by Jennifer Harman, Editor
JH: Tell us a bit about yourself and your current focus of research
KD: My name is Dr Kunaal Dhingra. I am currently working as an Associate Professor in the Division of Periodontics at the Centre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. I hold membership of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. In addition, I am a member of Cochrane India Network, IADR Kulzer Travel Award Committee, Task and Finish Group of European Association of Dental Public Health, Expert Advisory Network of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, and Policy Network of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. My current research interests include conducting clinical trials, systematic reviews and epidemiological studies in periodontology and exploring the use of artificial intelligence for periodontal applications.
JH: What do you think is the most fascinating recent development in oral health?
KD: The research on the use of artificial intelligence for the diagnosis and prognosis of oral cancers and periodontal diseases is a significant recent development in dentistry. Furthermore, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has introduced the concept of remote pathology laboratory reporting and digital dental education. Digital technologies in the form of scanning and 3D printing are now playing a massive role in restorative dentistry.
JH: Is there an area of oral health that you think is currently under-explored?
KD: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on oral health is currently under-explored. The COVID-19 infected patient may experience changes in oral mucosal condition and periodontal status, which needs further exploration to understand the association.
JH: Where do you see (or where would you like to see) the oral health field in 10 years from now?
KD: The oral health field is progressing at a rapid rate. In the next ten years, I envision further research and the use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence in dentistry for the benefit of patients in terms of accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. In addition, there is a further need for research on surgical innovations such as augmented reality and robotics to advance the dental surgical field further.
JH: What does it mean to you to be an Editorial Board Member (EBM) for BMC Oral Health?
KD: BMC Oral Health considers articles on all aspects of the prevention, diagnosis and management of disorders of the mouth, teeth and gums, as well as related molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and epidemiology. The journal's wide scope allows me to handle manuscripts dealing with various aspects of dentistry, including basic and clinical research. In addition, the journal has a diverse board of international expert editors, allowing me to grow my network.
JH: What is one piece of advice you would give to reviewers as an EBM handling manuscripts?
KD: The reviewers need to review the manuscript according to BMC Oral Health guidelines and the relevant reporting guidelines for conducting the submitted research, which will ultimately help to improve the quality of published research. The comments by reviewers should be written in a clear and detailed manner for the authors and editorial board to understand the quality of the submitted manuscript.
JH: What is one piece of advice you would give to the authors of submitted manuscripts?
KD: The authors need to submit the manuscript according to BMC Oral Health guidelines and the relevant reporting guidelines for conducting the submitted research, which will ultimately help to improve the quality of published research.
JH: What would you change in scientific publishing if you could?
KD: I would encourage the development of artificial intelligence tools to help rapid reviewing of manuscripts. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the trend of authors posting their research work priorly on pre-print platforms. Collaboration between journals and pre-print platforms is needed to enable uploading of pre-print manuscripts directly into the journal submission site for further reviewing and avoiding the spread of misinformation (if any) through non-peer-reviewed pre-print manuscripts.