The Dubai Health Authority launches ‘DentOral’ programme

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The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) launched a city-wide dental and oral programme to improve oral health in Dubai, by ensuring all individuals have access to high quality dental treatments and effective prevention programmes.

His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of the DHA announced the launch of the ‘DentOral’ programme as part of the Dubai Health Strategy 2016-2021 on Monday at the authority’s headquarters.

The programme will be implemented by DHA’s Dental Services Department, in partnership with OCSHI Solutions and Services and the Health Innovation Advisory and through the guidance of DHA’s Organizational Transformation Office.

DentOral—also known as programme 5— will focus on four main initiatives: developing awareness programmes in dental and oral health, developing oral health prevention and screening programmes, developing and launching the Dubai dental protocol and developing innovative solutions for the delivery of dental services and treatment.

Worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60 to 90 per cent of school children and nearly 100 per cent of adults have dental cavities. Meanwhile, the most common oral and dental diseases include dental cavities, periodontal disease, tooth loss and oral cancer.

By implementing ‘DentOral’, the DHA aims to reduce the prevalence of such diseases through five main methods: prevention, early access, treatment, clinical excellence and efficiency.

Al Qutami commended the programme adding that it will provide a distinctive preventive model for a health problem that significantly affects schoolchildren and adults around the world according to WHO, which also links oral health to many chronic and dangerous diseases.

He added that the authority has made a significant progress in oral and dental health and has taken the lead in providing dental clinics with the best equipment such as 3D printing technology, which has led to a real breakthrough in the prevention and treatment of oral and dental diseases and elevated the quality of medical services, provided to customers.

Dr Hamda Al Mesmar Director of Dental Services at the DHA said focusing on these five methods have proven effective. She revealed that the DHA was able to reduce the prevalence of dental carries from 65.1 per cent in 2014 to 60.17 per cent in 2018 by launching  96 dental campaigns that focused on prevention, early access, treatment, clinical excellence and efficiency. She added that the authority aims to reduce this prevalence to 57 per cent by 2021.

“As part of DentOral, we will develop a comprehensive health education programme, including educating school children and their parents on how to look after their teeth through proper brushing, having a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist. We will also enhance our services for the elderly, pregnant mothers and people of determination to ensure global standards of dental Care and wellbeing for all,” said Dr Al Mesmar.

She added that the Dental Services Department will also work closely on addressing populations with or at risk of conditions such as diabetes and other chronic diseases—that have a close link with dental and oral health—and enhance the preventive and educational aspect of these elements.

She revealed that implementing this programme will standardize dental and clinical practice in Dubai, strengthen links between dental care and pediatrics, antenatal care and care for the elderly, as well as enhance efficiency of dental teams and help transform the national and oral and dental care framework, to name a few.

Dr Mesmar also stressed that the programme’s oral and dental prevention aspect will have a significant impact in reducing cost of dental and oral health treatment, as a UK study found that spending AED5 on fluoride varnish decreased dental and oral treatment cost by 11AED in five years, 13AED in 10 years.

The project will be implemented in five phases, the outcomes include developing an integrated multi-layered health promotion programme, developing a dental health screening framework in schools, maternity and in older adults, conducting dental health needs assessment to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. It will also gather provider experience on current gaps and future developments, develop a national dental health framework, conduct a financial analysis of the dental payment system, review and develop data reporting processes, develop a workforce development plan and develop an organization development plan and training framework.

Dr Al Mesmar concluded by stating that this project will also incorporate innovative solutions as part of the Dubai Government Strategy into various levels of oral and dental care.

“We also plan to build on existing services to have a state-of-the-art dental services covering prevention. We encourage the participation and involvement of everyone in the community who will transform the oral and dental image of the city in the coming years. Good oral hygiene and periodic visit to your dentist is essential for your well-being!”

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