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American Academy of Periodontology Launches Dental Hygiene Engagement Initiative at Annual Meeting

Posted on Friday, November 10, 2023

At its 109th Annual Meeting in Austin, the American Academy of Periodontology is launching a new multi-year, multi-pronged initiative to educate dental hygienists on periodontal topics.

As part of the initiative, the AAP is hosting a Dental Hygiene Symposium at its Annual Meeting today. The daylong session provides an overview of several topics related to the successful management of the periodontal patient, such as peri-implantitis pathophysiology and treatment, and the role of soft tissue in long-term periodontal health and stability.

In addition to the symposium, the Dental Hygiene Engagement Initiative includes:

• AAP member-led Dental Hygiene Study Clubs. These will provide AAP member periodontists materials and resources to facilitate programs in their local areas. The purpose of these study clubs is to enhance dental hygienists’ knowledge of periodontics and to help periodontists strengthen their local network.

• The Dental Hygiene Recognition Program. This program will encourage dental hygienists to engage with the AAP through the local Dental Hygiene Study Clubs, online on-demand content, and other CE courses. The more engagement, the higher the recognition.

• The Hygiene Learning Library. This online resource for dental hygienists will be unveiled at the Annual Meeting and its contents will evolve over time to include the most current information about periodontics.

• Collaborative efforts that could entail joint conferences, webinars, article series, and social media activities.

Dr. Wayne Aldredge, past president of the AAP who headed the Task Force on Dental Hygiene Engagement, said, “We developed the Dental Hygiene Engagement Initiative to deliver high- quality, evidence-based information to hygienists with the goal of enhancing periodontal care and facilitating co-management of patients.”

The comprehensive initiative will also benefit members of the AAP.

“The turnkey Study Club in particular will help members share their clinical expertise and serve as mentors for their local dental hygiene community,” said Dr. Aldredge.

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