Sixhundred paediatric dentists from all over the world gathered in Poland to discuss what is best for the children. Researcher Johanna Norderyd was one of them.
Six hundred dentists from all over the world specialized in meeting and treating children, gathered together for a few days in a small town by the Baltic coast in northern Poland.
- I had an oral presentation aiming at introducing some new perspectives to my dental colleagues with 'Oral health, medical diagnoses, and functioning in children with disabilities – an ICF-CY study', says Johanna Norderyd, who is a PhD-student in Disability research at Jönköping University and at the Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
- Dental conferences are usually very disease-oriented and they often have a focus on new techniques and materials. The pediatric dentistry meetings contain these elements as well, but with the big exception that ‘the best of the child’ is the all-embracing theme, Johanna Norderyd explains.
Besides seminars, mini-symposiums, lectures, and lunch-and-learn sessions there were 69 oral presentations, 148 posters with oral presentation, and 21 posters.
- As mentioned I hade an oral presentation and it was not easy to squeeze all that into an eight minute package! There were no other reports using the ICF, which was disappointing, but one professor had actually started to apply parts of the classification at his dental school in Athens and he had some questions for me, says Johanna Norderyd.
Caries is still a dominating nuisance for children in most countries of the world, just as it was in Scandinavia some decades ago. Economy, ignorance, and all the accessible sugary products flooding the world are some of the barriers to overcome in the fight against this painful and orally disabling disease.
- The most popular caries researchers are now totally into biofilm and probiotics – the good microbes that we want thriving in our oral cavities – but there were no scientific reports about topics like “living with caries”, “child participation in caries prevention”, or “the child’s perspective on oral disease”, Johanna Norderyd says.
- Looking in the conference program I can conclude that it will probably take some time for the dental community in general to embrace other dimensions than the strict medical to its research areas, but I think and hope that when the paradigm shift comes the pediatric dentists will be among the first to welcome it.
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