Getting to know the winner: Dr Naveed Sadiq | The Perio Link Award

29 November 2021

About Dr Naveed Sadiq

Dr Naveed Sadiq
Dr. Naveed completed MPH with distinction (Gold Medal) soon after graduating as a dentist. During his master’s program, he competed and successfully secured the Fulbright Scholarship for a PhD in Health Services Policy & Management from the University of South Carolina, USA. Upon return, he served as a Health Policy Fellow at the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination, Islamabad, Pakistan and later joined Prime Institute of Public Health, Peshawar, Pakistan as an Assistant Professor (AP). Then he joined Institute of Public Health, Khyber Medical University, Pakistan as an AP and has been serving here to date. Dr. Naveed has interests in Health Reforms, Health Policy analysis, Health Services Administration, and Oral Health.
Oral health is the most neglected part of the human body. Most people compromise on it and could never imagine how oral health would impact their general health.
Dr Naveed Sadiq

The SUNSTAR Perio Link Award aims to raise awareness about the link between oral health and general health among the general public and to bring together the scientists making a significant impact in their field and the public. All the videos in the “Perio Link Award 2021” playlist explain the main findings of the scientific paper published by the authors on this link. The public voted for their preferred video and the award, sponsored by the Sunstar Foundation, was conferred to the author with the most “likes”.

The winner of the 2nd edition of the Perio Link Award is the video explaining the paper “The role of dental insurance in mitigating mortality among working-age U.S. adults with periodontitis” by Dr Sadiq et al. The assumption Dr Sadiq’s team made – and was later confirmed by the study – is that dental insurance might be instrumental in granting access to dental care and therefore reducing the associated all-cause mortality risk in adults with periodontitis. Watch the one-minute video winner here.

Why is dental insurance key for oral care?

We exchanged with Dr. Sadiq and asked some questions about his paper and the implications of his findings, the Perio Link Award and his views on the oral health & dental health education and awareness.

1) What brought you and your team to the topic of your article?

The literature talked about how poor oral health affects the general health to the extent that one may experience death. But all the literature ignored a major confounding factor, access to dental health services. Furthermore, there was ample literature available on health insurance, an indicator for access to health services, that it saves lives as compared to those who do not have access to health services. But there was no study that examined the effect of dental insurance on mortality especially among people with periodontitis. Thus, we thought it would be better to explore this association.

2) What are the implications/applications of your article?

Access to dental health services is the call of the day. All the countries that are trying to implement universal health coverage must include dental health services along with the health services as a part of a complete package to ensure general well-being as a result of good oral health.

3) What do you think of the Perio Link contest, and what did you do to promote your video?

I really like the idea of Perio Link Contest. I was actually advertising my own research with an incentive to receive an award, if won. The best thing about the contest was that the videos were very short and this made everyone listen to my video message. As a result, people asked to share my published paper with them, thus creating further awareness for oral health among both the general public and the dental health professionals.

When I got nominated for the contest, I decided to make an international campaign. I created tailored messages according to the targeted audience over various social media that were shared around the globe. I am very much thankful to my family and friends who played a vital role in this success.

4) Is there an anecdote that happened to you or your team during your journey that led to the publication of this paper (from the idea of the study to publication) that you would like to share?

The research got out for publication 5 years after publishing my dissertation. This was a long journey. When I sent the manuscript for publication, apparently it seemed like the reviewers were trying to learn from my experience. Most of the responses to the comments pertained to educating the reviewers on the topic in addition to the little tweaks that were recommended.

5) If you could give the readers one take home message, what would it be?

Oral health is the most neglected part of the human body. Most people compromise on it and could never imagine how oral health would impact their general health. In the past, research was focused on how oral diseases affected the general and systemic health. Now there is a need to focus on how preventing an oral disease may translate into a healthy and long life. More specifically, access to dental health services may help populations to obtain both preventive and curative treatments for oro-dental diseases to nip the evil in the bud.

Watch the one-minute video here.