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Oral health risks of vaping highlighted at Sydney moot


Wed. 4 October 2023


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Eminent experts highlighted the connections between e-cigarettes (vaping), sexual assault and deteriorating oral health while also sharing the latest advancements in dental technologies during the four-day World Dental Congress held recently in Sydney, Australia.

The moot was hosted by the Fédération Dentaire Internationale World Dental Federation (FDI) and jointly organized with the Australian Dental Association (ADA).

The 2023 FDI World Dental Congress, recently held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, welcomed over 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world. It was the first 'in-person' World Dental Congress in four years, showcasing the resilience and dedication of the global dental community.

The congress featured an extensive Main Scientific Programme (MSP) comprising more than 220 sessions and over 175 hours of valuable Continuing Professional Development (CPD) content.

Dr Hugo Sachs, former ADA President and Chair of the Scientific Programme Division, highlighted the congress' aim to offer a comprehensive overview of the latest trends in dentistry, encompassing cutting-edge innovations, particularly in digital dentistry, and crucial aspects of dental practice.

One of the standout presentations was delivered by Melbourne dentist Dr Sharonne Zaks AO, addressing the vital topic of 'The link between sexual assault and poor oral health.' Dr Zaks shed light on the trauma that survivors of sexual assault may endure during dental appointments, which can trigger painful memories and anxiety. Her presentation emphasized the importance of identifying survivors, building trust, responding to disclosures, and solutions to their oral health needs.

Another significant presentation titled 'Vaping: a universal panacea for ceasing tobacco – or a disaster?' by Prof Purnima Kumar explored the oral health risks associated with smoking, vaping, and waterpipes. Prof Kumar's research revealed damage to the mouths of vapers and underscored the need for dentists to educate patients and caregivers about the risks of vaping.

In addition to the enlightening educational sessions, the congress introduced new programmes and key initiatives. The Australian Dental Association launched a sustainability resource, offering a six-module guide to assist dental practices in becoming more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, the Australian Dental Health Foundation was officially re-launched as the ADA Dental Health Foundation, reaffirming its commitment to enhancing the dental health of underserved populations in Australia.

As the congress concluded, Gregory Chadwick, DDS, assumed the role of FDI president during the general assembly. Dr Chadwick expressed his enthusiasm for the mission of enhancing global oral health and the responsibilities that come with his new role.

The congress not only represented a triumph for the dental community but also made a significant contribution to the economy of New South Wales, estimated at AU$31 million (US$20 million).

Looking ahead, the 2024 FDI World Dental Congress is scheduled to take place from September 12th to 15th in Istanbul, Turkey, marking the 110th edition of this event.

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