The gateway to systemic health – The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2018

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  Posted by: Dental Design      14th March 2018

It is often said that the mouth is the gateway to the body. Oral health and general health are very much inter-twinned and it has become clear to the dental profession that one cannot be optimised without the other.

Melonie Prebble and Victoria Wilson will be exploring this topic in the Hygienist & Therapist Symposium at the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show this May. With more than 35 years’ experience in the field of dental hygiene and therapy between them, they are in the ideal position to share their knowledge with delegates.

Commenting on why they feel this is such an important topic for dental hygienists and dental therapists, they said:

“In recent years, publications supporting the evidence of the oral-systemic link have become more available to us. Not only does the dental profession understand the associations between dental health and systemic health, but we also know that the general public has an increased awareness of many of these issues as well.

“We recognise that the dental practice is a good platform from which to discuss and potentially prevent both oral and systemic diseases. It’s common for us to assess a person’s potential risk factors and explain our findings to them. We know it’s not uncommon for patients to make complete lifestyle changes following a dental hygiene visit and it’s because we are able to communicate possible dangers and help them change their behaviours. In this day and age of health and wellness, where many are taking control of their diets and lifestyle, we can clearly see how the jigsaw of dental and overall health fit together.”

Discussing what dental hygienists and dental therapists can do to raise awareness and educate their patients on the implicated associations between oral and systemic health, Melonie and Victoria added:

“We have always known that dentistry and dental hygiene are more than just cleaning teeth and fixing cavities – we have a real affinity for prevention. There is always potential for us as clinicians to deliver more on this topic through imparting this knowledge to patients. This is therefore an exciting time to explore what is hot on this topic and how it can contribute to the care of our patients today.

“It’s useful to do your research in order to understand what the links are yourself and then ascertain each patient’s individual risk factors. Some processes are well established with a body of evidence supporting them, such as the benefits of smoking cessation and the advice and supported needed. We also understand about diabetes and have protocols in place for these patients when it comes to optimising both their oral health and glycaemic control. It’s therefore helpful for professionals to gain information on all aspects of a person’s health and to have knowledge of their history and lifestyle.

“In addition, building on your confidence to talk to patients about potential risk factors and prevention techniques is fundamental.

“Moving out of the immediate clinical setting, it is important to build relationships with colleagues for a multidisciplinary approach. By working together, this helps to establish the very best, evidence-based solutions for each patient. We think having the time and the right communication tools is key for this.”

Melonie and Victoria will present a session entitled “Systemic health and us – The role we play in health beyond the mouth” sponsored by Phillips, where they will discuss all of this and more.

“We will be covering the subject as broadly as possible in order to discuss many different links between oral health and systemic conditions,” they said. “Delegates will certainly take home a good overview of the current thinking on this subject. We hope to give them more confidence and improve their verbal skills to impart their new knowledge. Dental hygienists and dental therapists attending should feel empowered and motivated to apply this within the clinical setting.”

Other sessions in the Hygienist & Therapist Symposium will cover everything from risk assessment technologies to reducing stress, the oral microbiome, good and bad sugar, marketing and treating patients of all generations. Supported by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), the inspiring programme will be presented by leading lights in the field, including Iain Chapple, Marina Harris, Elaine Tilling, Deborah Lyle, Ben Atkins, Tim Ives, Fiona Ellwood and Chris Barrow.

Aside from the lectures and hours of verifiable CPD, the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show will also host a 400-strong trade exhibition with some of the profession’s biggest and most innovative dental manufacturers and suppliers. Delegates can browse the stands to find the latest products, materials and technologies, with amazing show-only offers available and all the experts on hand to provide all the advice and information required.


Free for the entire dental team to attend, register for your places online today!


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.


For further details visit, call 020 7348 5270

or email


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