The last week of November marked the 4th Asia Pacific Regional Congress of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) conference, held in Brisbane. Dr Ramini Shankumar (Director), and Parul Marwaha (Clinical Project Officer) from Monash Health Dental Services took the opportunity to contribute to the conference. They met many leading oral health researchers and listened to innovative research presentations on oral health.
At the conference, Dr Ramini co-chaired the Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research presentations, was a part of the Australian New Zealand Councillor Meeting, and was on the judging panel of the Junior Category poster competition.
Dr Ramini also presented on a recent dental project titled An intervention to improve general practice connections for dental patients, which was well received by the broader public oral health community. The aim of the project was to improve communication between primary health services and improve patients’ access to primary care. Dental clinic’s intake questions were modified to better identify whether dental patients have a regular GP. This resulted in GP documentation increasing from 80% to 99%. Those who did not have a GP were linked with a health broker who found a local GP for them. The project also evaluated the quality of patients’ relationship with their GP. It found that the majority of patients had good relationship and engagement with their GP, but securing appointments and waiting for an appointment were the greatest difficulties. This project was a collaboration between MHDS, Monash University and key local agencies, and was led by Professor Grant Russell.
Parul presented a poster on Poor Oral Health and Anticholinergic Burden as Predictors of Frailty in Geriatric Patients and he was a finalist in the Colgate poster competition. The project was led by Dr Phu Sabei Shwe from Monash Ageing Research Centre (MONARC). The project looked at if poor oral health and use of anticholinergic drugs contributes to the frailty in geriatric population group. Earlier in the year, Parul submitted the abstract to the Colgate poster competition, and was successful in receiving the Colgate Travel Grant to attend the IADR conference.
MHDS is honoured to have participated in the IADR conference and contribute to the public oral health space.