Do you like to use the quiet times to relax and contemplate too? I value this opportunity as it allows me to take stock and prepare for my forthcoming options. During my many years as a dentist I have experienced so much change and am aware of the diverse range of developments which lie ahead: The prominence of implantology, adhesive techniques and CAD/CAM based laboratory techniques, as well as the various options which are available to us on a daily basis!
Some amazing developments have also taken place: The number of children and teenagers suffering from caries has fallen continuously within the last few years (according to the WHO and other studies in 1973 a DMF-T-Index of 3.3 in comparison to the latest results 1.2!), and has reached values which a few years ago we thought to be utopian. At the same time there seems to be a concentration of certain high-risk groups requiring a totally new diagnostic approach and form of care. The best example of this is the demographic trend, to which there is no foreseeable end as yet, and the change in the age pyramid – which already isn‘t a pyramid anymore! – forces us to face new challenges: Today, the percentage of over 60-year-olds in the total population lies at 18.4 mil., for the year 2050 25.2 mil. are predicted, and this number is rising!
Although the reduction of caries in children is a pleasing fact for prophylactic dentistry, treatment and supervision of our elder patients presents us with new and demanding responsibilities, particularly as more than 500,000 patients already live in residential homes for the elderly in Germany alone. Can you relate to those often frustrating situations during Treatment when you are confronted with a progressing root caries, periodontal problems or poor oral hygiene on teeth and dentures which are simply impossible to cure?
In this field there is unquestionably an urgent need for action. Dentists and laboratories will need to develop new specialised treatment procedures. The bodies responsible for institutions such as these, will need to train their personnel specifically (according to statistics more than 80% of nursing staff are presently unqualified employees) and the infrastructure can be greatly improved by Developments in the dental market the implementation of new and specialised aids and equipment. It is reassuring for me to know that new possibilities will arise for all of these challenges, not least from developments in the dental industry with new machines and equipment.
So, a good reason for reorientation and approach the new tasks with optimism and dedication! Let‘s go for it!