Dental Tribune Europe
Frankfurt was the stage for the annual iTOP Symposium. At the symposium, top-level prevention coaches honed their prophylaxis skills in order to then pass them on to dental students and other professionals. (Image: CURADEN)

“ITOP is not about brushing teeth; it is about achieving overall health”

von Kasper Mussche, DTI
January 28, 2020

FRANKFURT, Germany: If you have ever wondered how to instruct patients in perfect brushing habits and motivate them to actively implement them, look no further. ITOP—short for individually trained oral prophylaxis—is prophylaxis pioneer Dr Jiří Sedelmayer’s programme for perfect brushing and allows you to set up your patients for a lifetime of oral health. Last weekend, the programme’s head lecturers met in Frankfurt for their yearly recall, ensuring continuing top-level prevention education in their respective countries.

The iTOP concept is simple: through individual instruction, dental professionals teach patients correct oral hygiene and motivate them to sustain lifelong oral health. Forty top-level iTOP lecturers from 40 countries met in Frankfurt am Main for the annual iTOP Symposium, a yearly recall ensuring that each national team is perfectly up to date regarding technique and tools—one of them was sonic brushing, a topic coming up very often in daily practice. This yearly recall is essential to iTOP, as participants receive lectures and hands-on training to refine their skills and have the opportunity to learn from one another, so that they, in turn, can teach dentists and dental students how to be prevention coaches to patients.

Brushing redefined

Two things make the programme especially interesting for dental professionals who want to bring structured prevention to their practices. First of all, iTOP’s “touch to teach” motto means participants learn optimal biofilm management through hands-on training, avoiding the use of dental models and focusing solely on real-life practice, using only the right tools and the most efficient, atraumatic brushing techniques. Secondly, the holistic iTOP philosophy aims at “putting the mouth back in the body”. Oral and general health are inseparably linked, and by keeping our mouths perfectly healthy, we can keep our bodies in optimal health as well. Consequently, iTOP is currently being instructed in 15 universities as part of the regular curriculum. “ITOP is not just about brushing teeth; it is as much about overall health,” said iTOP Chief Instructor Dr Lucie Sedelmayer, welcoming attendees to the symposium.

Sedelmayer’s legacy

The principles and philosophy behind iTOP were developed by Czech dentist and researcher Dr Jiří Sedelmayer. He developed the techniques taught at the seminars in such a way that they complemented the flaws and knowledge gaps in prophylaxis education. His methods have been published internationally and he personally gave over 1,000 seminars worldwide, to over 26,500 participants in more than 70 countries. Sedelmayer passed away in July last year, but his legacy and passion for oral health continue to live on in the iTOP programme and its instructors. Or as Sedelmayer himself put it: “Lifelong tooth preservation is realistic under the supervision of a specialist who is knowledgeable about effective and non-traumatic tools and techniques.”

Dentists interested in taking part in an iTOP seminar can visit www.itop-dental.com/en/seminars.

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