KI-NTU joint research conference: the future of oral healthcare

Dental health has a lot to do with politics. Business attire compulsory.

This week was the second KI-NTU (Karolinska Institutet (KI), Sweden and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore) Joint Research Conference on Oral Health, entitled: “A new beginning: Transforming the future of oral healthcare.” The venue was at NDCS the National Dental Centre of Singapore.

Along with scientific talks by profs, clinicians, researchers and students, it was the opportunity to officially launch NDRIS, the National Dental Research Institute Singapore, a collaborative venture between KI, NTU and NDCS.

Panel directors of the new National Dental Research Institute in Singapore.

For this occasion, the presidents of KI and NTU presented the respective merits of each university, and their vision for the future: combining the high digitalization and technologies from NTU with the orthodontics excellence of KI.

Officials were there too, with the Ambassador of Sweden proudly reporting the average of 25 teeth in the mouths of 80-years old Swedish (we have 32 teeth, and at 80, usually not so many)).

To make this event grand and unique, special guest receptions, music performance (drums and lights at 9 am are questionable though), special staff for operating the lift, orienting the guests (between  2 rooms), orchids, presents, 2 entertaining toastmasters, goodies with LEGO dentists from NDCS…

Along with the impressive digitalization workflow presented by Dr. Yu Na (NDCS), the regenerative potential of fish skins by Dr Charles Lau (NDCS) and the biomaterial development by Prof Hanawa Takao (Tokyo Medical and Dental University), we also learned about the connections between oral health, brain and cancer by Prof Mats Trulsson (KI) and the impacts  of socio-economic factors, birth order  and maternal health by Prof Göran Dahllöf (KI).

It is thriving to see a community of engineers, clinicians, programmers and politicians, of all age, gender and nationality, putting combined efforts to address a global problem. And this without constraints: Coca-Cola and “the Big Sugar” was directly attacked several times during the workshop.

That being said, I wish there had been a toothbrush in the goodie bag.