The Importance of Oral Health Promotion and Training
Feature Friday: Victoria Wilson RDH RDT Bsc Founder of Smile Revolution
Dental Hygienist and Therapist, Podcast Guru, Course Provider, Mentor, Yogi and Super Mum to her x2 girls, Alice and Sophia.
Before lock down, Diamond Dental Staff had a belated 2nd anniversary celebration and social get together in London’s Covent Garden. I had not previously met Victoria before this event, but I had connected with her over social media as I was a big fan of everything that she had been sharing, so was delighted that Victoria was able to join us and meet the rest of my team.
Dentistry as we know, is a very small world. It was only during my introductions that we realised that a huge chapter of the start of our dental careers was made at the same practice, Dawood and Tanner. Alison Steadward was another special guest of ours, and has been a Practice Manager of the practice for an impressive 20 years, and had recognised Victoria from when she worked at the practice way back in 2006.
So who is Victoria Wilson?
Victoria qualified as a Dental Hygienist and Therapist from The Eastman Dental Hospital in 2003 and is someone that I look up to as she is incredibly hard working, extremely passionate and always so positive. I see Victoria with a strong, entrepreneurial heart and someone that thrives off of sharing her knowledge and experience to empower and inspire others.
You may already know about The Smile Revolution Podcast. This is now in its fourth series and has seen some very special guests share their experiences and this supports Victoria’s efforts to motivate and inspire many dental professionals that tune in.
Here are some examples of the Podcasts that you can follow the links to listen to;
As well as Podcasts with The Smile Revolution, during lock down, Victoria is a registered Yoga instructor, and has been hosting online Yoga classes via Zoom supporting the overall wellbeing of dental professionals. This is open to both beginners and those that are far more bendy than I! After some encouragement, I am looking to join on to these sessions. With a 9 month old Labradoodle puppy (Mr Bojangles), it is hard to practice some gentle stretches with him climbing all over me, but I will be giving this a go.
We both have this drive to empower and encourage professional and personal development, so to learn that Victoria has released a course entitled ‘Launch an oral health promotion project and business’, is incredibly exciting and something that we are proud to support and partner with.
Herald Periocampus released vol 2, that featured an article of Victoria’s which provides staggering statistics and a background on why oral health promotion is so crucial. This article really did leave my jaw on the floor and has highlighted how important the role of an Oral Health Promotion is. This article highlights the need for dental professionals involvement in oral health promotion and I urge you to give it a read and share it with your team.
As an introductory offer, Victoria has introduced a massive discount of a £700 saving of this 5 week programme to the first x4 delegates. The course is currently £300 to book online via eventbrite. The link to the course lists all the information you need to decide whether this course is something for you, or other team members. If you have any questions, Victoria is always happy to hear from anyone that reaches out to her. All contact details can be found at the bottom of this feature. Victoria has said feel free to call!
Before lock down, I had spoken with Victoria who did a Q and A session with us. It is so great to be able to share this insight with you and I hope you enjoy reading about this week's Feature Friday guest!
What made you want to start a career in dentistry?
I had always been fascinated in going to the dentist from a young age, and when it came to deciding a career path, I loved the idea of helping people along with working with my hands as it is very artistic. I did an A-level in ceramics and a career as a dental therapist seemed like the perfect fit.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about so many things, yet my overriding passion in dentistry is behaviour change, and I apply my passion in this to impacting the public's perception on dentistry in a positive light, being part of making a significant difference through our role as a dental profession on oral health, creating a positive impact on the dental profession through inspiring others through learning from others stories. I also have a particular interest in hygiene / dental therapists department within a dental practice that functions as optimally as possible.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? / Or what set backs have you had?
I moved to Dubai in 2007 and the transition from working alongside some of the most eminent dentists in the UK was a huge change for me. I was searching for a practices equivalent to Bow Lane or Dawood and Tanner where I had been working in London at the time in Dubai and it was not possible to find this. At the time I felt this was a huge setback for me in my career path, however after a number of years I did find a practice that I was very happy in that allowed me to thrive. Amidst this time I then went onto explore other opportunities in Dubai, one of which was establishing the equivalent of a Dental Hygienists Association in Dubai to represent the profession. This was a huge challenge in itself as the process to establish something that had to be under the equivalent of the government in the UAE was a journey in itself. In all honesty it took nearly 10 years to establish this due to various resistance faced along the way and reaching the right people. Through this I learnt that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and whatever the challenge there is always a way forward despite barriers you may face along the way, you can keep searching if you believe in something enough and you will reach your end goal eventually. Working closely with others and having a strong team is the key to us advancing.
Who have you been personally inspired by?
Many colleagues have inspired me and continue to inspire me, however if I had to pick one I feel James Goolnick had the greatest impact on my career, as I had the fortune of working with him a few years after I qualified. James approaches things differently, working above and beyond always nurturing a happy team, and this inspired me hugely, and I have taken this on board throughout my career and continue to be inspired by James work today.
How do you maintain the work life / family life balance?
I do my best, honestly I am still working it out. It is a constant juggle and requires continuous adjustments to re-balance. Yet continuous listening to yourself, your body and family is key. My focus as for all parents and Number 1 priority is my children are happy and of course my husband, if that is the case, I can fit my work around them. Family time at the weekend is a must.
What inspired you to start Smile Revolution?
I did a bachelors in oral health promotion and this was certainly the starting point as I became more and more reflective in my work. I then went on to be more involved with the international federation of dental hygienists and was invited to attend the first social responsibility conference for dental hygienists around the world that focused on leadership in dentistry and taking projects forward. These have certainly had the most impact on my work today and inspired the initiation and growth of the Smile Revolution.
What is the Smile Revolution?
The Smile Revolution is an Oral Health Promotional entity, that creates content to inspire advancements in the profession, and works with the dental profession to create content for the public, to help overcome oral health inequalities around the world.
What would your top tips be to our dental friends that are considering a new business venture?
Go for it, reach out to colleagues, identify further education that is going to help support your new business venture and sign up. The more you learn the faster we all grow and the more resources we have to utilise to advance.
I would like to thank Victoria for inspiring me personally and for taking the time to share her career highlights and future plans with The Diamond Dental Staff Community. I am excited to see how well the Oral Health Promotion course flourishes and feel honoured that she has shared this with us. It is a pleasure to be collaborating with Victoria and The Smile Revolution.
Links to some of Victoria’s other feature articles can be found here;
BDJ Article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41407-020-0375-0
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Founder & Managing Director
Diamond Dental Staff