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01 Nov 2009 | Australasian Dental Practice

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12th International Dental Congress on Modern Pain Control

By Dr Leon Gershenfeld

The triennial International Federation of Dental Anaesthesiologists (IFDAS) Congress was held on the Gold Coast in October. This 12th International Dental Congress on Modern Pain Control attracted well respected and widely published authors including Professors Stanley Malamed, John Meechan and Stephen Wilson, amongst many others. A total of 240 colleagues attended from 23 countries, dampened by the unusually high Australian dollar exchange rate and the swine flu pandemic. The program consisted of a newly designed simulation training module with real case medical emergency scenario management supervised by anaesthetist Dr Ken Harrison. This was followed by lectures from international speakers.

Associate Professor Douglas Stuart was elected the international president of IFDAS - a real honour for Australia.

The Organising committee is to be congratulated on their efforts in putting together such a multicultural event which ran like clockwork. Particular credit goes to A/ Professor Douglas Stuart, Dr Greg Mahoney, Dr Andre Viljoen, Dr James Grainger and Dr Jim Auld with a special thank you to Dr Ken Harrison for his invaluable enthusiasm and expertise.

The Australian Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia and Sedation in Dentistry (ASAAS) was formed in 1970 and was renamed as The Australian Society of Dental Anaesthesiology (ASDA) in 1990. Some of the aims of the society are to promote high standards of education, elevate the standards of anaesthesiology in dental practice and advance the art and science of pain and anxiety control.

It is well known that a high proportion of our population do not visit their dentist due to anxiety. Much progress has been made in both local anaesthetic pain control and systemic management of anxiety and numerous research projects are currently underway which will add to the knowledge base for the future.

There are a number of negotiations being held between the Australian Society of Dental Anaesthesiologists, the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists on the national consensus of dentists providing oral and intravenous sedation. Currently in Queensland, no distinction is made between oral or intravenous sedation and only registered dentists who have undergone formal postgraduate training are allowed to prescribe oral sedatives.

Sedation and anxiety management in dentistry is an essential aspect of dental practice. Used appropriately and within the recommended safety parameters, sedation offers invaluable adjunct benefits to our patients. It is important for all clinicians to increase their awareness and training for the safe provision of this vital service to our patients. It is also important for dentists to support ASDA in promoting education and well-being of sedation in dentistry.

The 13th IFDAS Congress is to be held in Hawaii in 2012.

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