Annual Conference

Road to the 94th Annual Conference

Michelle Noblet-Vacha

ADHA’s 94th Annual Conference is the ultimate place to advance professional and personal skills through shorter continuing education sessions, exhibits, networking, hands-on workshops and the most pressing topics facing dental hygienists. As we gear up for an exciting event, we are thrilled to introduce this week’s featured speaker, Michelle Noblet-Vacha, RDH, BS, who will be presenting “Teledentistry and Addressing the State of Decay in Older Adults” at this year’s conference.

Michelle is the founder and executive director of Senior Mobile Dental, a nonprofit organization serving the oral health care needs of low-income adults with a focus on the vulnerable elderly. We met up with Michelle, who discussed her passion for helping the elderly and her innovative solutions for helping them get the oral care they sorely lack.

Q: Why did you choose to focus on the oral health needs of the elderly?
A: Throughout my years as a private practice hygienist, I observed the difficulty seniors faced in coming to the office for regular care. It was especially disheartening to see seniors who lived in care facilities struggle with performing daily oral hygiene. I realized it was much easier for me to go to them, and so I developed a program to do just that.

Q: Why is it important for the elderly to be a priority in the oral health field?
A: There are so many reasons, but my top two are: 1. If they still have their teeth at this stage of their life, it shows they cared for and maintained their oral health. Why should their standard of care change just because they have lost their insurance or dexterity? 2. The ability to enjoy a good meal is something that everyone should strive to maintain; it is a small, comforting pleasure in old age. Rampant disease and neglect can sometimes decrease this pleasure. We are losing significant health care dollars trying to keep a body healthy with a diseased mouth.

Q: What advice would you give to other dental hygienists?
A: I love being a dental hygienist! There is so much opportunity in our profession. If you have the vision and dedication, anything is possible.

“Teledentistry and Addressing the State of Decay in Older Adults” will take place on Friday, June 16th from 11:45pm to 1:15pm. Registration has opened for the 94th Annual Conference, which takes place June 14-19 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, Jacksonville, Florida. Be sure to take advantage of the early bird special, available now until February 17th.

Register for ADHA's 94th Annual Conference Today!