Research Topics in Dental Hygiene

Being aware that the existence of a research agenda that promotes the creation of a profession’s own science is fundamental for the development of Dental Hygiene by substantiating its activities and promoting knowledge, the Network of Dental Hygienists for the Development of Science (RHODes) proposes a research agenda aimed at guiding dental hygienists researchers, educators, clinicians and community professionals, as well as students, to research and generate new knowledge in the field of Dental Hygiene.

Acknowledging the research agendas proposed by the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) and the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA), the RHODes proposes an agenda that will enable dental hygienists to achieve greater visibility while promoting the profession’s ability to enhance the well-being and health of individuals and communities.

This agenda encourages the creation of multidisciplinary research teams, with the goal of obtaining theoretical frameworks that help the strengthening of the basis of dental hygiene education and practice in Portugal and to develop new fields and skills of dental hygienists.
Therefore, the RHODes proposes that research projects are defined in 5 major research areas, compiling the agenda of the Network of Dental Hygienists for the Development of Science, they are:

  1. Health promotion/oral disease prevention at individual and community levels.
  2. Innovation and technological development in oral health
  3. Health policies in the area of oral health
  4. Education and professional development
  5. Oral health interventions targeting risk groups

Completed Projects

In the last few years, several projects were concluded, with the participation of the dental hygienists’ professors of the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the University of Lisbon, among which we highlight:

European Training Platform for Continuing Professional Development of Dental Hygienists (EuHyDens)

Project developed under the EU Call 2015 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices and in the field of Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training with a duration of 36 months, until the end of August 2018, and intended to contribute to the:
o Development of a European Skills and Qualifications Area,
o Development of High-Quality Vocational Education and Training
o Strengthening Quality through Mobility and Cross-Border Cooperation.
The aim of EuHyDens was to demonstrate the importance and role of dental hygienists in society by improving their skills and knowledge, to strengthen the position of dental hygienists, encouraging entrepreneurship activities and to promote communication and mobility among dental hygienists from the various EU nations.
The harmonization of dental hygienist training, as a result of the implementation of a unified VET European Training Platform – Vocational Educational Training (ETP), will result in the recognition of the dental hygienist profession in all EU member states and strongly contribute to the mobility of dental hygienists and cross-border cooperation between stakeholders. This European project has several partners who contributed to its formation and approval, they are:
o Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal
o Karolisnka Institutet, Sweden
o Universitatea de Medicina si Farmace Victor Babede Timisoara, Romania
o European Dental Hygienists Federation, Spain
o AFRA (Health Consulting), Romania
o Praktikertjänst (Dental Clinics) Sweden
o Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie ‘Carol Davila’ din Bucuresti, Romania
o Institute of Entrepreneurship Development IED, Greece

Participation in the Taskforce of the European Dental Hygienists Federation – Common Education Framework for the Development of Common Education Framework for Dental Hygienists in Europe, February 2017 to 2019.
The goal is to develop a common pan-European curriculum, as oral hygienist training is not standardized across Europe, both in terms of recognized formal requirements for training and the level of training required.

This process is supported by the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE), whose role is to provide guidance and support to ensure that the level of oral hygienist education meets the highest possible standards.

Participation as co-authors in the ORAL HEALTH Professional Training Platform

The courses of the platform provide up-to-date education in the field of oral health, meeting the expectations of dental hygienists all over Europe. The training courses have been developed in the framework of the Erasmus+ EuHyDens project.