m b e r s a n d t h e i r temperatures, using face coverings and practicing physical distancing for all dental team members while in the office setting, avoiding aerosol- generating procedures when possible and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, said Dr. JoAnn R. Gurenlian, a lead author of the study and chair of the ADHA Task Force on Return to Work. t a k i n g She added: These practices and the low infection rate assure the public that seeking dental and dental hygiene care is safe. The survey also asked participants about their mental health and found t h a t a p p r o x i m a t e l y 2 5 . 7 0 % experienced elevated symptoms of anxiety and about 16.05% experienced increased symptoms of depression. These symptoms were significantly associated with age, the highest levels of symptoms being among those aged between 18 and 29 years and the lowest levels among those aged 64 years or older. When asked how these mental health concerns may be addressed by authorities, Gurenlian responded: One of the most important things to address elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression is to acknowledge that these symptoms exist and to then encourage seeking of support. National organizations can encourage our professional colleagues to pursue activities that relieve stress and sadness through either professional mental health counseling or engaging in experiences such as mindfulness, stress reduction, yoga, exercise, etc. that provide a sense of being centered, calm and at peace. She went on to say that it is important to appreciate the fact that this is an exceptional time in the lives of dental hygienists and that no one should feel shame or embarrassment about feeling anxious or depressed. Taking care of ourselves allows us to continue to be able to care for others, she emphasized. The researchers highlighted the need to further support access to and use of PPE. This may improve adherence to CDC interim guidelines on PPE use during dental procedures, the researchers said. The study, titled COVID-19 prevalence and related practices among dental hygienists in the United States, was published in the February 2021 issue of the Journal of Dental Hygiene. Study paves way for targeted therapy of periodontitis By Franziska Beier Dental Tribune International H ALLE (SAALE)/LEIPZIG, G E R M A N Y - A n e w approach to the treatment of periodontitis could make the use of antibiotics obsolete, as it targets only the bacteria that cause the disease while sparing those that are harmless. New research results indicate that a drug could be developed in the future that exclusively kills those bacteria in the oral cavity that cause periodontitis. (Image: Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock) It has been developed as a result of a collaboration between the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI in L e i p z i g a n d P e r i o T r a p Pharmaceuticals in Halle. The researchers expect the new method of treatment to cause few side effects. To d a t e , t h e t r e a t m e n t o f periodontitis has mainly involved the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that combat all the bacteria in the oral cavity. However, according to one of the lead authors of the study, Dr Mirko B u c h h o l z f r o m P e r i o T r a p Pharmaceuticals, this has some disadvantages. "One side effect of the treatment is that it also destroys all the harmless or beneficial bacteria in the oral cavity. In addition, the bacteria can ultimately develop resistance to the antibiotics," he explained in an MLU press release. In order to find a method of eliminating only the harmful bacteria, the research team developed a test substance that combats glutaminyl cyclase, a specific enzyme of the bacteria that plays an important role in metabolism. The underlying idea was that inactivating the enzyme would damage the bacteria and prevent the development of periodontitis. The developed substance was tested for effectiveness in different clinics and universities in Switzerland, Poland and the US and was found to successfully suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Continued on Page 11
MAR-APR 2021 Pakistan Edition DENTAL TRIBUNE 11 DRAP Approves Countrys ... Continued from page 2 Pharmacy Services, DRAP. He said that a virtual training on clinical trials will be arranged on April 5 by the Division of Pharmacy Services, DRAP in 57 Muslim countries with the support of COMSTECH and the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University. The country situation on clinical trials will be presented by Dr Abdur Rasheed. Coordinator- General, COMSTECH, Prof. Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary, and CEO DRAP will chair the session while Prof. Raza Shah and the speaker from Jordan will deliver the lecture on clinical trials in Muslim Ummah. Interview with Prof. Dr Shahjahan Katpar Continued from page 4 gap lies. We were neglected by the government, as well. Let me add something important here, the SARS-CoV-2 is not only present in the oropharynx but also in the salivary glands. Thus, practicing dental professionals are at very high risk. But this message was not promoted the way it should be. Regardless, we take a lot of precautions. The clinical training has been affected, and there has been a financial loss to all the clinicians. COVID-19 has shaken the whole world; we are no exception. Still, we all are trying to serve the community as much as possible, and things are slowly improving. Social media has educated us all, but at the same time, it has created confusion. How would you recommend dentists to cope with this pandemic? This is a challenge. COVID-19 is here for a very long time. I guess precautions are the only remedy. The vaccination has raised other questions. It has to go through multiple stages while the trial goes on. It has its own set of complications, and some conspiracy theories have surfaced too. It may not be the only solution. At the same time, it is necessary to prevent COVID through precaution. Its pity that even educated people are not wearing masks. Everyone has to be aware about the importance of how to follow COVID Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The mindset has to be changed. In future, hopefully, COVID-19 might be treated just like the flu, but currently, people are dying and affected by it. Social education is essential to change this mindset and also the only way. Do you find online classes beneficial for dental students, and has it affected continuity of education? I guess the students suffered, and so did the clinical training. When you're teaching in person, the level of understanding is different as compared to teaching online. Students were not happy, but we as teachers could not help it. We tried a lot, and it was not that bad of an experience as faculty contributed their best. I believe it depends on the teaching skills of the individual because it can vary. Online teaching was a challenge for the faculty because this method of teaching have its own requirements. Some teachers are gifted with excellent communication skills, so they may guide others to teach online. Yes, teaching was affected, but clinical training was affected more, as OPDs were closed. Patient inflow was limited, and everyone was scared to take responsibility if something went wrong. We being a public sector organization varsity have to be very careful. However, I would suggest a solution to improve online teaching. The CPSP has a fellowship training program, where the viva has a component in which a long case is assigned. You are given a patient, and within a given amount of time, you have to take their history, conduct a clinical examination and devise a treatment plan. Questions from two examiners follow this. Every dental speciality should assign a case to a group of students, on the guidelines of the CPSP, while maintaining social distancing. This may include procedures like simple tooth extraction, fracture reduction, local anaesthesia administration, Apicoectomy, root canal, scaling and polishing or managing orthodontic cases. This will help students a lot. This is something I plan to follow with my colleagues and principles. This is how teaching should be done because it will help students with history taking, diagnosing, interacting with patients and other soft skills. What do you think? So, what are your take on this Pakistan Medical Council (PMC) issue and doctors' registration because many dentists were facing this challenge? PMC needs to reconsider its policies. The biggest dilemma is where does letter of 'D' for dentistry exist in the PMC? It's because of some of our senior colleagues who did not possess good leadership qualities to stand on their feet. Firstly, they think dentists alone cannot do anything alone. Secondly, the medical profession has been ruling, so now it is time to change. The 13-member PMC has only two representatives from the dental community. Do you think they can represent dental community enough among medical graduates? Its high time we have a separate dental council, like other countries, such as India. We are still lagging behind. With so many people doing FCPS and MDS, the limited number of seats available for residency is becoming a problem for post-graduates. What do you recommend in such situations for the post-graduates? More training centres are required, but they should be fully developed. People at higher posts are not mature enough, and they lack intellectual and leadership skills. I guess dentistry is evolving, and more opportunities will sprout with more training centres. The medical profession always stands out when compared with our work. This is because of us and our medical and national stakeholders. During the '80s, the dental profession lacked academic leadership. The number of post- graduates was a few to none. They were not allowed to come up, and dentistry suffered because of that. A final message for your young dental graduates? Yes, they must have big dreams and follow them with humanity and dedication. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart and devotion. Try not to go for short cuts as it will give you temporary benefits, but you will suffer in the long run. Believe in merit as hard work always pays off and leave the result on Almighty. It would be best if you never gave up. These challenges, if done with dedication, make us better humans. Explore subjects that don't exist in Pakistan. Medical and dental education is a new area, and each dental college is going to need this particular department to form the backbone of academic growth of dental colleges. This is how I see things. HBS celebrates Orientation and ... Continued from page 6 HBS Medical and Dental College and Prof. Dr Arshad Mahmood Malik, Principal, Dental Section, HBS Medical and Dental College. Dr Riaz Shahbaz Janjua, Chairman, HBS Medical and Dental College, spotlighted the path of professionalism and guided the students in becoming good doctor. He also emphasised professionalism and professional identity that's broadened the view of students. Dr Jamila Riaz, Director, Medical Education, HBS Medical and Dental College, welcomed students in her speech and spoke about the authorities' hierarchy. Study paves way for targeted ... Continued from page 10 Prof. Milton T. Stubbs, the other lead author of the study and a biotechnologist at MLU, explained the different variants of the researched enzyme: "Our target, glutaminyl cyclase, comes in two different variants. Normally, plants and bacteria have one variant of the enzyme and mammals another. The two variants work in a similar fashion, but they differ significantly in their structure. It's a bit like flat-tip versus Phillips screwdrivers." To the surprise of the researchers, the bacteria that cause periodontitis possess the mammalian variant of the enzyme. "This is crucial for our approach because it gives us a possible target so we only kill the pathogenic bacteria and leave the harmless ones intact," said Buchholz. According to Stubbs, the research team found small but significant differences between the bacterial enzymes and the human variant. These differences are probably sufficient for the new substance not to affect the human enzymes, which is why only minor side effects are expected. The researchers concluded that the study findings demonstrate that glutaminyl cyclase is a promising target for the development of drugs to be used in the treatment of periodontitis and associated diseases. Further in vitro and in vivo studies are necessary, and it may, therefore, take some years before the research results in a marketable drug. The study, titled "Mammalian-like type II glutaminyl cyclases in Porphyromonas gingivalis and other oral pathogenic bacteria as targets for treatment of periodontitis", was published online on 5 January 2021 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, ahead of inclusion in an issue.