Port Douglas and the ADAQ

Part of the arduous duty of being the ADA’s Clinical Media Advisor is undertaking perilous trips to the outer reaches of the Commonwealth to secure precious hours of  lifelong learnings (and continuing educations!). I also get the opportunity to interview the best and brightest our profession has to offer for Federal ADA’s popular ‘Dental Files’ CD series, an audio programme for dentists to listen to in their cars on their way to and from work.

In August (24/25) it was off to balmy Port Douglas for the Queensland Dental Association’s annual conference, where CEO Paul Andrews and his team made us feel very welcome. Presentations I enjoyed included

Future Shock, or Live Long and Prosper?: The changing faces of the dental profession in Australia by Professor Laurie Walsh; Laurie’s lecture focused on the b-i-g mistake made about 12 years ago in trying to predict future dental workforce needs. Turns out, whoever compiled the stats back then didn’t get any accurate information from any dental schools, and produced misleading predictions about how many dentists would graduate and enter the workforce. We’re now getting at least as many dentists from overseas as we graduate each year in Australia, and for the most part they’re staying in the cities. By 2014, we’ll have 230 dentists a year too many for the population. Laurie also presented information about the cost of a ‘denticare scheme’, if it worked like for example, other government schemes, such as the DVA scheme. He thought it might cost $14.1 billion, with an increase in the medicare levy to 6-7%. Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon…

Hot New Drugs and Hot News about Old Drugs, for the Dental Profession with Dr Geraldine Moses; I met Geraldine for the first time and found her a very knowledgeable and friendly pharmacist. Her comprehensive lecture covered the new anticoagulant drugs (dabigatran, rivaroxaban and apixaban), and antiplatelet drug (ticagrelor), a drug for osteoporosis (denosumab), and krill oil, which I was grateful for, because I could at least pronouce ‘krill oil’.
She also spoke about some older medications, and problems dentists might find with them. researchers have identified people with an inherited sensitivity to Codeine, which metabolizes to morphine. These ‘ultra-rapid-metabolizes’ are at risk of acute overdose, and perhaps death, because they are really really good at using codeine. Other patients without this genetic susceptibility can take heaps of codeine and not really notice much effect at all.

A really interesting new formulation combines Ibuprofen with paracetamol in the same tablet (‘Nuromol®’) – it’s a New Zealand invention, not available here yet, but should be a really good alternative to current drug combinations.
Geraldine is the pharmacist contracted to the Queensland ADA to provide a phone-based drug information service for ADAQ members-a great initiative, one we should have here ins NSW as well.

An Overview of Porcelain Veneers Dr Michael Mandikos;

Managing the Stressed Patient, Dr Anne-Maree Cole;

Health Reform & Private Dental Practice – An overview of what is it all about? Dr Murray Thomas;

and Implants for the Management of the Edentulous Patient… …Modern concepts Dr Tony Rotondo

Apart from leaving the lights on in the rental car and getting a flat battery while having a welcome bite at Nautilus with producer Michael Vandiver and partner Laura, we had a great time and learned a lot.


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