Dr Ben Atkins BDS



Dr Ben Atkins BDS

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Medical Initiatives

Oral health – where do we go from here?

2nd July 2018

On 15 March, Johnson & Johnson hosted The OH! Panel at the British Dental Association in London and I was honoured to be invited to be a member of the panel. You can watch a video from the event.

Chaired by Stephen Hancocks, the event brought together eight key opinion leaders in dentistry: myself; Julie Deverick; Penny Hodge; Tim Newton; Anthony Roberts; Julie Rosse; Nicola West; and Helen Whelton.

Each was selected for their ability to provide unique insight into how the dental profession can be best supported going forwards, given the current oral health landscape.

A vision was agreed by The Panel as something all dental professionals should work by to help improve patients’ oral health:

‘The ultimate outcome is to improve oral health and therefore systemic health. The vision is that every dental health care professional, upon seeing a patient with gingivitis and / or periodontitis, can and will:

  • Make a diagnosis(es) and communicate the relevance of the condition to the patient. Explore risk factors and modify behaviour for successful outcomes
  • Help every patient who receives the diagnosis(es) to be empowered to improve their oral health for life.’

Julie Deverick commented: ‘I’m excited about the vision in the statement, because it’s something we can all now bring to our Societies and to our profession.’

Johnson & Johnson have an ongoing commitment to the vision statement, and will work with that in mind, ensuring that all professional communications support the concept, to the benefit of the profession and patients.

The OH! Panel was a natural extension of The OH! Challenge, which was launched at the 2017 British Dental Conference and Exhibition. At the event, dental health care professionals (DHCPs) were invited to undertake a simple survey, created to test their knowledge in relation to key oral health topics. This provided valuable data for the creation of a communications programme to support DHCPs in keeping their knowledge current.

In total, 464 dental health care professionals took part in the survey. Overall, the average score amongst all participants was 51%.

Further key findings included:

  • 46% did not know that gingivitis and periodontitis are a continuum of the same inflammatory disease
  • Only 44% knew the updated BPE guidelines for code 3 sextants

Please visit www.listerineprofessional.co.uk to see the results in more detail, to take the test and to access the supporting programme of evidence-based content.