IADH 2018: Getting Homelessness on the Agenda in Dubai

So last week I got back from presenting in Dubai at the International Association of Disability and Oral Health Congress 2018... What did I learn and what did I talk about?

The Congress

The IADH congress is held every 2 years and this year was in Festival City in Dubai. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my spam of my pre-conference fun in Abu Dhabi and Dubai! In 2020 the congress will be in Mexico (see you there!). 

I had the opportunity to meet and network with Special Care dentists from across the world and there were some really interesting talks during the 3 days. My highlights were learning about the disparity of usage of General Anaesthetic for dentistry across the world - use/need in the UK being 70% compared to 0.5% in Israel and 33% in New Zealand; the use of desensitisation programmes for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the USA and Spain (where one patient had 76 dental-related sessions in total!); and learning about how to set up IV sedation in Malaysia, where there is only one dentist in the entire country providing this modality of treatment!

To learn more about IADH see their website

The Assessment of Oral Health and Impact Profile within the Homeless Population of East London

As many of you may know, I have set up and run a homeless dental service in East London. I presented my preliminary work when assessing the oral health needs of this population which was used to win additional funding from commissioners back in April. 

I was very nervous presenting to this international crowd (especially as I followed one of my mentors who is a fantastic presenter). To summarise my findings from my research:
  • There is significant need for the oral health needs of the homeless population in East London
  • Their oral health negatively impacts their quality of life which can perpetuate their cycle of homelessness
  • There were high levels of disease observed: 66% had visible signs of gum disease, 51% had visible caries with 38% currently experiencing dental pain
Look out for future blog posts describing the homeless dental service and how you can get involved. 

To see my full presentation from the day click here.

I'd love to hear about your experiences of treating homeless people, so please them in the comments!

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