Harness innovation to enhance the patient experience – Phillip Silver

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  Posted by: The Probe      29th June 2019

Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers form one of the largest segments of modern society. By 2029, the last of the baby boomers will reach the age of 65 and in the next 30 years, these individuals are likely to be those in the greatest need of dental care and treatments to restore, maintain and replace the dentition.

Fortuitously, this generation has enjoyed the security of economic growth, a ‘cradle to grave’ welfare system and after the establishment of the NHS in 1948, baby boomers have had access to the dental care that previous generations were unable to afford. Nevertheless, during the early years, general NHS dentists were remunerated with a “fee per item” treatment system in order to meet the demands of the nation’s previously untreated mouths. This method of payment placed an emphasis on quantity of care rather than quality and it has been reported that a significant amount of unnecessary treatment was carried out. In the mid 1970s the flaws of the system were recognised and the remuneration system and structure of NHS dentistry was reformed.[i]Yet, it was not until this time that dental professionals were actively encouraged to provide preventative care and educate patients on oral health matters.

Most baby boomers now understand the concept of preventive dentistry, and can reasonably expect to keep at least some of their natural teeth for life.[ii]However, it is likely that they will have experienced numerous dental procedures and are often referred to as the ‘heavy-metal generation’ as they present with a high number of fillings and other restorations. This poses further challenges for the dental profession as many of these restorations are not expected to last a lifetime and dentists may need to deliver complex treatment plans to repair or replace them. Additionally, the effects of ageing can also impact on oral health and place individuals at an increased risk of periodontal disease or decay to teeth that are already heavily restored or in a weakened state.

It is important to remember that this group of patients do not consider themselves to be old. In fact, baby boomers are highly focused on self-improvement and maintaining a youthful appearance and lifestyle. What is more, this generation are likely to seek out and make use of the latest technology and advancements to achieve it. Consequently, dental professionals need to be able to offer highly innovative solutions to meet the oral health needs of this cohort, as well as their expectations.

To replace missing teeth with a modern, premium solution, patients can now opt for a removable partial denture created with Ultaire®AKP. This is an advanced, metal-free denture base material that has been developed by Solvay Dental 360®specifically for removable partial dentures (RPDs). Frames created with Ultaire®AKP can be designed in the digital workflow to offer a long lasting, customised fit. Plus, bridging the gap between metal and flexibleRPDs, Ultaire®AKP offers a biocompatible, lightweight, natural feelingand more aesthetically pleasing alternative. Certainly, by harnessing innovation, dental professionals can offer solutions that accelerate dentistry and improve the overall patient experience.

 

To book a Solvay Dental 360®Professional Lunch and Learn or to find more information on Ultaire®AKP and Dentivera®milling discs,
please visit www.solvaydental360.com

 

References

[i]Improving NHS Dentistry. CM2625. July 1994. Annex A. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/272023/2625.pdf[Accessed 13th March 2019]

[ii]The Information Centre for health and social care. National Statistics.

 Complexity and maintenance – a report from the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/adult-dental-health-survey/adult-dental-health-survey-2009-summary-report-and-thematic-series. [Accessed 13th March 2019]


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