Globally, oral diseases continue to be the most common chronic disease. According to recent global burden of disease studies, oral conditions affected 3.5 billion people and accounted for 18.3 million disability-adjusted life years. Untreated caries was also the most prevalent health condition worldwide, affecting 2.3 billion people.1,2 In terms of economic burden, oral diseases ranked fourth among all diseases.3 Increasingly, oral diseases have also been associated with other non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and they share common risk factors such as obesity, smoking, diet and physical inactivity. Recognising this, the World Health Organization Global Health Programme recommends that oral disease prevention and promotion of oral health be integrated with chronic diseases prevention and general health promotion.In Singapore, oral diseases such as periodontal disease and dental caries are also highly prevalent. A recent study revealed that 31 per cent of Singaporean residents above 60 years of age were completely edentulous.4 With our rapidly ageing population, a higher prevalence of chronic, including oral diseases, is expected. This will put increasing demands and challenges on the healthcare system. To ensure long-term healthcare system sustainability, a transformation of our healthcare ecosystem, which encompasses integrated and state-of-the-art oral health management, is needed.To enable this transformation, the National Dental Research Institute Singapore is established to develop novel effective therapies for common chronic diseases, leverage technology to increase efficiency and introduce new care models to improve health in the community.
1 GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Lancet 2018.
2 GBD 2017 DALYs and HALE Collaborators. Lancet 2018.
3 World Health Organization.
4 Chiu C, et al. Gerodontology. 2017.
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