iTOP: The Sine Qua Non of Prevention

During the last five decades, measures to combat dental caries and periodontitis have been developed, tested, and implemented in many populations around the world. They are thought to have benefitted millions of people. Dental caries and periodontitis are the most common oral diseases and major causes of tooth loss.

Despite considerable efforts that have been made, a large part of the world’s population still suffers from these two oral diseases (Marcenes et al. 2013), which are the leading causes of tooth loss. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study (2016), severe periodontal disease was the 11th most prevalent condition in the world. The prevalence of periodontal disease was reported to range from 20% to 50% worldwide. Hence, it can be considered that prevention of these diseases is not being strongly addressed at individual levels.

Individually Trained Oral Prophylaxis (iTOP) is a pioneering concept by the late Czech dentist Dr Jiří Sedelmayer. It is the central pillar of oral health maintenance and has been implemented in dental practices worldwide. Effective regular mechanical plaque control, as the principal component of the iTOP concept, is a gold standard that can be achieved only in well-informed and trained individuals. It is of paramount importance for prevention and successful treatment as well as maintenance of results achieved following the therapy.

As one size does not fit us all, iTOP advocates an individual approach that is tailored to the unique needs of our patients. As such, it is highly effective in promoting positive behaviour and habits towards the prevention of the most common oral diseases, such as dental caries and periodontitis. iTOP – individually trained oral prophylaxis – is a method to learn optimal oral health management through hands-on training (T2T) on the use of selected tools and techniques.

 In the modern scenario with precision medicine and personalised Periodontology being stressed, iTOP can be considered to be fulfilling these principles as at its core are the three concepts: Acceptable, Atraumatic and Effective oral hygiene practice. Millions of dentists have been trained in this concept all over the world. The focus is on proper brushing technique and the use of interdental brushes the right way. One can see the difference within weeks of proper usage. iTOP is supported by the Swiss Company Curaden through their Curaprox range.

Sine qua non (requirement) is a word that motivates one to get something if one considers it positively. iTOP is definitely a requirement that is vital in daily oral hygiene practices.



About the Author:


Senior Lecturer (Periodontics), Faculty of Dentistry, SEGi University

Dr Bennete Fernandes, who graduated in 1999 and earned his Master’s in Periodontics in 2004, brings nearly 19 years of teaching experience following his Master’s degree. In 2019, he obtained his iTOP Basic (Introductory), Advanced, and Lecturer certifications. Furthermore, in 2022, he completed his Master’s presentation through Curaden Academy and earned certification as an iTOP Teacher/Educator. Dr Fernandes has served as a distinguished guest speaker at various international conferences and webinars. Before relocating to Malaysia, he spent over 11 years working in India, culminating in his role as a Professor at Srinivas Dental College, Mangalore, Karnataka. For the past eight years, he has been a valued member of the Faculty of Dentistry at SEGi University.

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