IDEM: 24-26 April 2020
Select Page
Header Conference - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

For the third edition running, the IDEM organisers will be working together with the Association for Oral Health Therapists (Singapore) (AOHT) to run the two-day Forum focused on the unique challenges faced by these members of the dental team. Organised by hygienists and therapists for hygienists and therapists, the Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum will cover relevant topics and will provide delegates with key takeaways to better their day-to-day work.

Download the DHTF Forum flyer here.


Adrian Yap Website - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

A/Prof Adrian Yap

Arish Naresh - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Mr. Arish Naresh, JP

Axel Spahr Website - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Prof. Axel Spahr

David Lim Website - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Dr. David Lim

Lai Ye Choung - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Dr. Lai Ye Choung

Marlene Teo - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Dr. Marlene Teo

Melanie Hayes Website - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Dr. Melanie Hayes

Tabitha Acres - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Ms. Tabitha Acret

Tracey Lennemann - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

Dr. Tracey Lennemann

DHTF Programme

Dental Fear and Anxiety: From Childhood to Adulthood by Adrian Yap

Dental fear / anxiety (DFA) is a global public health concern. Prevalence of DFA ranges from 10 to 29% in children / adolescents and up to 88% in adults. Fear is an innate emotional response to threats, danger or pain while anxiety is the distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear. Dental anxiety has been ranked the fifth most commonly feared situation and is one of the primary reasons why people avoid visiting oral health professionals. Dental anxiety may be related to the dental environment, specific dental procedures / pain and has been associated with poor oral health status, appointment failures, longer treatment time, reduced treatment satisfaction as well as quality of life.

This two-part lecture aims to help participants understand the psychology of DFA, its clinical presentations, consequences and complications. Eclectic and psychological strategies for helping anxious dental patients are considered in depth together with evidence of efficacy. Eclectic approaches include good communication, effective pain control, reducing anxiety triggers and alternative relaxation techniques while psychological methods encompass both general and specific techniques including systematic desensitization and cognitive behavior therapy. Pharmacological sedative methods will also be briefly discussed. Non-pharmacological interventions like hypnosis, enhanced information, relaxation, music, distraction and cognitive-behavioral therapy have been found to be beneficial for reducing patient distress during dental procedures. More high-quality trials are needed to support the promising evidence and new strategies to overcome DFA is encouraged.

Lecture Objectives:

  • To better understand dental fear, anxiety and phobia
  • To recognize the clinical presentation of dental anxiety and its assessment
  • To know the consequences and complications of dental anxiety
  • To learn the behavioral and psychological strategies for managing dental anxiety
  • To appreciate the various pharmacological sedative techniques for managing dental anxiety
Treating the Aging Population: Considerations and Concepts by Tracey Lennemann

Around the world, populations are aging and with this we see an increase in periodontal disease, functional chewing problems, root sensitivity and changes in biofilm accumulation.

It is vital that we are up-to-date with best practice approaches for biofilm management, oral health care and professional maintenance programmes for the older patient.

This presentation will review challenges clinicians face when treating older patients and how to adjust oral healthcare programmes in the dental practice.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand oral health changes in the older patient
  • Identify home care challenges older adults face
  • Create updated prophylaxis and periodontal therapy concepts for older patients
  • Integrate biofilm management devices for routine care
Behavioural or Pharmacological Techniques? Balancing cooperation by David Lim

We manage our patients’ cooperation everyday. From the anxious child, to individuals with disabilities, and also elderly with neurocognitive impairment. How do we decide when pharmacological methods should come into play? How far can we carry behavioural techniques? What other practical techniques can we employ? What should we take caution of? This fun session recapitulates various techniques, and entails some reflection on how we manage our patients.

Implant Maintenance and Diagnosis of Peri-implant Diseases by Axel Spahr

In the first part of this workshop the new classification of peri-implant diseases will be presented and the current definition of peri-implant health as well as the aetiological and pathological factors involved in the disease process will be explained. This first part also involves an overview of the different diagnostic measures and tools including their use and timing.

The second part of this workshop will discuss the efficacy of different approaches for implant maintenance in home care as well as in the professional setting.

Learning objectives:

  • Define peri-implant health or healthy peri-implant tissues
  • Discuss the current classification system for peri-implant diseases
  • Discuss the aetiological and pathological factors involved in peri-implant diseases
  • Discuss the evidence of various recommendations for implant maintenance at home
  • Discuss the evidence of different approaches for professional implant maintenance in a practice setting
The Periodontal Probe and You by Marlene Teo

Recently there has been some furore over dental cases where periodontal disease was not diagnosed till a very late stage. The patients ended up losing their teeth due to severe bone loss. Patients are becoming more savvy and it is important for Oral health therapists to diagnose periodontal disease as soon as possible to avoid complex periodontal treatment, exfoliation of teeth or lawsuits!

As periodontal disease is insidious, and some periodontitis cases present with no symptoms, it is even more important to walk that probe around the teeth to check if periodontal pockets are present. Make that periodontal probe your best friend! And once periodontal disease is diagnosed, what are the latest treatment options available to the patient then? This lecture aims to cover diagnosis of periodontal disease and how periodontal disease may be treated by the Oral Health Therapist and Periodontist.

The Possibilities are Endless! Empowering Career Development for the Oral Health Therapist by Melanie Hayes

This session aims to provide a unique opportunity for oral health therapists to learn about career development across the lifespan, and how they may work towards fulfilling and meaningful careers.

In today’s society, we no longer have jobs for life. Individuals will transition through multiple careers and need to adapt to such changes. However, traditional dental education largely prepares graduates for one career option: clinical practice. Have you ever asked what other career options are available, beyond the four walls of the surgery? Are you making the most of yourself and your skills?

In this session delegates will learn about how to make career-enhancing decisions, and have a greater awareness of the alternate career opportunities available to oral health therapists.

Global Burden of Oral Diseases and The Important Role of Dental and Oral Health Therapists in Addressing the Challenges by Arish Naresh

The lecture will focus on the global burden of oral diseases and growing disparities in oral health care access in developed and developing countries. This session will highlight the levels of care provided by Dental and Oral Health Therapists in over 50 countries and discuss the highlights and challenges that the workforce faces. The lecture will also discuss the potential area of advancement for mid level dental providers and the impact of technology in oral health therapy practice. The session will also focus on the areas of integration between oral health and general health and how dental and oral health therapists can assist in bridging the gap to ensure patients receive holistic care at all times. Lastly, the session will discuss the role of International Oral Health Association in advocating and supporting the professions to achieve good oral health for all; for life.

Orthodontic Indications in Children and Adolescents by Lai Ye Choung

Orthodontic treatment has always been regarded as an elective aesthetic procedure, where initiation of treatment is usually driven by patients’ desire to achieve straight teeth.

However, there are instances where early orthodontic treatment in children and adolescents can help to prevent the worsening of malocclusion or improve occlusion and function.

This presentation will highlight the various types of malocclusion that will benefit from orthodontic treatment and aims to help clinicians become more proactive in indicating orthodontic treatment based on functional needs rather than aesthetic demands.

Motivating your Patients for Successful Outcomes by Tabitha Acret

We know that successful oral health outcomes are only possible with patient cooperation, however as much as we would love our patients to brush twice a day, clean between their teeth daily and make their oral health a priority we know this is not the case for many of our patients. It is likely that some of our patients will not do it at all. Is this a lack of motivation or does it have something to do with the way we as clinicians motivate our patients in their appointments? The traditional method of oral hygiene instructions where patients are “spoken to ” and not involved in the process does not work, patients need to make their own decisions on what they would like their oral health outcomes to be and set their own goals on how they will achieve them. this lecture will go through motivational interviewing and modern techniques for motivating the patient to take harness of their own oral health and improve their long term outcomes.

Workshop: Implementing Biofilm and Air Polishing Concepts into your Workflow by Tracey Lennemann

This half-day workshop aims to provide dental teams with the theoretical knowledge and practical techniques for modern methods of biofilm and stain removal and implant maintenance. It will assist the dental team in upgrading and updating the dental hygiene department through integration of a systematic workflow using biofilm management devices.

Learning outcomes:

  • Discover modern therapeutic options from prophylaxis to periodontal therapy.
  • Develop and learn biofilm management concepts using Air Polishing devices
  • Acquire insight to 7 different air polishing powders and indications of usage.
  • Learn how to effectively use biofilm management devices.
  • Perform practical application and hands-on training of all concepts presented.

Information is correct as of January 2020 and is subject to change without prior notice.

Supporting Partner

AOHT 2hi res - Dental Hygienist and Therapist Forum

The Association for Oral Health Therapists (AOHT) 

The Association for Oral Health Therapists (Singapore)’s Mission is “To be the one voice representing Oral Health Therapists in Singapore”. Our Vision is “To be recognized nationwide as an integral part of the dental team”.

The Association is an inclusive body, believing firmly on forging long-term partnerships with Dental Professionals and Dental Businesses locally and globally. We seek to excel through Professional Development and Continuing Education Programmes.