Together with their 4,000 members, the society raised the money through two mouth cancer screening workshops at their annual conference, highlighting the significant role and influence hygienists and therapists have in the battle against the disease.
More than 31 million patients have been seen and given a dental examination in the last two years – around 56% of the population. After the introduction of Direct Access, more people are forecast to visit their dentist. This means hygienists and therapists are in the ideal position to share information about the risks and symptoms of mouth cancer.
In addition to preventive work, dental teams can play a major role in detecting the 60,000 cases of mouth cancer forecast to occur over the next decade. If oral examinations are performed on each patient at regular intervals, especially on high risk patients, this will make a major contribution to the early detection of the disease. Explaining your screening work to your patients will also improve awareness with their families and friends.
President of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), Julie Rosse, who was present to donate the money raised at the British Dental Trade Association Mid-winter meeting, added her views on why the society is key to early detection.
Julie said: ‘Early detection saves lives, and the way to do this is regular check-ups. Direct Access will give the public a greater opportunity to maintain their oral health. This donation to the campaign is a reflection of how important taking action is to hygienists and therapists, and I’d like to thank everyone who attended the workshops and made a donation.’
President of the British Dental Health Foundation, John Siebert, added his thanks.
John: ‘Without the generous donations of those like the BSDHT, much of our charitable activities would simply not be possible. So on behalf of everyone at the British Dental Health Foundation, I would like to thank Julie and the entire society. It is donations such as this that enables us to invest in valuable educational resources to raise awareness of this killer disease.
‘I am delighted the campaign has been a great success. This year we had more than 14,000 dental and health professionals support the campaign through the Blue Ribbon Appeal while another 15,000 enamel badges have been worn by members of the public. Mouth cancer is finally getting the attention it so rightly deserves.’