The 2021 ECG Research Award, sponsored by bredent, was attributed to a study presented by Dr Angela Stillhart from the Clinic of General, Special Care, and Geriatric Dentistry, Centre of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland with the topic: “Thermographic images for screening oral health problems in older adults: A pilot study”.
This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility in using facial thermograms of older adults to detect intraoral problems. It concluded that thermographic facial imaging may be a feasible tool for screening oral health problems in vulnerable older adults with/without cognitive decline and care-resistant behaviors. The technique is easy to perform and is independent of patient compliance. Further large-scale studies are warranted for optimizing the acquisition of thermal images with higher resolution through simpler techniques, as well as incorporating AI-support for image capture and analysis
The research team consisted of Dr Angela Stillhart, Dr Lea Angst, Dr Hansmartin Spatzier, and Professor Murali Srinivasan from the Centre of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich.