We are proud to announce that the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future has been working on the creation of a caries-focused special edition of the British Dental Journal. This issue, edited by Professor Nigel Pitts, will be published today (17th December 2021) by the BDJ, and is available open access at https://www.nature.com/bdj/.
The caries focused edition brings together a range of papers covering the wider theme of Collaborations around Caries, sharing eight stories from and about our colleagues, supporters, and their collaborators from around the world and their collaborative contributions to advancing understanding in caries and related health policy.
(Pictured: the international attendees of the first collaboratory ACFF Dental Policy Lab in 2017)
The papers aim to highlight ways in which progress is being made in the caries space by the ACFF. The span of the papers also highlights the diverse range of people and organisations playing their part in the fight to address caries to improve oral and wider health. The issue aims to highlight how there are still significant opportunities available to build on the work outlined in these stories and to continue to make real and necessary progress towards a cavity-free future.
The edition opens with the editorial Collaborations around Caries – in order to improve oral health, healthcare and health by ACFF Global Chairman, Nigel Pitts, which introduces the themes and topics that will be further explored in the eight following papers.
Caries and Collaborations in Context, Nigel B Pitts
This paper discusses why individuals and organisations collaborate towards “service to society”/“making a difference”/“making the world a better place” and explains why impactful collaboration is complicated, but highly desirable, and what aspects are needed for it to successful.
Understanding Caries as an “NCD”, Nigel B Pitts, Svante Twetman, Julian Fisher, Philip D Marsh
In this paper, the authors demonstrate the complexity of caries as a disease and how, with the new knowledge gained from scientific research, multiple stakeholders have to adjust their strategies for both prevention and care.
Dental Policy Lab 1 – Towards a Cavity-Free Future, Chris Vernazza, Nigel B Pitts, Catherine Mayne, Marco E Mazevet
Although many dental professionals argue that prevention of oral diseases, including dental caries, will benefit both the patient and public finances, a paradigm shift has yet to happen in most countries. The literature has demonstrated that caries prevention and control is possible, but authorities have yet to implement health systems that allow patients to stay in a good health state. This paper explains what a Policy Lab is how the first ACFF Dental Policy Lab in 2017 sought to identify the main barriers for change and create concreate actions to facilitate a policy shift towards increased resource allocation in prevention.
Dental Policy Lab 2 – Towards Paying for Health in Dentistry, Marco E. Mazevet, Nigel B Pitts, Catherine Mayne
The second Dental Policy Lab focused on the need for a review of dental payment systems and how we can create and implement acceptable prevention-based dental payment systems to achieve and maintain health outcomes.
Dental Policy Lab 3 – Towards Oral and Dental Health through Partnership, Nigel B Pitts, J Tim Newton, Ross Pow, Nicholas Miller, Catherine Mayne
The third Dental Policy Lab delved into how dental and oral health industries could benefit from enabling positive behaviour change in patients and the public, allowing progress towards caries reduction.
From “ICDAS” to “CariesCare International”: the 20-year journey building international consensus to take caries evidence into clinical practice, Nigel B Pitts, Avijit Banerjee, Marco E Mazevet, Guy Goffin, Stefania Martignon
By investigating 20 years of work, this paper explores how it is possible for groups of dental researchers and educators from many countries to collaborate voluntarily to understand the best evidence, harmonise methods and build a consensus approach to clinical diagnosis, prevention and management of caries process.
The Calcivis Story – Enamel Caries Activity Assessment: from Technology to Practice, Nigel B Pitts, Chris Longbottom, Adam Christie, Bruce Vernon, Graham Bailey
This paper explores the 16-year journey of innovation and collaboration to deliver a new technology capable of helping dentists improve patient care through solving an unmet clinical need in assessing the activity of caries lesions in enamel.
New UK Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future, Nigel B Pitts, Avijit Banerjee
The final paper delves into how the UK is now poised, with the launching of the ACFF’s 29th Chapter, to be able to benefit from the accumulated knowledge of the decades of international work outlined in the other papers of this issue, with the overall aim of improving oral and wider health in the UK.
(Pictured: Profs Nigel Pitts and Avijit Banerjee sign the ACFF UK Chapter declaration in October 2021)
We would like to thank everyone involved in the creation of this edition of the BDJ and in the projects and initiatives covered by the contents. We encourage you to access the issue and hope that you find it enjoyable and interesting reading.
If you have any questions about the ACFF or any of the topics mentioned in this Special Issue then please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.