President’s Message

—Dr Eric Carter

My engagement in hospitals, both workwise and socially, brings me into contact with Palliative care and Rehabilitation patients. The complexity of a longer life is easily seen and it reminds me of the increased need of us as highly experienced surgeons in the near and distant future. Our patients have had the advantage of maintaining their dentitions into retirement but the expense of keeping their often heavily restored I teeth and implants is frequently prohibitive and extractions and /or surgical removal is the only option. The assembled co-morbidities that are earned with age present challenges and this will be increasingly the case as time progresses.

This Association I hope will develop into a meeting place of supportive ideas, suggestions and discussions to meet the needs of future surgeons. It is a frequent lament of professionals that we are forced to work in isolation and I am hopeful that an active Association will help ally this problem.

Since the idea of the Association was envisaged I have been hopeful that the membership will be broad involving any person who has an interest in Oral Surgery. We are all aware that successful patient care invites cooperation and the input of many from reception to allied health care professionals. In short, the Association is a forum of ideas rather than a closed “club” for privileged “members”.

The diversity of information available via media, be it social or commercial, requires constant analysis as to reliability for practitioners. I am keen for this website to garner together peer reviewed information that is seen to be of benefit and usable for all practitioners as well as being a site of information regarding coming education events.

We are now seeing the longer-term results of the pioneering work that was a marvellous progression of care, the dento-alveolar implant. Unfortunately, this perceived panacea for edentureless ridges is not proving to be entirely the success story that was hoped for. Peri-Implantitis and rejection in the long term of implanted prostheses is frequently seen and the surgical repair of these failures requires collaboration of research and dental skills. The pathology associated with aging fixed implant supported prostheses is a whole new avenue of surgery just now in its infancy.

The modern day of Oral Surgery is just beginning. Grafting, modified grafts, periodontal tissue manipulation and skill with soft tissue management after tooth removal are all areas of research and novel practice. In addition, research into saliva markers for prediction of oral cancer and rapid periodontal disease are new projects in the making at the University of Sydney. The management of medication induced bone necrosis is a focus point of research at the Nepean Hospital in Sydney and this will be of increasing importance for our living but aging population.

Electronic collection of practical clinical data is a focus of the Faculty of Health at the University of Sydney and as an Association I want to attention to collection of data for research purposes and modification of treatment in effort to improve outcomes for our patients. There are over 50,000 minor Oral Surgery operations done each five years in most local health districts and this data can be collected if we have the mindfulness.

I welcome new members to the Association. We are interested in what is taking place in your workplace and hope you are willing to share it with us.