“All bases covered” at OHC 2018

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BSDHT OHC 2018 speakers include Phil Ower and Janet Tarasofsky

Organisers say the Oral Health Conference and Exhibition (OHC) 2018 is set to be another exciting event for all dental hygienists and dental therapists to enjoy. The two-day educational programme will be presented by an array of leading speakers in the field and will cover a wide spectrum of topics that cater to every professional’s learning needs, interests and experience levels.

Clinical coverage

Among those discussing clinical topics will be Phil Ower. Phil has an enormous amount of experience in different dental settings, including having worked in the RAF, lectured at the Eastman Dental Institute, worked within various specialist practices, been an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons of England and Past President of the British Society of Periodontology.

He will be presenting “Perio classifications and diagnosis” on Saturday 24 November 9.15am

“I will be discussing all aspects of periodontal diagnosis, from the need to do a full and detailed assessment of the patient to the use of the new classification system for periodontal and peri-implant diseases that was released during Europerio 9 in Amsterdam, June 2018.

“All clinicians need to be aware of the importance of periodontal diagnosis. This not only ensures that patients can get the most appropriate treatment for their condition, but it also helps to avoid litigation since poor diagnostics is currently one of the main reasons for litigation.

“Right now, the biggest challenge is getting used to the new periodontal classification system, which is radically different from what we have been used to for the last 20 years. Clinicians in general practice are probably going to find this difficult to implement so I want to try and make the new system workable for those in general practice. If delegates only take one thing away from my session, I hope it will be an appreciation of the need for thorough and accurate diagnosis, before any treatment planning is considered.”

Phil has been involved with the BSDHT since he was running the RAF School of Dental Hygiene in the early 1990s. About the conference, he says:

“The OHC is one of the most important dates in the postgraduate calendar, concentrating as it does on high quality science and state-of-the-art thinking in oral health. It is always a great way to network and catch up with old friends so I'm looking forward to it, especially as retirement looms!”

Communication Skills

In addition to clinical topics such as Phil’s, the OHC 2018 will cover other skills that professionals need to improve their daily lives. Janet Tarasofsky’s (top) session entitled “Conversations for progress” on Saturday 24 November 12.05pm will be focusing on communication – but not the type that you might think.

“I will discuss why it is essential for us to know how to navigate interpersonal challenges in the workplace, especially when you are self-employed,” Janet comments. “I will share insights into the fuel behind our tendency to avoid difficult dialogue, and I will share my DARE strategy which has been designed to help prepare professionals for their next challenging conversation."

Janet explains how this includes the following areas:

• Diagnose the real issues behind a challenging conversation.
• Acknowledge the ‘Personal Response’ technique, which delves into individual style.
• Respond quickly to a challenging discussion in a confident and respectful manner.
• Engage in more productive conversations which lead to progress, not arguments.

“In an ideal world, someone would have taught us how to face difficult conversations in school, but most didn't have this experience. Too many people avoid these conversations as a result, leading to high stress levels and feelings of being undervalued at work, misunderstood or not heard. Being able to talk about it is important.”

In her own quest to find new ways of talking about difficult subjects, Janet herself has recently embarked on a new feminist rap career and she uses her extensive entrepreneurial and personal life experience to help others overcome their own challenging situations.

“We need to overcome our fear of fear,” she says. “This includes fear of making things worse when we speak out, of getting fired, becoming known as the ‘confrontational-one’, or of making a colleague cry.

“I hope delegates leave my session with the confidence to have more challenging conversations. I believe that it is absolutely essential to have more uncomfortable conversations than we are having right now – I know this to be true because the world is not a comfortable place! We can’t change that, but we can learn how to deal with it.”

Aside from the its lecture programme and hours of enhanced CPD, OHC 2018 will also host a trade floor with companies demonstrating their latest innovations, an exhibition of the Poster Competition Finalists, and the evening dinner and dance with the Dr Leatherman Award presentation.

OHC “The future is yours” – 23-24 November 2018 – Telford International Centre

For more information, visit www.bsdht.org.uk/OHC2018,

call 01788 575050 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.