30 May 2018

Immediate Past-President of the Oral Health Foundation, Janet Goodwin, has visited the University of Dundee School of Dentistry to judge community oral health projects and present an award to the winning group.

Fourth-year dental students were asked to select an area or group of the community, in or around Dundee, and raise awareness of oral health by showing them how to develop good oral health routines.

As part of their dentistry degree, the students worked in tandem with voluntary and community organisations which helped them reach out to individuals with mental health issues, the homeless and those with learning disabilities.

The winning group of students worked with autistic children and created a storyboard explaining the process of visiting the dentist. The design was targeted towards children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but it was also noted that it could be some benefit to other groups such as anxious patients.

On her visit to Dundee, Ms Goodwin said: “This is the third year that Dundee Dental Hospital have invited me to be involved with the judging of their students and their wonderful projects and each year they continue to impress.

“Each and every project that was presented to the panel highlighted several fantastic ways we can get important oral health messages and education to those who are most in need of help and support in our society.

“I was especially impressed by the students in the winning group who used a unique approach to helping patients. Their concept is highly flexible and can be adapted for use in different circumstances, such as to target anxious or vulnerable patients.”

The winning group was chosen by an expert panel comprised of Janet Goodwin; Professor Mark Hector, Dean of Dentistry; Dr Kevin Davey, Associate Dean for Quality and Academic Standards; and Derek Richards, Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry, DHSRU.

“Every student was enthusiastic and passionate about their project and most importantly, recognised the barriers and challenges of delivering oral health education to more at-risk members of society.

“As a population, it is vital that we continue to work as hard as possible to reduce inequalities and spread positive oral health messages to all members of our community.”