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GENEVA, Switzerland: In the run-up to World Oral Health Day (WOHD), which took place on Sunday, 20 March, FDI World Dental Federation presented a webinar with several prominent stakeholders in the dental industry to discuss how innovation and technology are shaping the future of oral healthcare. During the live event, they highlighted the dental industry’s vital role in providing the necessary tools to aid dental professionals’ work on prevention and early detection and treatment of oral disease and discussed how novel oral healthcare solutions such as teledentistry and intra-oral scanners can help improve access to oral healthcare globally.
WOHD is celebrated annually to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health. This can be achieved through knowledge, education and the right tools. As Dr Paulo Melo, chair of FDI’s WOHD task team, noted in the webinar, it is also an excellent opportunity to unite dental professionals and urge various stakeholders to increase efforts to improve oral health literacy worldwide. After all, it is not only up to individuals to take action. Schools, governments, policymakers and the wider healthcare community contribute greatly to championing better oral health.
Efforts to improve oral health and increase access to dental care
As noted in the webinar, in 2022, dental professionals are focusing on increasing patients’ access to dentists. To attain this goal, Monika Fleischhacker, global professional marketing director of oral care at Unilever, commented that oral care brand Pepsodent will be offering access to professional oral health advice through a free teledentistry service and free dental check-ups. Additionally, she said that Unilever and FDI will be offering free dental camps in seven countries, both to educate and to treat patients in need.
Continuing the discussion, Boris Kujawa, global marketing and education director at Align Technology, spoke about how developing innovative digital technologies such as iTero intra-oral scanners can help deliver oral care that is more comprehensive and make oral health assessments more engaging for both the patient and the clinician. That is why, in celebration of WOHD, Align Technology said it will be giving patients access to digital oral health assessments.
Finally, Prof. Rainer Seemann, vice president of global clinical research at Dentsply Sirona, said that the company is determined to go above and beyond to make a positive impact on oral health and to improve people’s quality of life. Through its sustainability strategy, the company aims to mitigate its environmental impact, to improve oral healthcare access and quality globally and to ensure that businesses are built via responsible and transparent practices. To improve digital workflows for dentists, dental laboratories and patients, the company has recently partnered with Google Cloud and launched a new medical-grade 3D-printing solution.
Dentistry as team sport
WOHD is a global-scale campaign that is rapidly growing and reaching more people every year. It calls on industry partners to raise awareness of oral health and to help amplify the campaign message. It also emphasises that collective action can make a difference and calls on various stakeholders to become involved in the campaign.
As Prof. Seemann noted, dentistry is a team sport, and dental professionals rely on the industry to drive innovation and provide the latest technology to facilitate their work and help eradicate oral disease.
The webinar, titled “World Oral Health Day 2022: How can industry drive innovation to improve oral health?”, was broadcast live on Thursday, 17 March, at 2 p.m. CET and can be watched on demand here.