EFP president takes prevention message to prestigious university summer course
Round table discussion
EFP president Sören Jepsen gave a presentation on the prevention of peri-implant diseases at a prestigious Spanish university summer course on periodontal diseases in the context of public health and communication.
Prevention was one of the main themes of the three-day course held by Madrid’s Complutense University in the mountain town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, from July 13 to 15.
On the first day of the course, students heard about the main findings of the XI Workshop in Periodontology, the ‘Prevention Workshop’, which were presented in lectures by the chairman of two of the workshop’s committees: Prof. Jepsen and Prof. Mariano Sanz.
Further information from the EFP Prevention Workshop was conveyed by Filippo Graziani, another leading European researcher, whose presentation covered oral hygiene and prevention.
As well as prevention, the course covered systemic diseases related to periodontal conditions and the challenges involved in wider public-health context and in communicating information about oral health.
A round-table discussion focused on the challenge of communciating in ways that are tangible and meaningful to the patient rather than referring to objective measures such as a reduction in pocket depth.
"The patient's perception of quaity is influenced by our capacity to communicate - this doesn't have anything to do with pockets," said Dr Graziani.
Prof. Jepsen talked of the need to bring together objective and subjective indicators so that "we do not have the situation where we are clinically highly successful but the patient is unsatisfied with what he has received."
Prof. Sanz, director of the summer course, highlighted the problem that less that 40% of patients comply with maintenance treatment: "We have to put the patent in the centre for the long-term effectiveness of what we do."
He added that cost was a major reason why patients did not continue with maintenance and said that a message needed to be conveyed to politicians that improved oral health would have a positive effect on the systemic diseases associated with periodontitis.
"I am not sure that it is reasonable that patients should pay for the rest of their lives for three or four visits a year for maintenance intervention," he said.
Speaking after the course had finished, Prof. Sanz said: "In three days we've put periodontology at the centre of public health, modern general health, and media communications."
The course was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, with support from the EFP and the Spanish Society of Periodontology (SEPA), among others.
The Complutense University of Madrid is a state-funded research university whose origins date back to the 13th century. It has held these now famous summer courses on a wide range of subjects since 1988, their principal location being San Lorenzo de El Escorial.