News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Passionate Oral Health Advocated Key Note Speaker For Day

Passionate Oral Health Advocated Key Note Speaker For Day

A Dunedin professor and prolific researcher will be the key note speaker at “The Big Day In”, an annual educational day for dental professionals, in Hamilton tomorrow (Friday 24 January).

It is highly likely Prof Murray Thomson will drop in the F word (fluoride) at some stage during his presentation as he has been a passionate advocate for community water fluoridation for a number of years.

But that is just one component of oral health which Prof Thomson cares about.

The Professor of Dental Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Otago is well known for his contributions in several areas of dentistry, most notably the natural history of oral conditions (and associated disparities) in both young people and older adults.

During his talk at Waiora Waikato hospital campus, he will talk about the longitudinal study of a birth cohort of children who were born at the Queen Mary Hospital, Dunedin, New Zealand (NZ) between 1 April 1972 and 31 March 1973.

The sample that formed the basis for the longitudinal study was 1037 children who were assessed within a month of their third birthdays. Periodic collections of health and developmental data (including dental examinations) have been undertaken since then, and this study uses data collected from assessments conducted at ages 15, 18, 21, 26 and 32.

In a recent article Prof Thomson said more than 5000 New Zealand children per year have to undergo dental treatment under general anaesthesia because they have too much decay. Maori and poor children are over-represented, he said.

Of equal concern is the decay rate over time among older people residing in nursing homes which is more than double that seen among those in their own homes. Among those with dementia, it is twice as high again.

The Big Day In event was started by Waikato DHB principal dental officer Dr Rob Aitken in 2008.

Past speakers have included clinical psychologist Nigel Latta who presented on “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teeth” which focused on children’s temperament and personality, and the implications for dental staff.

Dr Aitken works hard each year to put together a programme that is relevant and interesting.

“There is much to celebrate in dentistry, with huge changes in services in the past few years, including a new oral health model and new state-of-the-art dental clinics and mobile dental units for schools.

“Having nearly 70 per cent support in the recent Hamilton City Council referendum around community water fluoridation was also a highlight while the city council’s decision to delay putting it back in was ”very disappointing”, he said.

More than 200 people from around the region will attend the Big Day In.

Other speakers include Mr Simon Lou and Dr Andrew Mackie who will discuss unusual clinical situations and advise dental professionals attending this year’s Big Day In how to recognise and diagnose the unusual and the next steps in correct referral and treatrment.

An example of this is a child presenting with a gap where a tooth should be and finding out why the tooth has not come through.

“It’s around things that go bump in the night,” said Dr Aitken.

Waikato DHB chief executive Craig Climo, an ardent supporter of community water fluoridation as well, will open the event at 9am.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news