Virtual event with Tokyo dental students

Several Bachelor of Oral Health students originally planned to travel to Japan in April this year as part of a partnership visit to Tokyo Medical and Dental University, GC Corporation and Tsurumi University respectively. Students had planned to spend two weeks on exchange in the Dental Hygiene Program.

After COVID-19 resulted in their visit being cancelled, a virtual meeting was arranged so that our students could learn more about dental practice in Japan and answer TMDU students’ questions about oral health in Australia. Last month, Jacinta Smarelli, Alexi Polatos and Professor Julie Satur met virtually with Professor Shinada, Professor Kabasawa and four Dental Hygiene Students from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan. Jacinta and Alexi are completing an elective study unit where students undertake a comparative analysis of dental hygiene in Japan and oral health therapy in Australia.

The students and staff discussed fluoride application and oral health policy in Australia, employment opportunities for dental hygienists in Australia, and characteristics of systemic oral diseases that have strong links to Australian food culture. Jacinta and Alexi also had the opportunity to learn about the education, training and qualifications undertaken by dental hygienists in Japan, service delivery, funding and policy for oral care for school-aged children in Japan, and oral disease patterns in Japanese adolescents.

Jacinta and Alexi will present their findings at the BOH Research days in November.