Honorary Editor PROFESSOR LEO F.A. STASSEN reflects on the contribution of the Journal to the Irish dental profession, and congratulates the winners of the Sensodyne Sensitive Dentist Awards.

Sixty volumes is a milestone for any publication. It marks 60 years of Irish dentists working to disseminate scientific developments and important dental news to colleagues throughout the country. These colleagues are often working in the isolation of single seat surgeries.

We should celebrate that level of collegiality. It is a matter of pride for the Irish dental profession that such co-operation has been the progenitor of a publication that is rated so highly by its readers. Our journalist, Róisín Treacy, went into the Dublin Dental University Hospital, where the library staff allowed her to examine the archive of Journals, and she reports some of the matters that were being covered over the years. Interestingly, the Journal is about a decade older than the first volume – as the volumes only started to be marked in 1955.

The first issue of the Journal is not marked with a volume or number but dates from 1946. It is excellent that the library has the archive and that we were allowed access to it.

New series on clinical practice

In the spirit of sharing knowledge and expertise that is at the core of the Journal’s raison d’etre the Editorial Board, at its recent meeting, decided to commission a series of articles in which dentists would set out the process and sequence for common clinical procedures. We have commenced the work of commissioning and are hoping that we will have the first such article by the June/July edition at least. If we are successful, we will award a prize to the author of the best such article each year at the Annual Conference. These articles will be heavily pictorial and the assistance of our publishers will be available to any author that wishes to avail of it. Any dentist that wishes to submit an article – or the idea for such an article – should contact Journal Coordinator Fionnuala O’Brien at the IDA office.

Winning dentists

When the Journal first proposed the idea of inviting patients to nominate their dentists for the oral healthcare they had received, we were not sure what level of response we would receive. We were delighted that Sensodyne came on board as our sponsor, and overwhelmed when we received hundreds of nominations in the first staging of the competition. For the last two years of the competition, we have received thousands of nominations. That’s thousands of patients taking the time to say: “My dentist is great”. At the suggestion of the judges (Drs Barry Harrington, Seton Menton and Anne O’Neill) we are going to make the entries available to the Dublin Dental University Hospital, as it gives, for the first time, the patients’ views of what they appreciate in the care they receive from their dentists.

We congratulate this year’s winners: Dr Rosemary Smith; Dr Kevin O’Brien; Dr Aoife O’Connor; Dr Joanne O’Riordan; and, Dr Helen Walsh. None of these dentists had any idea they were being nominated by their patients – in stark contrast to awards where dentists nominate themselves and actually pay to enter.


As always, we are fortunate to have a series of important scientific papers. These include a study of drug–drug interactions relating to midazolam, which is of interest because of the increasing use of midazolam in clinical practice.

Dr Sharon Curtin and colleagues have provided a paper on motivational interviewing for dental clinicians. This is a technique which has been used to promote oral health behaviour, facilitate smoking cessation, and alter health behaviours.

Paul Brady and colleagues at Cork University Dental School and Hospital report a case of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans bacteraemia and secondary brain abscess in a patient where periodontal disease was implicated as the probable source.

Place of the Journal

Recent readership surveys have all indicated the place the Journal occupies in the profession in Ireland – and the high regard in which it is held. If you have memories of a particular article, or how the Journal might have helped you, please let us know by writing to us at the IDA office throughout the course of 2014, as we publish the six editions of our sixtieth volume.

Leo July 2005

Prof. Leo F. A. Stassen

Honorary Editor