An appeal to professional dental associations

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An appeal to professional dental associations

  1. 1. AN APPEAL TO PROFESSIONAL DENTAL ASSOCIATIONSYaroslav Zablotskyy – president of Ukrainian Dental Implantology AssociationMyron Uhryn – president of Ukrainian Association of Dentists in Private PracticeThe number of edentulous people is substantial worldwide and, as dentists, we realize how much theysuffer. We know that these people, especially the older ones, do not complain. They consider it normalto be edentulous at their age. We also know that dental implants can change their lives Dentalimplantation is the only solution for absolutely edentulous people. There is no other way to gain backthe full quality of life. But only implantologists are aware of this. . However, we speak about that onlyat our professional symposiums and meetings and hope to be heard by somebody. While striving tofirst implement and then achieve new European and global standards in treatment of patients. Butthose that suffer and those that make decisions don’t hear us. They just don’t attend our meetings!What do people know about dental implants? Dentists are almost never mentioned in the media .Normally, the public only sees advertisements for tooth paste and denture cream. And even if they seesomething else, they think that dental implants are only for a “Hollywood smile”, which they believe isextremely expensive.Having realized that our society, both the general public and government, never heard about the factthat dental implants were invented to treat edentulous patients, we have initiated a professional project“Quality of Life for Our Parents”. This project offers free implant treatment for the elderly.During the past year, the socially unprotected elderly over the age of 80 were treated with about 1000implants placed by 400 volunteer dentists from all over Ukraine. Private dental clinics carried on thetreatment with fixed dentures, also free of charge. The oldest patient was 93 years old. Volunteer dentists during the campaign “Quality of Life for Our Parents” in Kiev 25-th, June, 2010 1
  2. 2. Our patients are 93 and 90 years oldOur assumptions concerning low level public awareness about implants have been confirmed. We cansay that all our patients were volunteers and had absolutely no prior knowledge about the surgery, orits results. All the patients were informed about the implant surgery and we assumed they werecompletely aware of the outcome. However, about 100 people cancelled their surgery. Some of themcancelled after they found out that implant placement was a surgery, others cancelled after theyrealized they needed to stay in a hospital for the procedure. This way or the other, neither thosepatients who cancelled their surgeries, nor those who agreed, had ever heard about dental implants.To operate in hosting hospitals, the dentists provided all necessary credentials (e.g. copies of diplomaand license certificates). It was the first time that doctors from state and military hospitals, privatepractices, and universities gathered together once a month in different cities. They met in military orcivil hospitals, where they placed 100 to 300 implants a day. Surgeons, prosthodontists, nurses, andhospital staff worked as one team. Implant companies became our partners and supplied dental teamswith free implants. All the implants used were officially certified.All the patients received the necessary examinations like orthopantomogram, blood analysis, andfluorography. They were carefully screened, received medical clearance from hospital specialists, andwere hospitalized for five days (two days before their surgery and three days after it).In every city this project was conducted as a military operation. These dentists never worked togetherbefore, as well as never operated in the hosting hospital prior to the event. All the participatingspecialists were divided into teams. Each team consisted of four members – a surgeon, a prosthodontistand two assistants. We had an active Logistic center, where all the participants could get the necessaryinformation. Each participant knew where his/her work area was (scrubbing area, operation room,prosthetic room), as well as where his patient was at any time. Each surgeon received a patient’s chartand evaluated a radiograph 15-30 minutes before the surgery. Each surgeon operated on no more thanthree patients a day.In spite of different convictions and opinions, all the doctors were following a single protocol – fourparallel inserted implants with abutments in intramental space of the edentulous mandible. After thesurgeries, the patients were escorted to prosthetic rooms where prosthodontists inserted prefabricatedtemporary acrylic dentures. 1
  3. 3. Standardized protocol for the projectThe surgeons operated in surgical operatories utilizing real surgical tables which were considerablydifferent from their usual dental chairs in their private practices. Surgical light and suction wassupplied by the hospital. Surgical motors and all necessary implant equipment were supplied byoperating dentists.Some doctors were singing while operating, while some were watching the operation and having afeeling of observing a master class with renowned specialists. Journalists were interviewing dentistsand anesthesiologists who were genuinely proud of their work. We should note that at the beginningof the project the general mood of dentists was a bit strange. They were very cautious at first, but thenit turned into real satisfaction and feeling of happiness. This feeling of satisfaction was not onlybecause of their professional pride but also because of social responsibility and raised awareness of acharitable cause. This is important, since dentists are seldom involved in any charity or social projects. Interviews of our patient and international expertReports about all the surgeries were presented during the 5th East-European Congress of DentalImplantation in Lviv, Ukraine on March 10-12, 2011. Quintessence Publishing awarded the bestsurgeon and the best prosthodontist prizes to two dentists.Present at the Congress were world known specialists: Chantal Malevez, Karl-Erick Kahnberg, CarloMaiorana, Pascal Valentini, Fouad Khoury, Rafi Romano, Marcus Schlee, Istvan Urban and others.There they learned about our project. Some of them agreed to attend our next event in Kiev asinternational observers and volunteer surgeons.It is clear that we can not replace state programs, but we can attract the attention of the public andgovernments to the existing problem and implement the required standards in the whole world. We aresure the professional association is not only about the interests of its members and congresses, but isalso about a social activity. It makes it less formal, livelier, and gives its members a chance to shareexperiences, skills, and lobby new ideas and social standards. 1
  4. 4. We should also note that our project was supported in other countries. The first stage of our projecttook place in Warsaw (Poland); others are planned on the 9 th May, 2011 in Sofia (Bulgaria) and on the15th of October, 2011 in Tbilisi (Georgia).We cordially invite you to Kiev on May 26-27, 2011 where we plan to perform surgeries on 100patients in a military hospital. We plan to place 400 implants and insert temporary dentures the sameday. With the assistance of 25 anesthesiology teams, we will simultaneously operate in 30 surgicalrooms and 30 prosthodontists rooms.Your opinion is important to us. If you would like to leave us a note, start a similar project in yourcountry, would like to hear about our experience, or if you would like to visit and observe our projectin action, please write to: secretariat@aiukraine.com.ua 1

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