Educational opportunities for hygienists and therapists

The Dentistry Show attracted more than 5,800 dental professionals this year, all attending to use the wide range of educational opportunities available.

With a combination of lectures, hands-on workshops and live demonstrations running over both days, with up to 65 hours of vCPD on offer, delegates were certainly spoilt for choice.

With the end of the current CPD cycle coming to an end on 31 Julythis year, all DCPs must have logged a minimum of 150 hours of CPD by then, including at least 50 verifiable hours in the recommended core topics.

The Dentistry Show 2013 presented specially designed conference streams to help delegates top up their CPD and meet these requirements.

Chaired by hygienist Shaun Howe, the Hygienists & Therapists Symposium presented a selection of first-class speakers, covering a wide range of highly relevant and current topics.

First to take to the podium was Joanne Dickson, dental hygienist and Smoking Cessation Advisor, discussing how delegates can ensure they deliver effective smoking cessation support to their patients. She discussed the increased risks of periodontal disease for smokers, using case studies and research to stress her point, and encouraged the highly attentive audience to be proactive by educating patients and providing tailored advice to help them quite.

Picking up from where Joanne left off, Andrew Baldwin then led on to look at oral cancer, demonstrating microvascular reconstructive techniques and various methods of dental rehabilitation for affected patients. He also discussed signs and symptoms that delegates should be looking out for, and emphasised the importance of knowing the protocols should oral cancer be suspected.

Another highlight from the first day of lectures was Matt Perkins’ presentation showing how a periodontologist treats patients, and discussing what hygienists and therapists can do to ensure treatment is as successful as possible.

While Matt was speaking from the lecture hall, a video link to Shaun Howe in the Live Theatre demonstrated how Matt’s tips and suggestions could be implemented in practice.

 Spirits were high by the end of the day, and hundreds of professionals joined the Big Heart Party at the Hilton Hotel. Attendees were treated to a delicious three-course meal with live entertainment provided all night, and raffles throughout the evening raised donations to support the on-going charitable work of Heart Your Smile.

Saturday then saw even bigger crowds of delegates pouring through the doors, keen to make the most of every opportunity available at the Show.

The Hygienists & Therapists Symposium kicked off with a lively and very interactive debate on direct access, led by CDO Barry Cockcroft, Julie Rosse (president of BSDHT), Bal Chana (president of BADT), hygienist practice owner Christina Chatfield  and Stephen Henderson, dento-legal advisor from Dental Protection).

They each gave their perspectives on the issues around direct access, as well as information on the laws and regulations currently in place.

Delegates were given response hand-held systems to enter answers to questions as they came up during the session, and upon a vote, approximately 85% of the nearly 300 delegates believed direct access should be granted to DCPs.

The rest of the day saw even more well-received lectures, covering topics from preventative dentistry, to non-surgical management of periodontitis and infection control and prevention protocols.

In addition to the conference, The Dentistry Show also presented an extensive trade floor, with more than 350 leading suppliers and manufacturers.

Delegates were able to gain information on all the latest equipment, technologies and products in the industry, while interacting directly with the experts who developed them.

Dental therapist Lesley Breeze commented that ‘the Show is an ideal opportunity to speak to exhibitors, get a good look at new products and handle them before you buy’.

Amongst the stands was the Professional Hub, which hosted representatives from a variety of highly influential dental organisations and societies, including the BSDHT (British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy), BADT (British Association of Dental Therapists) and the BACD (British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry), amongst others. Offering their support of The Dentistry Show for the services it strives to offer each member of the dental team, these organisations were also on hand to answer any questions or queries from delegates.

Visiting hygienists and therapists also had the chance to get involved in the tooth whitening debate held on each day of the event, discussing the issues surrounding illegal practice. Everyone had a chance to voice their passionate feelings on what has become a highly controversial matter of patient safety, with input from experts such as Ahmad Nounu (BACD) and Beverley Carlyle (Stamp Out Illegal Whitening).

All-in-all, it was certainly a very busy to days for all involved, and The Dentistry Show once again provided quality education with a range of additional opportunities for delegates to develop their skills and advance in their careers. As one of the speakers of the Hygienist & Therapist Symposium, Phil Ower was keen to emphasise the importance of professionals keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing industry: ‘This Show gets important messages out to a large number of people. There are new studies and science coming out all the time and dental professionals can come here to find out how it all applies to their practice.’

For details on next year’s event, please visit, call 020 7348 5269 or email [email protected]

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