In this month’s blog, Quyen one of our two Oral Hygiene Therapist here at Hartwell Dentistry will be discussing a recent conference she attended.

As you may already be aware our team at Hartwell Dentistry are committed to on-going education and bringing the most up to date information and care to our patients.

With this in mind, in February this year, I attended a conference in Sydney, “A bridge too far” organised by the Australian Society of Periodontology. I often attend these conferences as they update me with new advances in dentistry.

Being in the company of like-minded professionals is a great opportunity for the collaboration and the sharing of ideas and knowledge. Several distinguished Australian and international speakers were invited to share the latest up-to-date information about periodontal (gum) disease and its treatment. Given my oral health therapist background, I have a huge interest and passion in learning and understanding periodontal health. In addition, it was my first time travelling interstate on my own, so it made this experience new and exciting.

The conference also focused on implants and the importance of keeping the gums around them well maintained. I felt that this was extremely useful information as Hartwell Dentistry has our own implant department, headed up by Dr Dana Horng.

It was exciting to learn different techniques that will be exceptionally beneficial to bring to our patients.

Implants have been around for many years and our knowledge and treatment is constantly evolving. I was able to learn about different types of implants that are placed and with different types of implants, come different types of techniques to clean them. I discovered different types of instruments and techniques that we could use at our practice to make sure that implants are kept in good condition as people with implants still have the potential to have gum disease if they are not cleaning and maintaining regularly at home. The conference gave me a good insight on how to detect failing implants and what to do to help it get back to health.

It was a very worthwhile experience, as I learnt many new things. One of the most interesting things I learnt is that formal education often only teaches us that the person affected cannot feel periodontal disease and only dental professionals can detect gum disease. However, in this conference, it is expressed that people CAN feel the effects of periodontal disease. Gum disease affects a person’s quality of life. If your gums are affected, it means that you may not be able to eat normally, affecting a person’s quality of life. Periodontal disease results in the inability to enjoy your food, ability to speak as well, and potential self-esteem issues. Someone who has gum disease, is “orally handicapped” – and it affects their whole life and wellbeing. In other words, gum disease cannot be felt directly in the mouth like a decayed tooth, but the roll-on effects of gum disease can change a person’s life.

With the constant changes in dentistry, I look forward to furthering my career with new study opportunities.

Next time with Dentist Camberwell I will be sharing with you yet another continued learning oppurtunity I have recently experienced.