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DUBLIN, Ireland: From 11 to 13 August, the Irish capital of Dublin played host to the 13th International Symposium on Dental Hygiene (ISDH 2022). First held in 1986, this event has since established itself as an industry-leading conference for all things related to dental hygiene. This year’s iteration was no exception, and 769 registrants from 37 different countries came together to participate in three full days of scientific lectures, workshops, spirited discussions with colleagues and social events.
ISDH 2022 was hosted by the Irish Dental Hygienists’ Association (IDHA) in collaboration with the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) at the Convention Centre Dublin under the theme “The future in our hands”. The event was opened with a performance by actor Daniel Mahon, who presented examples of Ireland’s rich literary and musical heritage when he recited the poem “The Stolen Child” by famed Irish poet William Butler Yeats and then sang the traditional ballad “Danny Boy” a cappella. This was followed by welcome messages from Corrie Jongbloed-Zoet, outgoing president of IFDH, Barbara Derham, chairperson of the local organising committee for ISDH 2022, and Linda Phelan, president of the IDHA.
After these introductions, the traditional flag-bearing opening ceremony took place and was followed by an address from Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer for Ireland. Dr Kavanagh’s address reflected the theme of ISDH 2022, as she emphasised the increasingly crucial role of dental hygienists in Ireland’s new oral healthcare programme. Afterwards, there was an engaging interlude featuring traditional Irish musicians and dancers, and then Prof. Paul Brocklehurst, former deputy chief dental officer for Wales, addressed a plenary session on the topic “How do we meet the future dental public health challenges before us?”.
A mix of learning and fun
Under the guidance of Dr Catherine Waldron, the event’s scientific committee delivered a diverse and interesting programme featuring speakers from 19 different countries including Dr Kajsa Henning Abrahamsson, associate professor at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden, and Susan Wingrove, a US-based registered dental hygienist and international speaker, author and researcher. On the evening of 11 August, a welcome reception took place at the Convention Centre Dublin and allowed attendees to mingle with one another and with the event’s sponsors.
The ISDH 2022 Conference Party took place at the renowned Guinness Storehouse on the following evening. This sold-out event delivered food, drinks, entertainment, a convivial atmosphere and, most importantly, a chance for attendees to relax after two days packed full of educational opportunities.
At the closing ceremony, Jongbloed-Zoet handed over the IFDH presidency to Wanda Fedora, a dental hygienist based in Nova Scotia in Canada. Fedora will hold this position until ISDH 2024, set to take place in Seoul in South Korea. Jill Rethman of the US was announced as IFDH president-elect, and Sweden’s Fouzieh Eliassy assumed the role of vice president of IFDH.
“The biggest wish of the local organising committee was for attendees to make connections, make friends, laugh, learn and, above all, enjoy themselves,” said Derham. “In our view, this was achieved above and beyond expectations.”