Interview on partially dentate patients

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“Proper resources and evidence-based practices are crucial for providing high-quality dental care”

Dr Shiamaa Shihab Ahmed al-Mashhadani is a dental public health specialist at the Dubai Academic Health Corporation in the UAE. (Image: Shiamaa Shihab Ahmed al-Mashhadani)

Over the last five years, FDI has been developing resources to assist dental professionals in the planning and delivery of care for partially dentate patients. At the 2023 FDI World Dental Congress, Dr Shiamaa Shihab Ahmed al-Mashhadani, who has been closely involved in the development and implementation of several projects related to improving the oral health of partially dentate patients, will hold a session on the topic. During the session, she will present a valuable assessment tool developed by FDI that will help patients understand their treatment options and will assist dentists in better understanding their patients’ health status and needs.

Dr al-Mashhadani, the number of partially dentate patients is on the rise. How does this trend affect dentistry?
The increase in partially dentate patients is having a significant impact on dental care, and different facets of oral healthcare, treatment options and dental practice are being affected. Dental practitioners must offer a variety of treatment choices for replacing missing teeth. These choices include implant-supported dentures, fixed bridges and removable dentures. To propose the best option for treatment, dentists must evaluate each patient’s unique needs, preferences and oral health status.

Dental practitioners also need to educate partially dentate patients on proper oral hygiene practices, focusing on preventing further tooth loss, maintaining the remaining teeth and addressing the risk factors that may contribute to their dental problems. There will also be a demand for specialised training for prosthodontic and restorative treatment options. This will trigger interest in research and innovation in dental materials, implant technologies and treatment modalities.

There will be a long-term relationship between dentists and patients for follow-up care and maintenance, and there could be a rise in public health dentistry concerned with the care and health of partially dentate patients.

In your upcoming session at the FDI congress, you will present some resources to assist dental professionals in the planning and delivery of care for partially dentate patients. Could you elaborate on that and explain how important it is that dentists use the right resources?
Dentists need to use the best resources available to them when treating partially dentate patients. Proper resources and evidence-based practices are crucial for providing high-quality dental care and achieving optimal outcomes for these patients. The main goals for the planning and delivery of care for partially dentate patients are to empower dental practitioners to comprehend and support the unique needs of these patients.

Dentists must evaluate each patient’s unique needs, preferences and oral health status

To this end, our team of experts collaborated to shift the paradigm from a biomedical to a patient-centred care model. To deliver quality dental care, we have developed a toolkit that has chairside guidelines and offers detailed instructions on all treatment options as well as a three-phase treatment planning approach that covers all aspects of the patient’s journey. The resource also aims to increase global awareness about the specific needs of partially dentate patients and the treatment options available for them. Those interested can find it freely available on the FDI website.

How exactly will FDI’s assessment tool benefit partially dentate patients and dental professionals?
Both patients and the dental professionals involved in their treatment will greatly benefit from this assessment tool. It was developed to aid with the evaluation and treatment of people with partial dentition, ensuring comprehensive and patient-centred care. Specifically, patients will benefit from a comprehensive evaluation, an individualised treatment plan, informed decision-making and improved communication with their dental health provider. Dentists will have in hand a standardised evaluation tool that is evidence-based and increases efficiency and accuracy in decision-making. The tool will also help to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and will keep dental professionals updated on the latest developments in treating partially dentate patients.

Editorial note:

The 2023 FDI World Dental Congress will take place from 24 to 27 September in Sydney in Australia. Dr Shiamaa Shihab Ahmed al-Mashhadani is one of the speakers at the symposium, titled “Partially dentate patients: Empowering patients to make informed treatment choices, which takes place on 25 September from 14:30 to 15:15. She is also a speaker at the symposium, titled “Life is much sweeter, without the sugar”, which will be held on 25 September from 15:30 to 16:15. More information about the event can be found here.

ADA Australia Dental congress FDI World Dental Congress FDI World Dental Federation Partially dentate patients Scientific research

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