Dentsply Sirona entered a four-year partnership with the iADH to improve oral care access for patients with disabilities.

Dentsply Sirona has entered a four-year partnership with the International Association for Disability & Oral Health (iADH) to advance access to oral care and improve oral health for patients with disabilities.

The initiative is part of the company’s sustainability strategy “Beyond: Taking Action for a Brighter World” in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion. Dentsply Sirona is also a sponsor of the upcoming iADH conference in Seoul, South Korea, in September 2024 which brings together experts from around the globe to share experiences and expertise on special care dentistry.

“Patients with disabilities as well as their caregivers face a lot of challenges when dental care is required – and it is our mission to find solutions and spread awareness,” said Dr Gustavo Molina, iADH president. “We are pleased to welcome Dentsply Sirona on board as a corporate partner, as our partnership will help advance the future of dental care for patients with disabilities by shining a light on this important topic.”

With more than 8,000 members worldwide, iADH advocates for equitable access to high quality oral healthcare for people with disabilities by facilitating exchange of good practice and encouraging and disseminating scientific research on this topic. The association has active research networks, organizes research competitions and hosts a biannual International Scientific Congress to provide a forum for researchers and clinicians to showcase their work. iADH has produced internationally recognised curricula to guide education and training in special care dentistry which are available for download.

“Care centers that specialize in treating patients with disabilities are still few and far between, leading in many cases to long travel times, complicated logistics and heightened stress for both patients and caregivers, while treatments can be too time-consuming and bring additional stress for these patients,” said Jörg Vogel, vice president of global sales, international special clinic solutions at Dentsply Sirona. “At Dentsply Sirona, we have been active in spreading knowledge on how this can be improved – for instance by hosting special care dentistry summits aimed at universities and dental schools and by working with professors and teachers at selected institutions to raise awareness for the topic and aid inclusion of special care dentistry into curricula.”

In addition to raising awareness for the topic of special care dentistry, Dentsply Sirona has provided The University of Pennsylvania with equipment that supports their Care Center for Persons with Disabilities, which provides customized oral health care treatment to patients with disabilities. Dentsply Sirona has helped equip the 12 operatories with treatment centers and X-ray units. The facility also includes treatment gurneys, a stimulation room with low lighting and sound baffling, wheelchair lifts, an orientation system for the visually impaired, and a radiology room. Several thousand patients are being treated there every year.

Photo of Jörg Vogel courtesy of Dentsply Sirona