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Article: Volume 41 Number 9 Page 832 - November 2014

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  Dent Update 2014; 41: 832-838

Dental public health:  Embracing an Evidence-Based Toolkit for Prevention − Personal Accounts

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Abstract: Recent changes in healthcare include a shift from mainly restorative or operative-focused healthcare towards more preventive models of patient care. Oral diseases are common and yet largely controllable, thus it is increasingly a priority for dental professionals to support patients in order to promote good health and control disease in an evidence-informed manner. The publication of the first edition of Delivering Better Oral Health − An Evidence-based Toolkit for Prevention, in England in 2007,1 was an important milestone in this process. It provided dental practitioners in England with a clear synthesis of contemporary evidence. These practical guidelines, now updated, offer the potential for consistency in practice and emphasize the importance of delivering preventive dentistry for everyone in the population, together with special measures for high-risk patients.

Clinical relevance: This article provides an overview of the key messages in Delivering Better Oral Health and explores how these evidence-based guidelines may be implemented by dental professionals across education, policy and practice, based on personal examples from previous editions.1,2 This article is of relevance for all dental professionals and can act as a guide to implementing the recently published updated Toolkit.3

Author notes: Esther Hagan-Brown, BDS, BSc(Hons), MFDS, Community and Special Care Dentistry, Cambridgeshire Community Dental Services (former SHO in Dental Public Health, King’s College Hospital NHS Trust and VDP in Primary Dental Care, 2008–2010) and Jennifer E Gallagher, BDS, DCDP, MSc, PhD, DDPH, FDS, FHEA, Professor of Oral Health Strategy, Head of Population and Patient Health, King’s College London Dental Institute at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London, UK; Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health, Public Health England, UK.

Objective: To outline the importance of the application of the Toolkit for prevention to enhance the delivery of better oral healthcare.