Personalized oral health care is top priority for future, believes AADR
ALEXANDRIA, Va., U.S.: A recent issue of Advances in Dental Research, an e-supplement to the Journal of Dental Research, features the proceedings from the ninth American Association for Dental Research (AADR) Fall Focused Symposium, held on Nov. 8–9, 2018. The impressive rate at which dental research is moving was acknowledged at this meeting. Under the theme “Advances in Precision Oral Health Research,” the symposium focused on the current state of precision oral health research and its clinical application, the future of personalized oral health care and the areas that need to be improved to realize the full potential of personalized oral care.
Speaking about the focus of the event, Maria Ryan, President-elect of the AADR and a vice president and chief dental officer at Colgate-Palmolive, said: “Precision medicine continues to revolutionize health care. Oral health professionals and insurers will need to work with the research community and industry to develop new strategies to achieve optimal oral and overall health based on advances in precision oral health research that utilizes genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics and systems biology.”
An AADR statement said that taking full advantage of potential precision oral health offers will depend on research to help more fully understand the factors that underlie health and contribute to disease—including the human genome, microbiome, epigenome and proteome. To help achieve this, the symposium covered areas such as precision re-engineering of the oral microbiome for caries management, the molecular basis of dental caries and periodontitis, the integration of studies for diagnostic and therapeutic precision in head and neck cancer, and the rehabilitation of patients sustaining orofacial injuries.
Ryan acknowledged that there was much to work on, but did not shy away from the task at hand. “Clearly implementing precision health care into clinical practice is not without challenges. Precision health care will require human capital, infrastructure and education of the health care workforce, as well as empowering the general public with accurate information to facilitate adoption of new preventive and therapeutic strategies. Various ethical and social issues should be addressed, such as privacy, protection of genomic data and access to care,” she explained.