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LONDON, UK: As head of the UK’s first adult dental trauma service at King’s College Hospital in London, Dr Serpil Djemal has seen all types of dental trauma ranging from enamel fractures to all of the luxations including knocked out teeth. What she and her team have noticed is that most patients who have visited the service did not know what to do when they knocked their tooth out, let alone who to see for help. In order to make the public aware of this, she and an enthusiastic group of individuals including Dr Aws Alani, also a consultant in restorative dentistry at King’s College Hospital, founded Dental Trauma UK in 2014.
Next week on Saturday 5th March, the young charity is going hold its second annual congress at the British Library in London. Over the course of this day, Serpil will introduce experts in the field of restorative dentistry, traumatology and endodontics including restorative consultant James Darcy from Manchester and Paul McCabe from Ireland to discuss aspects of dental trauma and give practical tips how to best manage them. Attending the conference will allow participants to earn 5 CPD points.
“There is clearly a knowledge and skill gap in the dental market as dental trauma is not brilliantly covered in the dental curriculum and most dentists are seldom confronted with dental trauma in their careers," she said. "As a result many do not have the necessary skills for managing trauma in the first place and even if they acquire some skills, they are not retained because of lack of practice.”
The premier conference held at the same location in 2015 attracted over 130 participants and membership of the charity (£30 per year) is already at 290. So far, interest has been great for this year with 100 dentists, nurses and technicians registered for the meeting. As a member of Dental Trauma UK they not only get a 50% discount on their congress registration fee but also access to free CPD after the conference in the form of lectures and videos of how to manage cases.
“It is all about practical application and what to do to save teeth and smiles. Our aim is to inform general dental practitioners so they can deliver the best care for their patients who may be unfortunate to suffer a dental trauma” Serpil explains.
The main focus of the charity is to raise awareness amongst the general public, particularly groups that are often confronted first with dental trauma like teachers or paramedics on how dental trauma occurs and what to do about it. A few campaigns are being been planned including selfie-your-smile and what to do in the immediate aftermath of knocking an adult tooth clean out of the mouth. A couple of celebrities are already signed up to help support these.
“It is really simple; we want anyone and everyone to know that if they knock an adult tooth out of their mouth, they should pick it up by the crown, lick it clean if it is dirty and stick it back into position. Whilst the tooth may not last forever, doing this within the first 5 minutes wiIl give the tooth the best chance of survival” Serpil said. “So, PICK IT LICK IT STICK IT is what she and her team recommend”.
Registration for the 2016 congress is still open at www.dentaltrauma.co.uk/Dental+team/Conferences.aspx.