Finding the perfect balance

As knowledge has become more accessible and social media becomes an ever-growing part of people’s lives, patients have become more aware of treatments and how they are performed. This has created a shift in how dental professionals should communicate with their patients across all age groups, and it’s now more important than ever to embrace changes, look at things from a new angle and find a balance.

Deborah Lyle will be presenting several lectures to dental hygienists and dental therapists across the two days of the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2018, and will explore the above themes in a number of different ways. Starting her career with Bachelor of Science degrees in Dental Hygiene and Psychology, she then did a Masters degree in Dental Hygiene Education. Since then Deborah has written numerous textbook chapters, published over 60 research papers and manuscripts and has run over 150 CPD courses focusing on critical thinking and evidence-based practice.

Her first session, entitled “Oral microbiome: get those bugs out of my mouth”, will explore how attitudes have changed towards disease prevention and the importance of achieving a bacterial balance in the oral environment.

“I picked this topic because I wanted to explore the paradigm shift that has occurred in how we look at disease and prevention,” Deborah says. “Dental hygienists used to want to remove all bacteria in the oral cavity, but now it’s more important to achieve a balance. Every oral cavity is different and creating a symbiotic relationship between the environment and the bacteria within it is an important step towards better understanding disease and prevention.

“I hope delegates will take a step back and evaluate their existing protocols from a new perspective. Are they getting a resolution with the current treatment? More diagnoses may be necessary where results aren’t happening fast enough, and by looking at new therapies and devices and asking where the bacteria is and what can we do, we can create a manageable balance in the oral environment that doesn’t induce disease.”

Deborah’s second lecture, “Is there a generation gap in dentistry? How to deal with patients from 8 to 98” will discuss the differences of the six living generations and their various needs, while also highlighting how dental care professionals should communicate with these different age groups in the practice.

“The biggest difference between age groups is their personalities. I tend to find that older patients are more willing to accept proposed treatments and diagnoses, whilst younger patients are more inclined to question and explore what you say. I’ve heard of young patients even taking out their phones and looking up information because they want to know why you’ve suggested a certain treatment. This is great and dental care professionals should embrace this change, but it’s important to learn how to deal with these challenges and be ready to help patients identify and be wary of the misinformation they may have found online.

“Another thing I want delegates to take away is that we should be careful of preconceived ideas and get to know patients as individuals. Generational ideas aren’t set in stone, and I’ve known plenty of older patients who have Facebook accounts or who are still in the workforce. It’s important to understand that all patients are different and won’t necessarily fall into the categories that we expect them to.”

For her third lecture topic entitled “That is not what I learned at university: what successful clinicians do differently” Deborah will delve into how, even though we may have learned certain things at university, dentistry evolves over time and why keeping up with these changes can make you successful.

“New research and information becomes available all the time, so it’s important for dental care professionals to continue to keep up with the latest advancements. I will encourage delegates to stay open-minded and interested in their profession and to embrace these changes.

“The way we communicate with patients has changed, and nowadays people are bombarded by correct and incorrect information they find online. By examining this change in patients’ mind-sets we can learn how to communicate and approach them properly, which may in turn make our jobs easier!”

As well as Deborah’s exciting series of lectures, the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show provides wonderful networking opportunities alongside the chance for all team members to gain verifiable CPD. As the new regulations from the GDC regarding ECPD have now come into effect for dental care professionals, this is the perfect opportunity to gain diverse CPD that you can add to your Personal Development Plan.

Deborah adds:

“What I love most about this Show is the diversity of topics! You can be right in the exhibition, gain valuable CPD hours and share ideas and interests with people who are enthusiastic about their profession.”

With over 140 seminars and workshop sessions available as well as the opportunity to see renowned speakers from around the world, the Show for 2018 is shaping up to be an event to remember, and one that every member of the team will enjoy!

Register for free here

The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2018 will be held on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May at the NEC in Birmingham, co-located with DTS.


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