IFDH Newsletter
Fall 2014
Executive Council

JoAnn Gurenlian, RDH, PhD
Haddonfield, NJ, USA

President Elect
Robyn Watson. RDH, MPA
Rhodes, New South Wales

Corrie Jongbloed-Zoet, RDH

Mary Rose Pincelli Boglione
Florence, ITALY

Wanda Fedora RDH
Sydney, Nova Scotia

House of Delegates
United States of AmericaUSA

Managing Director
Peter Anas director@IFDH.org

Membership Director
Laikisha Jeffries membership@IFDH.org

Membership Coordinator
Georgia Anas coordinator@IFDH.org

The IFDH President
JoAnn Gurenlian
JoAnn Gurenlian

Continuing to Move Forward

Dear Colleagues:

Please read the IFDH President's Report to the House of Delegates for the latest information concerning activities of the Executive Council (EC) and staff over this past quarter, including:

  • Membership Ballot Results
  • ISDH Meeting Dates
  • eNews
  • EC Face-to-Face Meeting
  • Research Conference
  • Membership Dues
  • Financial Matters
  • Sponsorship Prospectus and Marketing
  • GCD Fund Update
  • Travel and Meeting Attendance
  • IFDH Website

Czech Republic & Malta Accepted into IFDH Membership

Malta and the Czech Republic

A recent vote was taken concerning the approval of new membership applications from Malta and the Czech Republic. Our House of Delegates worldwide voted overwhelmingly in support of accepting both. Therefore, we can now welcome both countries as HOD members of the IFDH!

This brings IFDH membership to 28 countries that represent over 75,000 dental hygienists around the globe. Our thanks to the Membership Committee for their review of the membership applications.

Executive Council Prepares for Annual Meeting

Executive Council Prepares for Annual Meeting

As per our bylaws, the IFDH Executive Council must meet in person on a yearly basis. As such, we will hold our 2014 face-to-face meeting immediately following the 3rd North American/Global Dental Hygiene Research Conference in Bethesda, Maryland (a suburb of Washington DC and close to our IFDH office in Rockville, Maryland). Plans are in process for the EC to meet on October 20-21, 2014. This is in addition to our many Skype conference calls held throughout the year.

Dental Hygienist Social Responsibility Award

2014 Volunteer Project

DEADLINE to Register Your Project: June 1, 2014

The IFDH and the Global Child Dental Fund have launched a project to recognize, on an annual basis, hygienists and student hygienists who participate in a volunteering project which benefits disadvantaged children, mainly but not exclusively in low- and middle-income countries.

Eligibility Criteria: Any Dental Hygienist who is either an IFDH Individual or Student member, or member of an IFDH Country Member.

Read more.

IFDH Featured in Middle East & Africa Edition

Dental Tribune, Middle East & Africa Edition

For a quick overview of the IFDH, have a look at the recent feature article on IFDH in the Dental Tribune, Middle East & Africa Edition, (Mar-Apr. 2014).

Is your Annual Conference listed on our Calendar?

Is your Annual Conference listed on our Calendar?

We've started a calendar in our eNews and on our website that includes annual conferences of our HoD members, along with other significant oral health organizations. If yours is not listed, please email it to: coordinator@IFDH.org


Programs to Raise Awareness of Pediatric Dental Disease

America's ToothFairy (NCOHF: National Children's Oral Health Foundation) is dedicated to raising awareness of the #1 chronic childhood illness: pediatric dental disease, facilitating the delivery of comprehensive oral health services and eliminating this preventable disease from future generations. With a growing Affiliate network of exemplary non-profit community programs, the America's ToothFairy Kids Club, professional and student service programs, America's ToothFairy is building a powerful, united effort to eliminate tooth decay and protect the smiles of our most vulnerable children. Also extending services in Canada as Canada's ToothFairy, NCOHF is reaching children throughout North America. For more information, please visit www.AmericasToothFairy.org.

Updated U.S. Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

ADEA (American Dental Education Association)

Each year ADEA (American Dental Education Association) provides a Summary of Loan Forgiveness Programs available to dentists and dental hygienists.

Click here for a summary of loan forgiveness programs for dentists and dental hygienists across the United States. Please note that several of the loan repayment program maximum award amounts have changed over the past year. Also, new loan repayment programs established by state legislation passed during the 2014 legislative session are included. States still in session with pending legislation related to dental education loan forgiveness programs are also highlighted.

This summary was developed by the ADEA Advocacy and Governmental Relations Portfolio.

Israel Ends Water Fluoridation

Israel Ends Water Fluoridation

Israel's Health Minister has banned the fluoridation of drinking water against the advice and requests of other members of her health ministry and previous health minister, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The decision was delivered by Health Minister Yael German on August 17. This was two years after Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he did not agree with ending fluoridation in a letter to the Interior Committee chairman for the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, according to a report by the Jerusalem Post. He also based his position on requests from various municipalities to continue fluoridation at the time.

Scope of Practice Changes in Australia

Changes to the scope of practice registration standard came into effect on 30 June, 2014. The new standard emphasized a team approach to dental care, to facilitate access to timely and appropriate dental treatment. Dental hygienists and oral health therapists were recognized as members of the dental team who exercise autonomous decision making within their particular areas of education, training and competence, to provide the best possible care for their patients. The term 'supervision' was removed from the Standard, and instead promotes a structured professional relationship. The DHAA Inc. lobbied for changes to the scope of practice registration standard, and will continue to advocate for accessible preventive oral health care and reform in oral health policy. See our Bulletin.

IFDH Well Represented at ADHA 2014 Annual Session in Las Vegas
IFDH Well Represented at ADHA 2014 Annual Session in Las Vegas
JoAnn and Tony Hashemian, DDS at the Text 2 Floss booth

IFDH Well Represented at ADHA 2014 Annual Session in Las Vegas

Top photo: (left to right) IFDH USA HoD member Tami Byrd, President JoAnn Gurenlian and IFDH Past President Maria Goldie delegates at the ADHA Annual Session

Middle photo: Drs. Ann Spolarich (left) and Jane Forrest (right) from the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research And Practice.

Bottom photo: JoAnn and Tony Hashemian, DDS at the Text 2 Floss booth.

WHPA: Health Professionals Regulations in Geneva

In May, 2014, the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) gathered global organizations at The World Confederation for Physical Therapy, representing the world's dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and physicians and speaks for more than 26 million health care professionals in more than 130 countries.

JoAnn Gurenlian & Mary Rose Pincelli

The speakers included Orlando Monteiro da Silva (Portugal) of the FDI.

In a press release, global leaders of the main health professions have urged their members to pay more attention to regulation issues and implement the right systems in order to act in the public interest.

In this gathering to deliberate on how different systems of professional regulation promote public safety and health while also protecting health professionals, I wonder why dental hygienists were not on the program? Something for the future.

Dutch Hold 2 Conferences per Year

NVM Autumn Conference 2014

The Dutch Dental Hygienists' Association (Nederlandse Vereniging van Mondhygienisten; NVM) organizes a conference twice a year, in the autumn and in the spring. The NVM Autumn Conference 2014 is scheduled on Friday, November 14, 2014 at the Van der Valk Hotel in Leusden. The theme is "Cancer - oral health care and oncology". The location is "De Flint" in Amersfoort. This NVM Autumn Conference will be preceded by a Thursday evening pre-conference, organized in cooperation with sponsor Philips. The theme is "Oral Systemic Link: DAILY PRACTICE". The NVM Spring Conference 2015 is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2015.

…And Many Plans Ahead
The Dutch Dental Hygienists' Association organizes and will host the European Dental Hygienists Federation (EDHF) annual meeting in the Steinberger Airport Hotel in Amsterdam, 20th of September 2014. We look forward to participating in World Oral Health Day 2015 on 20th of March 2015. The Dutch Dental Hygienists' Association (NVM) Foundation for Research and Education will present two scientific posters at the 102nd FDI Annual World Dental Congress September 11-14, 2014 Greater Noida NCR New Delhi, India.

Oral Research

Primary Health Care Framework for Prevention & Control of Chronic Non-Communicable Disease

Primary Health Care Framework for Prevention & Control of Chronic Non-Communicable Disease

Authors from Denmark noted that in 2014, chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represent the leading causes of global mortality and disability. Government-level concern, and resulting policy changes, are manifesting. However, there continues to be a paucity of guiding frameworks for legislative measures. The surge of NCDs will require strong and effective governance responses, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Simultaneously, following the 2008 World Health Report, there has recently been renewed interest in Primary Health Care (PHC) and its core principles. With this, has come strengthened support for revitalizing this approach, which aims for equitable and cost-effective population-health attainment. In this light and reflecting recent major global reports, declarations and events, a PHC approach to NCDs is proposed and critiqued, highlighting PHC, with its core themes, as a valuable guiding framework for health promotion and policy addressing this group of diseases.

WHO: Antibiotics Losing Effectiveness in Every Country

WHO: Antibiotics Losing Effectiveness in Every Country

The World Health Organization (WHO) cautions about the overwhelming consequences of antibiotics losing their effectiveness to fight disease, and the risk of diseases that have been controlled could surface again. It further states that antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. The new report is unique as it collected wide-ranging data from the WHO on antibiotic resistance and has information from 114 countries. Read more »

The most disturbing is that from the data collected by the WHO, the conclusion is that there is resistance globally to the "last resort" antibiotics used against life-threatening infections that are caused by a common intestinal bacterium, Klebsiella pneumoniae. Novel antimicrobial targets are needed to overcome rising antibiotic resistance of important human pathogens. Read more »

Dental Therapists Propose to Fill in Oral Health Shortfalls

States in the USA are attempting to solve the problem of dentist shortages by allowing dental therapists to perform checkups and restorative procedures, with strong resistance from dentists.

On August 19, Kelli Swanson Jaecks, MA, RDH, President of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), was quoted in an article in the Portland Tribune saying "As a registered dental hygienist with an expanded practice permit, which allows a dental hygienist to initiate services independently to underserved populations, I have seen first-hand the need for access."

Dental Therapists Propose to Fill in Oral Health Shortfalls

There are Recommended Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs in the United States, October 2013 Advisory Panel Report and Recommendations. There is a summary of critical issues regarding these standards in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry. With the goal of providing guidance to communities considering the deployment of dental therapists, Community Catalyst organized a panel of academic experts to develop national educational standards for programs that educate dental therapists in the United States. Community Catalyst is a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all.

A report from the PEW Charitable Trusts discusses innovative ways of delivering dental care to touch traditionally underserved populations. One approach practiced in more than 50 nations is to authorize midlevel dental providers, such as dental therapists, to provide routine preventive and restorative care, such as placement of fillings. As compared to dentists, dental therapists perform fewer procedures, require less training, and realize lower salaries. Research has confirmed that they provide high-quality, cost-effective routine care and improve access to treatment in parts of the country where dentists are scarce. Midlevel providers are currently practicing in Alaska and Minnesota, were recently authorized in Maine, and are being considered for licensing in 15 additional states.

Dental Caries Final Recommendation

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued a final recommendation statement on Prevention of Dental Caries in Children From Birth Through Age Five Years and to preventive services provided by primary care clinicians. Primary care clinicians are described as physicians and nurses who provide general health care in a medical setting. This recommendation does not apply to care provided by dentists and other oral health professionals. It discusses things like dental decay and prescription of fluoride supplementation and application of fluoride varnish.

What You Can Expect From UK Dental Professional

Standards for the Dental Team

The General Dental Council in the UK wants consumers to understand what they can expect from their dental professional, and what to do if those expectations are not met. There are guidance documents for all dental professionals, describing the standards required of their work. You can read these documents on the Standards for the Dental Team page. You can find guidance on advertising; commissioning and manufacturing dental appliances, indemnity, prescribing medicines, reporting criminal convictions, using social media, Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults; Scope of Practice and more.

Study Finds Link Between Periodontal Disease and Atherosclerosis

PLOS Pathogens

Chronic oral infection with the periodontal disease pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis not only causes local inflammation of the gums leading to tooth loss but is also associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. A study published July 10 in PLOS Pathogens reveals how the pathogen evades the immune system to induce inflammation beyond the oral cavity. The researchers conclude, "P. gingivalis modifies its lipid A structure in order to evade host defenses and establish chronic infection leading to persistent systemic low-grade inflammation."

Head & Neck Cancers: Limited Public Awareness of Raises Concerns About Prevention & Detection

Public awareness of head and neck cancer is limited, with the lack of awareness including the term head and neck cancer and common symptoms and risk factors, such as tobacco use and human papillomavirus (HPV), according to results of a cross-sectional online survey reported in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. According to the authors, this lack of awareness is reason for concern, as the importance of risk factor avoidance and modification, as well as early patient detection, as drivers of prevention and improved outcomes. They looked at the role of tobacco use, HPV, the fact that routine screening for head and neck cancer by primary care physicians is rarely performed and currently not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Early detection is contingent on patient recognition, and primary prevention is dependent on consciousness and avoidance of environmental risk factors.

High-Acidity Drinks Can Permanently Damage Children's Teeth

Australian researchers are cautioning about the dangers of drinks that are high in acidity, including soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, and others. These drinks form part of a triple threat of permanent damage to young people's teeth. Dental researchers at the University of Adelaide disclosed that lifelong damage is caused by acidity to the teeth within the first 30 seconds of acid attack. Drinks high in acidity combined with nighttime tooth grinding and reflux can cause major, irreversible damage to teeth. Erosive tooth wear occurs gradually and insidiously, often creating complex treatment challenges. This highlights the necessity for early diagnosis and management in agreement with minimal intervention philosophy. The conclusions offer a basis for further research that could lead to the development of highly-sensitive clinical diagnostic tools and preventive strategies.

Oral Bacteria Invade Intestines in Liver Cirrhosis Patients

Oral Bacteria Invade Intestines in Liver Cirrhosis Patients

Scientists in France, in collaboration with a research team from China, found that the gut microbiota of individuals with liver cirrhosis varied markedly from those found in healthy individuals, showing a high proportion of oral bacteria. The mouth has one of the most diverse microbiomes in the human body and the bacteria present can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease, but good bacteria can also be protective. Future studies will be needed to understand the role of bacteria invasion in the development of liver cirrhosis. Early findings propose that certain bacteria overproduce molecules that are implicated in hepatic encephalopathy, a common complication of liver cirrhosis. A therapeutic strategy would be to inhibit these bacteria; another could target the malfunction of bile in order to prevent the migration from the mouth to the gut.

HIV Testing in the Dental or Dental Hygiene Office

HIV Testing in the Dental or Dental Hygiene Office

Dentists in South Korea have are routinely offering HIV tests, and some as well Canada, Mexico and the U.S. They wish to make HIV testing as normal as any other chronic disease screening. There are obstacles, such as cost and education. Less than a third of dentists in a 2012 nationwide survey had even heard of rapid HIV testing. Fewer have been trained in pre- and post-test counseling. A 2010 study projected that in excess of 70 percent of high-risk people in the U.S. who haven't been tested visit their dentist regularly.

It appears that in excess of 80 per cent of oral health patients are willing to receive rapid HIV-testing in dental settings. This confirms an earlier study in the USA that said the overall, patients held very positive attitudes and beliefs toward HIV screening in dental sites and identified important factors that should be incorporated into the design of nurse-dentist collaborative HIV screening programs. A Global And Interprofessional Perspectives On Hiv Testing Symposium was held recently in Australia. One test that could be used by dental hygienists and dentists is the The OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test. Stay tuned.

New Guide: Your Job Shouldn't Be A Pain in The Neck!

new stretching and warm-up chairside resource guide
new stretching and warm-up chairside resource guide

A new guide to health and wellness for dental hygienists from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. The new stretching and warm-up chairside resource guide is now available. Developed as a take away from a webinar in the series on Neuromuscular Skeletal injuries, this two page guide will help you remember the stretches and warm up exercises that you can use, because your job shouldn't be a pain in the neck!

Periodontal Disease Associated With Stroke

Many studies and reviews have suggested an association between periodontal disease and the incidence of stroke. The aim of this 2014 review of cohort studies (from USA & France in the European Journal of Neurology) was to evaluate the association between periodontal disease and the incidence of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes through a meta-analysis of cohort studies. The results of the meta-analyses varied depending on the outcome measured and the type of stroke. The risk of stroke was significantly increased by the presence of periodontitis and tooth loss was also a risk factor. The risk of stroke did not differ meaningfully with the presence of gingivitis. This review shows that periodontitis and tooth loss are associated with the occurrence of stroke. An article in 2013 examined the potential mechanisms that may be factors in the associations between periodontitis and the systemic conditions being considered in the EFP/AAP Workshop in Segovia, Spain.

Periodontal Disease Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

The purpose of a review from Australia and the USA was to assess whether periodontal treatment could improve biochemical and clinical measures in patients suffering from RA. Inclusion criteria encompassed studies that observed the effect of periodontal treatment of chronic periodontitis in patients diagnosed with both RA, chronic periodontitis in patients over 30 years of age, and the studies in the English language. Studies must have had a control group with a non-surgical periodontal intervention. Based on clinical and biochemical markers, non-surgical periodontal treatment in individuals with periodontitis and RA could lead to improvements in markers of disease activity in RA. There were limitations. Larger studies are required to explore the effect of non-surgical periodontal treatment on clinical indicators of RA, using more rigorous biochemical and clinical outcome measures as well as giving consideration to potential confounding factors of co-morbidity.

Editor: Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, BA, MS

Published by

International Federation of Dental Hygienists

with support from


100 South Washington St., Rockville MD 20850 USA.
Phone: 240-778-6114 • Web: www.ifdh.org



September 11-14: FDI Annual World Dental Congress
Greater Noida NCR New Delhi, India

September 13-15: Japan Dental Hygienists' Association 9th Annual Meeting
Saitama, Japan

Sept. 19-22: American Academy of Periodontology 100th Annual Meeting
San Francisco, CA

September 20: European Dental Hygienists Federation (EDHF) Annual Meeting
Steinberger Airport Hotel, Amsterdam Holland

Sept. 26-27: National Training Days for Dental Hygienists
Helsinki, Finland

Sept. 26-27: AIDI National Congress
Milan, Italy

Sept. 29-30: Annual International Conference of Dental Hygiene
Moscow, Russia

Oct. 16-19: NA/Global Dental Hygiene Research Conference
Bethesda MD, USA

Oct. 17-19: XXVI Congreso Nacional HIDES
Pamplona, Spain

November 14: Dutch Dental Hygienists' Association (NVM) Autumn Conference
Van der Valk Hotel, Leusden Holland

November 13-15: Dental Hygienists Association of Australia Inc. 2014 National Symposium
Canberra, ACT.

November 14-15: Swiss Dental Hygienists Annual Conference, Basel, Switzerland

November 15: 6th Annual Dental Facial Cosmetic International Conference, Dental Hygienist Day


January 22-24: 2015 Rocky Mountain Dental Convention
Denver, Colorado, USA

February 5-7: 21st Annual Academy of Laser Dentistry Conference
Palm Springs, CA, USA

February 25-26: Norwegian Dental Hygienist Association Meeting for Country Leaders

March 11-14: International Association for Dental Research
Boston, MA, USA

March 20: World Oral Health Day

April 18: Dutch Dental Hygienists' Association (NVM) Spring Conference: Preventive Oral Health Care & Special Care Target Groups
Papendal, Arnhem, Netherlands

April 25: German Dental Hygienists Association Congress

May 2-3: American Academy Periodontology 2015 Spring Conference
Chicago, IL, USA

May 8-9: Italian Dental Hygienists Association Spring Meeting on Oral Hygiene
Rome, Italy

May 29-31: ADHS Annual Conference
Piešťany, Slovakia

June 3-6: EuroPerio 8
London, England

June 4-5: Norwegian Dental Hygienist Association Yearly Dental Hygienist Conference

June 17-23: American Dental Hygienists' Association Annual Session
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

July 24-25: The New Zealand Dental Hygienist Association National Conference
Christchurch, New Zealand

September 12: European Dental Hygienists Federation (EDHF) Annual Meeting
Dublin, Ireland

September 20-22: Japan Dental Hygienists' Association 10th Annual Meeting
Sapporo, Japan

September 22-25: Annual World Dental Congress (FDI)
Bangkok, Thailand

Sept 25-26: Global Cancer Forum
NY City, USA

October 16-18: XXVI Congreso Nacional HIDES

October 28-29: International Dental Hygiene Educators' Forum
Victoria, BC, Canada

October 29-31: CDHA 2015 Conference
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

November 5-7: Dental Hygienists Association of Australia Inc. 2015 National Symposium
Sydney, NSW

November 6-7: Irish Dental Hygienist Association Annual Meeting & AGM
Dublin City, Ireland

November 13-14: 25th Italian Dental Hygienists Association (AIDI) National Congress
Bologna, Italy

November 13-14: Swiss Dental Hygienists Annual Conference
St. Gallen, Switzerland

November 14-17: American Academy of Periodontology 101st Annual Meeting
Orlando, FL, USA

See full list.

20th International Symposium
Social Responsibility Award
Text 2 Floss Program
Join IFDH as an Individual Member