We should listen to what Dr Frances O’Callaghan and other contributors have to say in this edition of the Journal.


Dr Frances O’Callaghan is interviewed by Ann-Marie Hardiman in this edition of the Journal and she reveals some of the hard truths about the provision of oral healthcare by the State. Of course, children can be treated at any age, but it’s tough for dentists to be seeing children too late to make a meaningful difference in preventing problems that are easy to prevent if caught in time. It’s taking us out of the positive spiral of prevention that occurs when dental professionals make early interventions. The crucial difference between seeing children for the first time in senior infants class as opposed to second class appears to be lost on our bureaucrats and legislators. Well, let’s work hard at making them aware of the damage the cutbacks continue to cause.
We need to pay attention to Frances and our colleagues who provide the Public Dental Health Service – they know what works and what doesn’t work, and what can be achieved. We trust that when the Minister for Health, Dr Varadkar, attends the Public Dental Surgeons Seminar of the Association this month, he will pay particular attention to sensible, evidence-based arguments that can improve the health of our citizens.

One of the issues that our patients, and especially the parents of our patients, feel very strongly about is the provision of orthodontic treatment. The criteria for qualification for treatment under the public health system in the Republic of Ireland is explained in our clinical feature by Dr Ciara Scott. The article offers a visual guide to simplify the Index of Treatment Need (IOTN) guidelines on eligibility for referral to the HSE. The idea is to help practitioners to offer advice to their patients and refer appropriate cases. This is a practical, helpful guide, which readers may wish to keep for use over the coming months and years. The Journal is grateful to Dr Scott and her colleagues Dr Marielle Blake and Dr Sinéad O’Hanrahan for their work on it.

Drug-induced gingival overgrowth (DIGO) is examined in a case report from Dr Orla Carty and colleagues in Dublin Dental University Hospital and reported in this Journal. In this case, two possible causative factors were identified as amlodipine medication and poor plaque control. The report concludes that it is important that dental professionals are aware that individuals taking calcium channel blockers need to demonstrate excellent plaque control to reduce their risk of developing DIGO and to reduce its severity should it arise.
Dr Abdulhadi Warreth and his colleagues present the second part of their excellent paper on fundamentals of occlusion and restorative dentistry. We know that the outcome of restorative treatment is highly dependent on the occlusion when the treatment is complete.

Three hundred cases of mouth, head and neck cancer are detected in Ireland each year with over 100 deaths. This year, Mouth Cancer Awareness Day had a focus on rural Ireland. Organisers wanted everyone who lives in rural areas to become aware of the disease, to go to their dentist or doctor, and to have a dental check-up on a regular basis. Our collective thanks are due to all the parties involved in raising awareness of mouth cancer.
Congratulations are due to our Editorial Board colleague Dr Chris Lynch on his appointment as Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Dental Education at Cardiff University. We wish him continuing success.
Well done to the Irish Dental Trade Association and the IDA for joining forces in the presentation of Identex and the IDA Autumn Meeting. We read that it proved a fruitful joint venture.
Finally, can I encourage all and any dentists who have been nominated for our Sensodyne Sensitive Dentist of the Year to attend the Awards Ceremony Gala Ball in the RDS in December? It is a fantastic occasion that reminds us of the many good things there are about dentistry.

Prof Leo Stassen

Prof. Leo F. A. Stassen
Honorary Editor