Upon graduation with a BDS in 1978, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Ishak Abdul Razak started his dental career as a tutor at the Dental Faculty, University of Malaya. After gaining his postgraduate training (DDPHRCS, MSc, PhD), he rose through the ranks of Lecturer and Associate Professor. He was appointed to the Chair of Community Dentistry in 1992 and made Senior Professor in 2003. He has also served as the Vice Chancellor of Vinayaka Missions International University College.
He had lectured extensively to numerous professional organizations and institutions both locally and internationally. He is/has been a member of the editorial board of various prestigious dental journals including Community Dental Health UK, Tropical Dental Journal, France, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health and Chief Editor of the Annals of Dentistry. He had also served as advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dental Division, Brunei Darussalam. He is the longest serving member of the Malaysian Dental Council and has been its Chairman of the Code of Professional Conduct Committee, Chairman of the Standing Order Committee and member of its Preliminary Investigation Committee. He is currently the Editor of the MDC Bulletin. He has also served as External Examiner for many dental institutions, both local and international.
His current research interests are in areas pertaining to epidemiology and oral health impact of oral diseases, Case-Mix Funding Model for oral health care and oral cancers. He has published more than 100 papers in international and local journals and has contributed to over 120 presentations.
Oral Health Challenges in South Asian Countries
Oral diseases primarily caries and periodontal diseases, appear to be among the most widespread diseases affecting mankind. To some extent they have a common cause and frequently a common end-point if left untreated ie the loss of the affected teeth. Changes in the trend of these diseases will have significant impacts on the design of the oral health care delivery system and the number, type and mix of the dental personals required to manage it. A surveillance system is required to monitor this trend. It should be designed and implemented to provide accurate information to decision makers in a timely manner at the lowest possible cost so that appropriate strategies can be deployed to address the problem. Such a system has been established and has matured in many developed countries. Whilst the profession is tempted to focus on untreated diseases which is treatment focused, as health professionals, health and not disease should be our main preoccupation. Promotion of oral health and prevention of oral diseases should be major activities in the strategies adopted. This however does not reduce the significance of the clinical approach. A strategic mix of promotive, preventive and interventive/clinical activities is crucial in securing oral health.