A platform for practice

Dr Cristiane da Mata is the new Honorary Editor of the Journal of the Irish Dental Association, and wants the Journal to become a platform where everyone involved in dental practice can share experience and knowledge.

Could you tell me about your professional background?
I am originally from Brazil, and qualified as a dentist there in 2000. I worked in practice for a few years, but I always knew I wanted an academic career. I moved to Ireland in 2006, following my husband who came to work in Cork, and I couldn’t work as a dentist before sitting the statutory exams (which I did a few years later). So, I decided to work as a dental nurse, and worked with a specialist prosthodontist for a year. This was an interesting experience, which taught me a lot. Some of my best friends come from this time. When I realised we were staying in Ireland, I decided it was then time to pursue academia as I had always planned. I visited the Cork Dental Hospital to discuss the possibility of doing a PhD, and was put in contact with Prof. Finbarr Allen, who had similar research interests to mine. He encouraged me to apply for the PhD, to sit the MFDS exams of the RCSI, and to go for the Dental Council statutory exams. I am truly grateful for all his support and mentoring throughout the years. After my PhD project, which examined the use of atraumatic restorative treatment on older patients, I became very interested in public health and policy making, so I completed a Master’s in Public Health, and became a lecturer in restorative dentistry in 2015.

What made you apply for the role of Editor?
I was Chair of the Athena Swan Committee in the UCC Dental School and Hospital for two years, and after a successful submission, which gave the School a Bronze Award, I felt it was time for a new challenge. When I saw the editorial role, I thought that it would be something new and interesting. I have been a reviewer to scientific dental journals for many years, and I have also been submitting papers for publication, so I believe this experience will be valuable as the editor of the JIDA. I hope I can follow in the previous editors’ footsteps in producing a high-standard publication, which is valued by the profession, but I also hope to come with fresh eyes/ideas to take the Journal to the next level.

What are your main aims as Editor of the JIDA?
My main aim is to produce evidence-based content that will be interesting and applicable to the general practitioner. I would like to keep open communication channels with the readers, so they can help decide on the contents they want to see published. Disseminating the results of research that is conducted in Ireland and abroad is an important role of the Journal, but I also want to ensure we have clinical articles, which will be of interest to the readers and that can directly contribute to their day-to-day practice.

How would you like to see the Journal progress into the future?
I would like to see the Journal as an interactive and informative platform, where general practitioners, specialists, academics and other members of the dental team can talk and exchange knowledge and expertise. In summary, I would like to see everybody involved and contributing.

Cristiane has three children aged ten, eight and five, and they take up most of her time when she is not working. Her main interests are socialising with friends, going to the cinema and to restaurants. She has a particular interest in music and arts.