BSPD’s Outstanding Innovation Award (OIA) for 2024 has gone to Lindsy Vallayil, assistant clinical director, Community Dental Service, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, for delivering a simple and reassuring animation for sedation.

The winning initiative, ‘Inhalation Sedation: Introductory Animation for Families’, is an innovative digital video for children and young people to access prior to a procedure requiring inhalation sedation.

OIA 2024 winning initiative: an animation for all the family

Inhalation sedation is a useful adjunct within paediatric dentistry to help anxious patients and carers manage dental care. The OIA judges were pleased to see such an innovative, yet simple approach that aims to reassure children and young people undergoing procedures that require sedation. The inhalation sedation video is positioned as an animation for all the family to watch, so that parents and carers can be involved in discussions in preparation for the treatment.

This project provided a clear benefit to children and young people whilst also being easy to access and environmentally-friendly due to its easy-share digital format. The animation is shared with parents and carers via a QR code in an ‘Inhalation Sedation patient information’ leaflet, which is issued prior to treatment taking place.

Paula Waterhouse, BSPD president said, “Our profession sees inhalation sedation as a valuable part of paediatric dental treament, so to have an engaging resource in the form of a simple animation to explain the process and allay fears is a very useful tool. As we know, post-pandemic we are seeing significant numbers of children needing inhalation sedation. Having recognised the issue, Lindsy was able to come up with a creative solution that will make a real difference.”

Lindsy Vallayil said, “I led a Work and Taskforce Group back in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic. We were seeing lots of children with high treatment needs, following lockdown periods in 2020 and early 2021 where children had been at home and not able to access dental care. Our service was treating high volumes of children in clinic with inhalation sedation. The idea was to help children and parents to know what to expect when they attended their appointment for treatment. Thank you to our incredibly talented Comms team who brought the animation to life and made it possible!”

OIA 2024 highly commended award

Aya Shammout and Masa Shammout have been awarded highly commended for their submission to the BSPD OIA 2024 award.

The ‘Interactive Dental Storybook ‘Floss and Granny Visit the Tooth Fairy’ Engaging Young Minds for Better Oral Health’ project received the highly commended award since the judges recognised that this interactive storybook gives children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds access to vital oral health education. Launched in 2022, the digital storybook re-imagining traditional storytelling as an interactive, educational journey became available for free on platforms including Amazon, Apple Books and Google Books.

Paula said, “This entertaining and accessible free tool will help educate children who don’t necessarily have access to oral health learning materials. With BSPD’s focus on the most vulnerable in our communities, we are delighted to see tools that support dentistry professionals to advocate a preventative approach for everyone.”

Aya Shammout, dental core trainee 2 in paediatric dentistry and paediatric oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Birmingham Children's Hospital, said, “Central to this initiative is addressing oral health disparities. The book's free accessibility ensures children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds can access vital oral health education, embodying BSPD's mission to reduce health inequalities.”

Masa Shammout, dental core trainee 2 in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham said, “What distinguishes our storybook is its dyslexia-friendly design, audio version, and supplementary interactive materials, catering to various learning styles.”