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Features / April 27, 2021

International Symposium on Dental Hygiene – the future is in your hands

by Barbara Derham

ISDHSiobhan Kelleher speaks to Barbara Derham and Jeannine Byrne about the International Symposium of Dental Hygiene, which comes to Ireland next year.

Congratulations to the Irish Dental Hygienists Association on achieving the honour of hosting the International Symposium of Dental Hygiene (ISDH). Can you tell us a little about the journey?

Barbara: In 2004 IDHA sent its first representative, Catherine Waldron, to the International Federation of Dental Hygiene (IFDH) and gained membership in 2004. 

At ISDH 2013 Capetown, Eimear Mithen and I presented the IDHA bid to host the symposium in 2019. While unsuccessful, it only hardened our resolve. Three years later, myself and Louise Fleming presented a new bid in Basel, Switzerland. And, much to our delight, succeeded in hosting the most prominent international hygienist conference in 2022.

Tell us a little about IFDH and IDHA

Jeannine: The IFDH, founded in 1986, currently has 34 member countries and is the principal advocate for the dental hygiene profession globally. It promotes excellence in oral health, education, research, and practice.

The IFDH and IDHA have always been closely connected with Catherine Waldron as a past vice-president. Barbara was chairperson of the publications and PR committee from 2013-2019. Donna Paton is currently a board member of the IFDH.

How are the plans are coming along?

Barbara: The IDHA, in coordination with the IFDH board of directors and scientific committee, is working steadily behind the scenes planning what looks to be the biggest and best International Symposium on Dental Hygiene yet! 

The fabulous Convention Centre Dublin is our location for the three-day conference. We are busy marketing strategies, identifying key dates, updating the website, sponsorship, and pre-conference house of delegates meeting. However, with the help of Keynote professional organisers, who have worked with IDHA since 2012 on the project, it’s under control.

The theme is ‘Future in your hands’. Lead by Catherine Waldron, the International Scientific committee is working hard, engaging with European member associations and others around the world to develop a great line-up of speakers

What should we do now to prepare?

Jeannine: Early registration will open in September 2021. We will be launching the call for oral and poster abstracts in May 2021. Submitting a project or presentation will elevate your overall experience of the symposium.

We encourage you to regularly check in on to find updates regarding speakers, call for abstracts, hotels, and important social events. This is an incredible opportunity to meet colleagues and re-energise your passion for dental hygiene

We look forward to welcoming you all to Dublin!

International Symposium on Dental Hygiene

When: 11-13 August 2022

Where: Dublin

Further details can be found by visiting