Journal of Disability and Oral Health

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June 2014
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Editorial - Challenging continuing education in SCD

There is increasing expectation that the oral health care needs of the majority of patients requiring Special Care Dentistry (SCD) will be met in future by a workforce based in primary care dental settings. If, as reported, 90% of these patients (Faulks et al., 2012) could have treatment by general dental practitioners and other dental team members, there may be a need to review the knowledge and skills framework to ensure existing teams are able to match these expectations. Previous editorials have highlighted the role that dental educators have to enhance their curricula and embed key learning outcomes for undergraduate education in SCD to enable new graduates to acquire knowledge and develop beginner skills in providing safe and appropriate care. This thought was foremost on my mind as a cohort of graduates; dental and allied dental health professionals enter the workforce in the coming months. Are they ready for the challenges ahead in relation to SCD and do they have the ‘right’ attitudes and behaviours expected by patients and their care teams? As a significant proportion of the current workforce has not benefited from directed teaching or learning in SCD in their early educational experiences and may have limited access to the relevant continuing professional development (CPD) required to manage the oral health care needs of a diverse and complex group of patients, are they ready to act as trainers and mentors for those commencing postregistration training? Is this the time to reflect if this a concern to the profession, for those paying for services and most importantly, for those receiving care? The desire to undertake additional CPD for some dental teams may be driven by a keen interest in the patient base, or by local need to improve services in their area, whilst for others, it may be the desire to develop competencies to become a generalist dentist with ‘enhanced or extended skills’ and deliver commissioned services. What is the current state of CPD provision in dentistry and in particular in SCD? An assessment of CPD in dentistry undertaken for the General Dental Council, the UK professional regulator, provided evidence that the dental CPD industry is dynamic and growing, amid concerns that the market was ‘open and unregulated’ (Howat and Lawrie, 2013).

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S. Thompson

Articles from this issue

  • Title
  • Pg. Start
  • Pg. End

  1. Editorial - Challenging continuing education in SCD
  2. 30
  3. 31

  1. Development and qualitative evaluation of a communication tool for children with autism spectrum disorders and other communication difficulties
  2. 33
  3. 39

  1. Comparative assessment of caries risk using Cariogram model among individuals with intellectual disability in Udaipur, India – a cross sectional study
  2. 40
  3. 46

  1. National levels of reported difficulty in tooth and denture cleaning among an ageing population with intellectual disabilities in Ireland
  2. 48
  3. 53

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