School of Dentistry, Dundee University Visit.
Brittle Bone Society staff and members were invited to the School of Dentistry at the University of Dundee on Wednesday 26th Feb. Joining them were a group of members of the BBS to take a tour of the teaching facility.
We were warmly welcomed and greeted by the organiser of our visit, Niall McGoldrick, Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant and Dr Heather Cassie at the facility along with other key staff for a whistle stop tour.
We began with a health and safety briefing and some housekeeping. We split into two groups and first visited their research floor. We were shown various posters of current research programmes on oral health and had the opportunity to speak to a group of researchers about their work. We also got the opportunity to discuss our own work in Research at the BBS.
Then we took a tour of the forensics lab, this was fascinating. The staff showed the group state of art equipment used for a variety of services and what the technology can help achieve.
We visited the restorative clinic where we saw members of the dental hospital team hard at work, with rows of cubicles where patients are treated, sometimes to undergo very specialised root canal work, having been referred to the hospital by own primary care dental practitioner.
Our final visit was to the Optec Department, where students get the opportunity to trial their skills on phantom heads. This provides an efficient way to teach pre-clinical students dental procedures safely while increasing their dexterity skills.
Finally we stopped for a lovely lunch and informal chat. We were introduced to Professor Jan Clarkson , Professor of Clinical Effectiveness, Associate Dean for Research and Co-Director of the Dental Health Services Research Unit at the School of Dentistry, University of Dundee. Jan is also Director of Effective Dental Practice Programme within NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and is a founding member of the Cochrane Oral Health Group. Her remit is to conduct high quality research and promote the implementation of research evidence in dental primary care. Her research has included several clinical trials involving over 300 dentists and 10,000 patients. Jan is currently Director of the Scottish Clinical Effectiveness Programme who are responsible for the production of national dental guidance in Scotland.
We then rounded up the day with a chat about living with OI, the challenges that our members encountered with their oral health – and discussed ways of sharing useful information. We were informed that the Department are tasked with producing guidelines on care and in particular relation to Bisphosphonates – which of course is of special interest to the OI community.
We are grateful for the staff taking such a keen interest in OI and our work, and it is hoped that we can plan a more in-depth date with them to have members discuss what types of research might benefit the OI community going forward.