Dr. Hescot, you are the president of the Federation Dentaire Internationale, what are the policies of the FDI regarding the promotion of the oral health globally?
For us, what is important is to have a new definition of Oral Health. As this definition was established, last year, during our world dental congress in Poznan, Poland. This definition is to explain to people that the dentist is responsible of the quality of life and the wellbeing of his patients. In fact, for long time, for many people, the dentist was only about the teeth, about the mouth. But that is not true.
The dentist is responsible of your quality of life. How it is possible to speak, to eat, to drink, to socialize, to have love life without good oral health?
What about the relationship between the Oral Health and total wellbeing?
First example about the ageing population. For the elderly people, it is very important to keep good oral health. Because without good oral health, you have infections, you lose your self-esteem, you don’t speak, you don’t have social life and “Ils se referment sur eux mêmes” and after that, they lose their interest in life.
Second example: we have an established relation between general health and oral health. There may be a deterioration of the systemic diseases if the oral health is not checked. Relation exists between diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, malnutrition, and oral health.
The quality of life is at 2 levels:
1st level: physical.
2nd level: psychological.
And the oral health is important for the physical and psychological health.
The dentist job is not only for treatment, his is essential for the promotion of your good oral and general health. It is very important to prevent and for that, what is important for me, for FDI today, is to promote prevention.
It is more important to change the image of the dentist. Today, the dentist is a technician. This is not enough, we have to promote the psychological approach. Dental studies have to evolve, because today the dentist is too much a super technician that he forgets the human approach. I don’t treat your teeth and your mouth only, I treat you as a person and what is important for the person is self-esteem.
I will expose the case of implants. Today, you have excellent treatments in implant dentistry. The dentist places the implants.
We have big companies, great technicians, and after that, for the majority, the role of the dentist is finished. But no, it is very dangerous. They have to come back. Because today, we have more than 30% of post implant diseases in the world.
The problem is when you treat and you forget to educate. For example, it is very important that you have a good toothbrush and oral care devices at each moment after implant placement. This is of utmost importance. More than before implant placement.
Regarding the role of the companies, how can they help in the prevention and the control of these problems?
The first level is clear: it is the good quality of the products. It is compulsory.
But the second level is very important. It is to promote. Because if you need to change the image of the dentist, it is a series of communication and lots of advertising.
And the responsibility of the companies, producing the oral care equipment, is more important than the dentist. Because for me, I’m a dentist and we want to work together on 2 levels. Ads on TV, campaigns and promotion during world health day, which is on the 20th of March and Philips is our partner and it is very important these days to do lots of campaigns in all the countries.
What would you say about the connected care solutions like the latest toothbrush connected to Bluetooth and to an application? How could that help in the personalization of prevention of oral health disease?
It is important in the sense that everybody likes that, especially the young generation, same as the smartphone today.
Philips organizes a new strategy about the toothbrush like the smartphone. This new approach is important because it is better but also because it is in the spirit of the time and life. We are witnessing interesting times with technological advances.
With these connected devices, the dentist can monitor your daily oral hygiene habits? what do you think about it?
For me, it is a very good tool to educate.
That tool will be a communication between the dentist and his patient.
The dentist can take a look on how good is the patient’s brushing pattern. It is like a physical trainer for his clients.