Fira de Barcelona is organizing a new event that will focus on all issues related with oral health, and not just with the teeth and mouth. From 11 to 13 May the Gran Via site is hosting the first OralthBcn, which expands on the former Fórum Dental.

“The treatment of illnesses which originate in the oral cavity means that we have to open up a wider area of action, which means involving all professionals who are associated with oral health, from dentists to oncologists, but also bringing in speech therapists and nutritionists in order to make OralthBcn a useful tool for their continuous training”. This is the firm opinion of Doctor Ernest Mallat, president of the scientific committee of OralthBcn and of the Sociedad Catalana de Odontología y Estomatología (SCOE).

Open wider

Unlike the Dental Forum, which had focussed on training, research and the work of dentists, dental hygienists, prosthetics and speech therapists in its last nine editions, the new OralthBcn is widening its scope to include other health professionals, who treat a range of conditions that may have their origins in the mouth. This means that questions such as oral cancer or dysphagia will be addressed, respectively by speakers of great international prestige such as doctor Samman Warnakulasuriya, professor emeritus at Kings College London and one of Europe’s top experts on oral cancer, or doctor Pere Clavé, specialist in Digestive surgery and Digestive Neurophysiology at the Hospital of Mataró and one of the foremost experts on the treatment of dysphagia in the world.

In this context, well-known figures such as the actors Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer or the director Jonathan Demme, recently deceased, were in the news due to being sufferers of different types of cancer of the mouth. Doctor Warnakulasuriya warns us that “this disease is increasing around the world, but it can be reduced through public education and effective control measures applied to the main risk factors”. These include smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and the human papilloma virus (HPV), transmitted through sexual contact. Dr. Warnakulasuriya, however, is optimistic because “an early diagnosis of the disease improves the chances of survival” and considers in this sense that “dentists and professionals in oral health can play a key role in the adoption of preventive measures” in relation with these illnesses.

Trends, technology and business

The prestigious oncologist is one of the fifty speakers taking part in OralthBcn, who will tackle other problems such as nutrition or the application of new technologies in the design and manufacture of dental prosthetics, among other questions, in a scientific programme that is organized in three main transversal tracks that cover trends, technology and business.

The Fair has the support of the main associations and colleges that represent the professionals in these sectors in Catalonia and other autonomous communities, and the event includes a range of seminars and workshops for different professional groups such as speech therapists, oral hygienists, clinical auxiliaries and dental prosthetists.

The contents of OralthBcn are complemented by Oralth Arena, an area where the exhibitors can display their latest advances through demonstrations and presentations that allow for lively, dynamic interaction with visitors.

E. PÉREZ MOYA