Winning conference bid highlights need for special care dentistry

The Irish Society for Disability and Oral Health (ISDH) has secured the right to host the biannual International Conference for Disability and Oral Health (IADH) in Dublin in 2026.

The conference will make Ireland the focus of dental care for people with disabilities, with more than 700 delegates anticipated to attend the conference in Trinity College Dublin.

“The hosting of this global conference in Ireland in 2026 is particularly relevant and timely as it will coincide with the implementation of the National Oral Health Policy under slaintecare and Ireland will hold the Presidency of the EU Council at that time,” said Dr Siobhan Stapleton, President of ISDH.

People with disabilities face multiple barriers to accessing oral health services from service delivery to inadequately trained workforce to finance and leadership. Professor Alison Dougall, President of IADH, said: “Oral health has been overlooked for too long in many countries for those with disabilities and this has invariably had a negative impact on their oral health.”

Supporting education and advancements in oral care are key components in highlighting the need for equity and dignity for people with disabilities. The conference will offer an international scientific program with world-class keynote speakers and a showcase of the best available research in special care dentistry.

“Quality oral healthcare should also be people-centred which considers the preferences and aspirations of individual service users and the culture of their community,” said Professor Dougall, “and therefore ISDH will wish to engage with all key stakeholders for this conference, in particular patient advocates, to further highlight the gaps we currently face in oral health inequalities for vulnerable groups.”

ISDH acknowledged the support and assistance from the HSE, universities, disability groups and the Department of Health in securing this conference for Ireland.

“Our sincere hope is that the hosting of this global event in Ireland will highlight the need for special care dentistry and help secure a brighter oral health future for those living with disabilities,” said Professor Blanaid Daly, Head of Dental Science at Trinity College.

Published: 7 September, 2022 at 12:08