Spoilt for choice

Dental Hygienists and therapists were spoilt for choice at the Dentistry Show 2018, with this year’s programme more educational and inspiring than ever before. The renowned Hygienist & Therapist Symposium, sponsored this year by GSK and supported by the BSDHT and the BADT was, of course, high up on the priority list, but the Core CPD Theatre and bustling trade show also proved popular with visiting hygienists and therapists.

“I really enjoyed the show this year,” said Rachel White, a dental hygienist. “There was a really nice mixture of stands and lectures, with lots of new products, brands and ideas coming to the fore. I particularly enjoyed Professor Iain Chapple’s lecture entitled ‘Can new risk assessment technologies make a difference to our patients and our practices?’ ”

Head of School of Dentistry Birmingham, Professor Iain Chapple was the first lecturer to take to the podium in the Hygienist & Therapist Symposium, very much setting the tone of the two-day event. In his lecture he highlighted to delegates how evidence based risk assessment in general practice will be key to the future of digital dentistry, and how available systems can help to provide crucial practice management outcomes. He also demonstrated how effective risk assessing is the linchpin of preventive periodontal care, which left delegates with much to think about.

What followed after Professor Iain Chapple was a wonderfully eclectic mix of speakers from a whole host of backgrounds exploring a range of fascinating topics from stress and psychological well being, to changing attitudes towards disease prevention.

In one session, two of the profession’s leading lights in their respected fields, Dr Ben Atkins and hygienist Anna Middleton, joined forces to provide a holistic summary of behaviour change and how technology advances in oral healthcare can enhance patient outcomes. Not only did this provide crucial education to delegates, but it also demonstrated that skills mix and technology alike are becoming increasingly more important to the future of the profession – something to bear in mind moving forward.

Jane Peterson too provided much food for thought in her lecture on oral health care for people with mental health problems and dementia – a subject that has been at the forefront of dentistry for some time now. As well as providing delegates with a better understanding of mental disorders, she made practical suggestions about steps that can be taken to improve patient outcomes. These included the more effective use of the Delivering Better Oral Health toolkit, and offering advice based on a motivational interviewing behaviour change model approach.

The second day did not disappoint either, with delegates treated to even more inspiring and informative lectures from first-class speakers such as Michaela O’Neill and Fiona Sandom, and Deborah M. Lyle who returned to the lecture theatre for a second time in two-days. Among those who were impressed with the line-up was dental therapist Jennifer Allen. “I really enjoyed the programme and lectures in the Hygienist & Therapist Symposium,” she said. “I’m also pleased to see a number of new and exciting technologies coming to the fore, such as the new CALCIVIS imaging system.”

The CALCIVIS imaging system that enables the user to detect free calcium ions and see a map of active demineralisation on tooth surfaces, was introduced in the Symposium by Bruce Vernon, Chief Technical Officer of CALCIVIS Limited and Amanda Gallie, dental therapist and President of the BADT. The interactive and insightful session was well received by those in attendance, and provided a useful demonstration of how difficult it is to identify active caries without the appropriate technology.

Rounding off the event was the multi-talented Melonie Prebble and Victoria Wilson who after delivering an earlier lecture on systemic health, returned to the Symposium to discuss power scaling and the impact it can have on both the patient and professional.

When not in the Symposium, hygienists and therapists had the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge and gain valuable CPD in the Core CPD Theatre, which was supported by King’s College London. Amongst the lectures that proved most instructive was Dr Amit Rai’s session on complaints handling. After all, as Dr Ajay Mistry, a general dental practitioner pointed out, “It’s a topic that is relevant to the whole dental team, not just practice managers and principals.” Margaret Neary’s session on radiography and radiation protection was also very popular, as delegates were able to leave with a better understanding of updated legislation and the need for compliance and quality assurance.

Altogether, the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2018 was the place to be for hygienists and therapists. If you missed it, be sure to register for next year!


The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2019 – Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May – Birmingham NEC, co-located with DTS.

For further details visit www.thedentistryshow.co.uk, call 020 7348 5270

or email dentistry@closerstillmedia.com

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