Honorary Editor, PROFESSOR LEO STASSEN, announces a new series of clinical articles, and comments on the contents of this edition, including an interview with the Chief Dental Officer/National Oral Health Lead.

For some time, the Editorial Board has been keen to augment the contents of your Journal (which you rate so highly in readership surveys) with strong and practical clinical articles. After some considerable work, we have planned a series of articles that are designed to be helpful to the general dental practitioner. First up in this series is a step-by-step approach to restoring class II cavities with composite resin utilising the bulk filling technique. It has been written by Dr Una Lally, to whom we are most grateful. It is well illustrated with excellent photographs. While the Editorial Board has planned a series of articles, contributions – indeed, ideas for contributions – are very welcome. Just contact Journal Co-ordinator, Fionnuala O’Brien, at the Association’s office.

Speaking with the profession

The interview with Dr Dympna Kavanagh in this edition is important beyond the obvious significance of a Chief Dental Officer and National Oral Health Lead talking to her professional Journal. We face multiple challenges arising from the scarcity of resources for oral health, and from the fact that our structures are based on an oral health policy that is 20 years old. Despite the many reservations expressed about the part-time nature of Dr Kavanagh’s appointment, it would be churlish not to recognise that there appears to be a very sincere desire on her part to build a new and worthwhile oral health policy. In that endeavour, she has sought the contribution of the profession and she should receive it. Many of us have reached varying degrees of frustration with the Irish public health system. Dr Kavanagh may be a focal point for a lot of that frustration, anger, annoyance and, in some instances, despair. However, we need to get to a better place, so we will need to work together on this – despite the backdrop.

Don’t miss Kilkenny

The Association’s Annual Conference always impresses. This year’s committee has brought together a strong panel of speakers, complemented by excellent hands-on courses, and a comprehensive trade show. Many aspects of dentistry are covered, but given my own daily workload, I must encourage as many of you as possible to attend Sheila Galvin’s session on diagnosis and management of white patches. For the athletes everywhere, Gerry Duffy will tell us the secrets of doing multiple ironman triathlons – and winning. The Association’s AGM takes place on the Thursday evening and socially, there is the Annual Dinner, the golf, and a fun run.

Peer reviewed

In the context of dentistry, dishwashers don’t work. They are not effective for cleaning instruments and they do not disinfect them either. We are grateful to Hugh O’Connor and Nick Armstrong for their valuable work. We might have suspected, but now we know the science – washer-disinfectors do work.

Stephen Anderson reports on a case study from the Dublin Dental University Hospital where a 77-year-old female presented with a large floor-of-mouth swelling, which turned out to be an epidermoid cyst.

Save a fortune

There are many compelling moral arguments in favour of dentists being members of their professional association. Even if it costs money, dentists should generally support their profession. However, it doesn’t cost money. It saves members huge sums of money. Elaine Hughes sets out the details in this edition. If you are not a member, it’s costing you thousands of euro.

Leo July 2005

Prof. Leo F. A. Stassen

Honorary Editor