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HMC dentistry to go high-tech soon.

LANI ROSE R DIZON DOHA THE Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) Dentistry Department at the Rumailah Hospital will introduce a Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD-CAM) technology in three months.

The new system will enhance the department's capacity in producing different types of dental restorations for the patients by using a robotic technology in making crowns, veneers, inlays, fixed bridges, dental implant restorations and orthodontic appliances, among others.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Dr Henno Rainer-Reginald Miethke, senior consultant and chairman of the dentistry department at Rumailah Hospital, said that the new CAD-CAM technology boasts of high-quality precision.

Dr Ghanim Ali al Mannai, consultant and assistant chairman at the Rumailah Hospital's dentistry department said, "With the new system, it would be much faster to make dental appliances because the job would be done by a computer robot as compared to the conventional manual method." Miethke further said the department recently installed a state-of-the-art 3D computer x-ray machine -- the only one in a public dental hospital in Qatar.

"Besides giving dentists a better understanding of a patient's disease, the new machine is safer for the patient because it has minimal radiation level as compared to the traditional one.

And all pictures generated are clearer," Mannai said.

About 10,000 patients are being seen at the dentistry department at the Rumailah Hospital each month. Last year, the department treated 98, 825 patients.

Miethke said that root canal treatments were the most common cases seen at the department, and are followed by orthodontic cases.

He also said, "Orthodontic treatment, or the straightening of the teeth, is becoming more in demand.

And we're having more adult patients now. In earlier times, it was something more for the children and adolescents. But now we're having many adults aged between 20 and 30 years going for the treatment. Age is not a limit for orthodontics anymore. And I believe the age range will further increase. My oldest patient in Germany was over 70 years when she came for her orthodontic treatment. It's an indication for vitality." According to Mannai, there were 99 dentists working at the Rumailah Hospital's dentistry department, including 87 Qatari dentists, 12 non-Qatari dentists and 17 dentists currently on post-graduate studies in the US and the UK.

The department caters to six specialties including orthodontics for straightening teeth, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics (dentures, bridges and restoration of implants), periodontics (placement and maintenance of dental implants and for the gums), oral medicine and maxillofacial surgery.

Mannai also said, "We run 51 speciality clinics including 38 at the Rumailah and 13 at the OPD annex over two shifts from 7am to 3pm and 4pm to 10pm. Also, in collaboration with the HMC Centre for Healthcare Improvement, we have now adopted a new patient screening system to categorise patients into urgent and non-urgent cases to give more priority to patients requiring immediate attention. We used to have the appointments made on a first-come-first basis before." Patients coming to the department must have a referral from the Primary Healthcare Centre or from any private hospital in order to secure an appointment.

The average waiting period is four months.

"The HMC has signed for an electronic medical record system, and with this, the department will have specialised software for dentistry which will be connected to other hospitals including Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakrah Hospital, Outpatient Department Annex, Rumailah Hospital and Primary Healthcare Centres.

So, the patients' records will be available in the hospitals they visit," Mannai added.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Apr 12, 2012
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