Research and serving people has always been a driving force for Dr Nermin to set and achieve higher goals.
Professor Dr Nermin Tarhan, Vice Dean and Professor, Department of Periodontology, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, believe that the foundation for any field is research. Her journey continued even after achieving her Master’s degree in the field of periodontology. To understand the complexity of periodontal diseases, pathogenesis and peri-implant inflammation, Dr Nermin explored molecular mechanisms of connective tissue destruction, saliva, gingival crevicular fluid, laboratory-based diagnostic measures and uncovered critical areas during her Master’s program in Biochemistry.
Dr Nermin sets an impeccable example for using research as a driving force for novice discoveries in dentistry.
She has achieved around 4 International research awards, invited on multiple forums for speech related to the field of advanced periodontology, and more than 800 citations have been listed under her name. Her strong command in research and dentistry integrated her with World Dental Federation (FDI) to serve as a Member of the Dental Practice Committee and Education Committee and as FDI Councillor in interprofessional education, workforce planning, patient safety, dentist-patient relationship and Evidence-based dentistry.
Periodontal disease and COVID
Her expertise in micro bacterial inhabitation in the oral cavity and associated oral disease assisted her with novice discoveries regarding COVID and its systemic effects.
She reported, “Poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease are known to be associated with nosocomial pneumonia, a life-threatening respiratory tract infection.”
She discovered that the excessive amount of ACE inhibitors in salivary glands mediate the SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect human cells in the respiratory tract and some areas of the mouth. Hence, patients with extensive periodontal disease should be at a higher risk for intensive care and ventilation support.
Therefore, many dentists recommend following proper oral hygiene procedures such as tooth brushing, interproximal hygiene and tongue cleaning that play a protective role in reducing the viral load in the oral cavity.
In the light of the above, Dr Nermin furthered her research and concluded, “the best way to combat COVID and its variant is through teledentistry.” This branch assists for dental treatment, guidance, and patient and professional education by using information technologies instead of face-to-face contact with patients who need dental care. This way, maximum patients will be screened before entering a clinical intervention, and we would be able to maintain a better hygienic environment.
Message for Potential Women
Dr Nermin feels, “the overgrowing number of publications is a clear indicator that there is no significant lack of female researchers in the dental field. However, in certain specialities, the female researchers and leaders are limited due to external obstacles.”
In her opinion, instead of female researchers, greater support and encouragement is needed to uplift well defined female leaders who can guide, drive effective solution and adds a different perspective in investigations. Hence, the growing number of female dentists will get proper support and guidance to contribute significantly to research society, explore diverse directions and achieve superior positions.
In her opinion, instead of female researchers, greater support and encouragement is necessary to uplift well defined female leaders who can guide, drive effective solution and adds a different perspective in investigations. Hence, proper support and guidance should be provided to the growing number of female dentists to contribute significantly to research society, explore in diverse directions and achieve superior positions.