Developing the autonomous dental hygienist and therapist

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  Posted by: Dental Design      26th May 2021

To deliver the highest standard of patient care while enjoying the benefits of the role to the max, it is important for dental hygienists and therapists to be empowered by and confident in their own capabilities. This is a topic that Dr Colin Campbell feels passionately about and will be discussing as part of the Dental Hygienists and Therapists programme at the ITI Congress UK & Ireland 2021 this October. He says:

“Maintenance is key to success with dental implants, so dental hygiene and therapy is critical. Encouraging dental hygienists and therapists to take responsibility for and make treatment and maintenance decisions for their patients is just as vital. They need more autonomy to be able to work collaboratively with dentists for the benefit of the implant patient.

“The challenge for many dental hygienists and therapists will likely be in making the necessary structural changes within their practices to allow this autonomy. Their skills need to be at a certain level and they need to be able to communicate their worth to the principal. There is no need for dentists to be providing maintenance for implant patients – they should be focusing on their surgical and restorative skills and leaving maintenance to the hygiene and therapy experts. Similarly, dental hygienists and therapists are best placed to assess and stabilise a patient’s periodontal condition prior to implant placement. They should have the confidence and the opportunity to work with the dentist to ensure optimal hygiene before surgery takes place. Understanding the value of these team members, which is more than just financial, is key to changing attitudes and successfully restructuring the practice.”

Colin will present a session entitled “Being an Autonomous Clinician”, about which he says:

“I hope to show dental hygienists and therapists attending what is possible. I work very closely with my dental hygienist, Karen Walker, and we have developed our service together over the past 14 years. She is completely autonomous and is a great role model for how others can progress in their career. Every long journey starts with a single step, so I hope to inspire delegates to take those initial steps when they go back to practice.”

The ITI Congress UK & Ireland 2021 will offer various networking and socialising opportunities alongside first-class education. Colin adds:

“The ITI is a stand out organisation, founded in ethics and philosophies designed to benefit the patient. It’s the best community for people interested in optimising patient outcomes with evidence-based implant dentistry. It is also a great place to meet friends – 20+ years into my journey with the ITI and some of best friends at work are here.

“This is an exciting Congress programme. I have always enjoyed speaking to team members as they are so enthusiastic and interested in growing, so I’m looking forward to it. There are some great speakers in the dental hygienists and therapists programme as well, including Ian Dunn who is a real headline act. In addition, the friendly environment and chance to socialise will be much appreciated by all. The world is changing and as things open back up, this will be a fantastic event to attend.”


ITI Congress UK & Ireland 2021

Partnered by Straumann

October 1-2 2021, Edinburgh

 For more information, or to register for your place, please visit

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