Posted on February 24, 2016

Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Pediatric Dentistry service is continuously undergoing improvements to ensure patients receive the highest quality of oral health care, said Dr. Sahar Mubarak Al-Asam, Consultant Pediatric Dentist at the Dental Clinic in Rumailah Hospital. HMC’s Dentistry Department – which Pediatric Dentistry is part of - is a key element in the overall healthcare delivery system for Qatar. “At the Pediatric Dentistry Department, we have recently joined the Cerner Clairvia system which is a world recognized solution that leads to increased quality of care,” Dr. Al-Asam said.

“The new appointment system of making phones calls to patients, through HMC’s call center, to inform them about their appointments in our clinics has greatly improved our services. Also, the digital radiography system recently introduced at the Dentistry Department has helped our department to ensure better documentation of patients' files,” she said. According to Dr. Al-Asam the introduction of these new systems as well as continuous medical education of physicians, have contributed to improved services at HMC’s Dentistry Department.

“Dentists at HMC are mostly specialist dentists who have undergone rigorous further training beyond what is required for a first dental degree. This qualifies them to deliver treatment beyond the scope of general dentists,” she said, recalling: “HMC has signed an agreement with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2015 so its dentists can obtain a Fellowship Program in Pediatric Dentistry and become specialists in the field for the benefit of patients in Qatar.”

Dr. Al-Asam, who began her career as an intern at HMC in 1999, is one of the distinguished Qataris who have excelled in the field of medical profession. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Surgery from the Faculty of Medicine of Kasr El Aini, Cairo University in 1996 and later obtained a Master's degree in Microbiology from Boston University-Goldman School of Dental Medicine, as well as passed a specialist residency program in Pediatric Dentistry from the same university from the year 2000 to 2002. She became a consultant in 2010.

She has also completed a one-year quality and safety fellowship program at the US-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) from June 2014 to June 2015. Dr. Al-Asam also took part in a summer course on clinical effectiveness at Harvard School of Public Health as part of the IHI program. To ensure effectiveness of services offered by pediatric dentists at HMC, Dr. Al-Asam urged parents to take their children’s oral health care seriously by ensuring they see a pediatric dentist as early as possible.

“The practice of oral hygiene in children improves more after seeing a pediatric dentist, who specializes in the oral care of infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special needs. Here in Qatar, people need more education about the importance of taking their children to visit a pediatric dentist during the first year of life,” she noted. “We in the pediatric dentistry field usually want our patients to understand that ‘one plus one can equal zero’, which means one baby tooth plus one pediatric dental visit equal zero cavities in their children,” she noted adding that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also advises parents to seek pediatric dentist’s advice as soon as their children grows their first tooth.