May 20, 2024

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Access to health technology is key to improving oral health in people with disabilities

Access to health technology is key to improving oral health in people with disabilities

Training in hygiene and oral health by health professionals, as well as families, caregivers, educational and residential centres, forms the central focus of the demands of the associations and entities that represent them.

Factors such as increased life expectancy mean that at some point, anyone is at risk of becoming a patient with physical, cognitive or sensory disabilities. These patients need special attention to their oral care, and how this affects their health and overall health These were some of the issues addressed at the conference “The Contribution of Health Technology to the Oral Health of People with Disabilities”, organized by the Technology and Health Foundation of the Spanish Federation of Health Technology Companies, FENIN; The Ortega Marañon Foundation (FOM); They are framed in initiatives promoted by the “Inter-University Head for Technology, Health and Society”.

In this meeting, in which various patient associations, management representatives, scientific associations and members of industry participated, such as the General Directorate of Public Health of the Community of Madrid, the Valencian Community of Plena Inclusion, the ASEM Federation, the Spanish Society of Dentistry and Prosthetics (SEPES), the International Association of Disability and Health ORAL (IADH) and ILUNION, it was discussed how, through the use of health technology that also targets this type of patient, Many of the most common diseases affecting this group can be treated..

“These types of meetings help raise awareness about the importance of providing a service that is tailored to each person’s characteristics and circumstances.”

Angela Paredes

Some dental clinics use specific technologies that are adapted to people with disabilities according to their condition.Although many patients do not know about its existence. Some of these technologies, such as digital diagnostic systems, dental equipment that allows a patient to be treated from the same wheelchair, rotary instruments with less acoustic impact, dental materials that reduce product application time, or conscious sedation systems, Allowing patients to be treated in complex situations while minimizing the risk of behavior change.

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Other products, such as splints to control teeth grinding or irrigators, which increase the effectiveness and ease of use in controlling plaque, Significantly improving the quality of life of these patients.

Angela ParedesPatron of the Technology and Health Foundation and member of the Board of Directors of the Dental Sector in Finnen, noted, “It is important for all agents involved in the oral care of these patients to jointly analyze their needs in order to offer them a more efficient approach. These types of meetings help Raising awareness about the value of providing a service adapted to the characteristics and circumstances of each person. Health technology is an essential tool to overcome barriers to treating oral diseases in people with disabilities.

“It is essential to know and enhance the context of the individual in front of us and include it in the development of technologies, as well as in clinical trials.”

Dr. Pedro De Dios

for him Dr. Guillermo PradesPresident of the Foundation of the Spanish Society of Prosthetic and Aesthetic Dentistry (SEPES), “We must continue to advance in order to adapt techniques that eliminate difficulties when treating people with disabilities and so that the same professionals with some disability can carry out their activity normally. It is also necessary to improve Communication between the dentist or oral hygienist and the patient in this way, Prades calls for development Protocols that specify how professionals provide oral care to these people.

he Doctor Pedro des Diosrepresentative of the International Association on Disability and Oral Health (IADH), an association specifically dedicated to addressing the oral health of people with disabilities, recalls why it is important to continue to adapt technology to this population: “In Spain there are four million people with disabilities, which makes it essential Knowing and enhancing the context of the individual in front of us and including it in the development of technologies, as well as in clinical trials So that they can also benefit from technological advancement.

“We must continue to advance adapted technologies that eliminate difficulties when treating people with disabilities.”

Dr. Guillermo Prades

Among the projects being successfully implemented, the efforts made by the Community of Madrid stand out It has various general benefits in terms of oral health for people with disabilitiesby providing oral care to all citizens of the region from 6 to 16 years of age under the Children's Dental Care Program, PADI, and up to 18 years of age for the rest of the population who have a recognized physical or mental disability that prevents them from receiving assistance in the traditional government. This care is performed at the Nino Jesús University Children's Hospital and the Gregorio Marañon General University Hospital..

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Representatives of patient associations stressed:The importance of raising awareness and training health personnel on caring for people with disabilitiesThat technologies are available to all types of people and that parents or caregivers have information about the services available to them for this type of care.