FGDP(UK) leads campaign encouraging screening for erosive tooth wear
LONDON, UK: The Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) , the only professional membership body in the UK specifically for general dental practice, has announced its support for a campaign promoting routine screening for erosive tooth wear. The ailment is now the third most commonly observed oral condition after caries and periodontal disease and is estimated to affect up to 30% of European adults.
According to the FGDP(UK), dental erosion is associated with modern lifestyle factors such as an increased consumption of acidic beverages and foods, and with an ageing population who retain their teeth longer than in the past. Last year, researchers from King’s College London’s Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences found that those most affected were not those who simply consumed acidic drinks or food but those who did so between meals.
Although erosive tooth wear often has a slow rate of progression, its impact on aesthetics and function, as well as the financial costs associated with restorations, can end up being significant. However, currently no routine screening or monitoring is included in the standard dental examination in the UK.
As a result of this, an expert working group, involving the FGDP(UK), the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, Dental Protection and King’s College London, is calling on UK-based dental professionals to employ the Basic Erosive Wear Examination (BEWE), a scale that grades the appearance or severity of wear on the teeth from no surface wear (0) to hard-tissue erosion of more than 50% of the surface area (3).
“Our profession is committed to delivering excellence in patient care,” said Dr Ian Mills, Dean of the FGDP(UK). “Modern lifestyles and eating habits present a range of challenges including the potential rise in erosive tooth wear. Just as we do with caries and gum disease, we need to ensure that erosive tooth wear is routinely monitored and patients are informed. The BEWE is a quick, simple and effective way to assess tooth wear and could undoubtedly benefit both patients and practitioners.”
“With the increasing prevalence of erosive tooth wear, it is important that all practitioners are up to date on the condition and are assessing patients for signs and risk factors,” added Prof. Nairn Wilson, CBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the College of General Dentistry. “For more established practitioners this may mean a need to change well-established examination routines and update knowledge to prevent any future risk of claims of supervised neglect.”
More information on the campaign can be found at this website.