ITOP developer Jiří Sedelmayer dies at 73
Today, Swiss oral health company CURADEN is commemorating collaborator and friend Dr Jiří Sedelmayer, who passed away last week aged 73, having lived a life richly filled with research, teaching and family. A champion of prophylaxis, Sedelmayer founded the individually trained oral prophylaxis (iTOP) programme, teaching students and dental professionals correct oral care for disease prevention. His influence in dentistry cannot be overstated: together with his beloved wife, Lucie, Sedelmayer contributed to a world where dentists are teachers and patients stay healthy.
CURADEN owner and President Ueli Breitschmid first met Sedelmayer in person at the end of October 1995—after more than ten years of working together. “I attended a lecture by Jiří in Prague at his invitation,” Breitschmid said. “More than 400 people followed his lecture breathlessly, laughed often and applauded frenetically in the end. In this single moment, I understood that I was dealing with a special person and I decided for myself: this man can change the world. On this day in Prague, Jiří and I decided to strengthen oral health prevention together. We designed the CURAPROX CPS prime for primary prevention. Jiří developed the Interdental Access Probe and Chart. Soon afterwards, we renamed Jiří’s prevention school ‘iTOP’.”
Sedelmayer and his wife trained thousands of dentists and hundreds of iTOP teachers. They in turn trained dentists from Brazil, Japan, Russia, the US and the whole of Europe. In total, Sedelmayer certified around 100 instructors, who are now active worldwide and convey his messages and teach his methods using CURAPROX products.
“I just know that the hierarchy of dentistry was in dire need of change,” Sedelmayer said in a 2017 interview, regarding the conception of iTOP. “Prosthetics aren’t the most important, fillings aren’t the most important, or endodontics or implantology. The most important is perfect brushing. Real dentistry as it exists now actually just concentrates on repair, whether it admits it or not. Prophylaxis isn’t valued in the current curricula of dentistry across the world, or it is only valued minimally, and that has to change.”