Celebrating the Dental Hygienists in Australia

19 September 2019

It is always great to be present at the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene (ISDH), an event full of passion which includes dedicated professionals who never miss any edition. Our booth at the ISDH congress was hugely successful. Over 1200 people visited us and we had the chance to present our latest GUM products to the dental hygiene professionals worldwide.

During the 21st International Symposium on Dental Hygiene held in Brisbane, we also celebrated our 5th SUNSTAR World Dental Hygienist Award. These awards aim to recognise outstanding practices across the Dental Hygiene world, celebrating professionals who have made significant contributions to the field. However, the winning projects over the years show we have done much more than that.

We have seen how dental hygienists can reach where other dental professionals can’t, gain the patients’ confidence and trust, and help them understand how to improve their oral health.

During the Awards Ceremony, we had the chance to present the SUNSTAR company as well as detail all the work we do to increase oral health awareness across the globe with the SUNSTAR Foundation and the winning projects of the 2019 SUNSTAR World Dental Hygienist Award edition.

The morning started with a complimentary welcome breakfast followed by the symposium featuring exceptional speakers such as Robyn Watson, President of the International Federation of Dental Hygienist (IFDH), and JoAnn Gurenlian, Past President of the IFDH and Chair of the SUNSTAR World Dental Hygienist Awards Selection Committee.

As representatives of SUNSTAR, Francine Gagnon, RDH and Director, employee development and training in SUNSTAR Canada, and Mayumi Kaneda, Director of the SUNSTAR Foundation, gave a presentation about SUNSTAR and our Foundation as well as welcomed the winners and attendees.

As we usually do, we sponsored the Congress’ Gala Dinner where more than 500 guests were welcomed. This year’s location was the Howard Smith Wharves – a picturesque venue on the riverside in Brisbane.

For us, this is a significant moment because it enables us to celebrate excellence in a more relaxed and informal way but maintaining the glorious feeling of the Awards Ceremony. The Awards Ceremony, during which a World Dental Hygienist Trophy and a cheque of 3000 USD and 1000 USD were given to each of the winners, was followed by a delicious meal and live band music.

Finally, we even had the chance to discover our guests’ dancing skills who got really inspired by the music and relaxing atmosphere!

The winning projects

Both of the winning projects were selected based on their impact to the dental hygiene profession.

The one in the Research Category, “The Role of Loricrin in Severe (Formerly Aggressive) Periodontal Disease”, suggests that low-levels of loricrin protein could be considered as a risk factor for AgP/Grade C Periodontitis (Aggressive Periodontitis). Loricrin is a structural protein, expressed in all mammalian, that contributes to the protective barrier function of the oral mucosa. (ref J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2015 Jan-Apr; 19(1): 64–68. doi: 10.4103/0973-029X.157204)

The winning study of the Project Category, “Integrating Evidence-Based Dentistry Within a Public Dental Program for Children”, demonstrates that supporting dental practitioners, from an oral health prevention approach based on Minimal Intervention Dentistry within a public dental service in Australia, could positively influence the type of dental services provided over a year to children aged between 0 and 12 years old which particularly increases the rate of topical fluoride applications.

What we admire about both projects is the fact that both show the importance of prevention and education, and how reinforcing this approach could lead us to better patient management. When we think of our foundation, those are two key pillars of our beliefs and day to day actions.

We also believe in giving opportunities to outstanding professionals that lead the way in the dental hygiene field, such as this recent article from the American Dental Education Association suggests.