The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) held yet another Oral Health Conference & Exhibition (OHC) full of education, celebration and inspiration.

Hundreds of dental hygienists and dental therapists turned out to make the most of the eclectic two-day lecture programme and bustling trade exhibition, while also enjoying time with friends and colleagues.


With a vast array of lectures covering different topics, different perspectives and different products, the event provided education and training to suit everyone.

The programme kicked off with a world first in the form of a presentation on the caries activity management capabilities of the CALCIVIS imaging system. Delegates discovered the science behind the product and enjoyed hearing from Ben Atkins as he relayed his experience of the technology during the testing phase.

Among the other highlights of the day was Jocelyn Harding’s lecture on head and neck cancer. She shared her inspiration and passion for providing patients and dental colleagues with the information they need about the dental effects of cancer.

Dallas Frank’s session on childhood neglect was another hit with delegates. Dallas explored what might be classed as 'neglect' and how a child not being taken to the dentist might impact on their quality of life. She emphasised that it is not the responsibility of the dental profession to pass judgement on the level of neglect present, but rather, to provide support for child patients and those that care for them.

Providing opportunity for discussion and debate, a panel session – sponsored by Philips Oral Healthcare – enabled delegates to connect with industry partners and have their say on how their relationships could benefit the profession.

An interesting session was also presented by Joe Ingham of Dental Protection, discussing whether direct access is fit for purpose. Something became very clear as he spoke on the topic – the regulations and GDC guidance on the scope of practice of dental hygienists and dental therapists is very vague and, in places, contradictory. In particular, the right to buy, supply and administer certain medications needs clarification so that dental hygienists and dental therapists know where they stand, should they wish to run their own practices. This provided even more evidence as to why the BSDHT’s current project with the BADT to seek exemptions from the Medicines Act is so important for the modern profession.

Of the highlights on Saturday, Amit Patel presented a highly engaging session on periodontal regeneration, sharing his own techniques and ideas to provide a wealth of advice for dental hygienists and dental therapists to make use of in everyday practice. Deborah Lyle later discussed the intriguing topic of the microbiome project and considered whether it could have an affect on oral health management in the future.


In addition to the copious educational offerings, the OHC didn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of individuals and teams within the profession today. The Dr Leatherman Award ­– designed in memory of Dr Herald Leatherman to reflect true dedication, professionalism and determination for the good of the profession – was presented to Patricia Macpherson. BSDHT President, Helen Minnery, described Patricia as 'a truly inspirational woman' who has been committed to the BSDHT for more than 40 years, 'remaining steadfast in her support of colleagues'.

At the end of the first day, the winners of the Annual Poster Competition, sponsored by Waterpik, were announced. First place went to Roisin McGrath, highly commended was given to Fiona Ord and Kirsty Sim, and the student prize was awarded to Isabella Davies. The final prize of the event was the BioMin Research Award, which was presented to Fiona Ord. Congratulations to all the winners!

Bringing the first day to a triumphant close, the evening reception provided a chance for delegates, exhibitors and speakers to relax and enjoy refreshments while networking with colleagues.


For further inspiration and information on the latest oral health products and materials available in dentistry, the trade exhibition enabled delegates to speak directly to manufacturers. A place for discussion, demonstrations and discovery, the trade floor ensured few people left emptied handed.

Further to this, the Demo Zone offered additional opportunities to see products in action, with sessions presented by the BSDHT on their indemnity insurance, Oral-B on gum and enamel repair and Comply Ltd on changing patient behaviours.

For more information about the BSDHT, visit, call 01788 575050 or email