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The Future in Our Hands #ISDH2022

The International Federation of Dental Hygienists will hold its triennial event in Dublin, Ireland from August 11 to 13, 2022.

March is the month we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish. We make Irish soda bread, drink Irish breakfast tea, dye our rivers green, and drink green beer. Even if we don’t have an ounce of Irish blood in us, we wear “Kiss Me I’m Irish” t-shirts on March 17 and sing songs like “Danny Boy” as if we can truly claim citizenship of the Emerald Isle. (Count me in!) It’s a wonderful time of camaraderie and celebration, which is why this year’s International Symposium on Dental Hygiene (ISDH) will be especially festive. The International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) will hold its triennial event in Dublin, Ireland from August 11 to 13, 2022. And it will be glorious—just like St Patrick’s Day all over again!

If you are unaware of the IFDH, an overview of the organization’s history is available at: Founded in 1986, the federation began as a way to unite dental hygienists around the globe. Wilma Motley, RDH, of the United States, was IFDH’s first president, and it has grown from the original six founding countries to 35 member countries.1 

In addition to establishing relationships with numerous international dental organizations and acting as a resource for dental hygienists worldwide, the IFDH holds a symposium every 3 years. Hosted by a member country, the ISDH attracts an international array of attendees and speakers. This year marks the 13th ISDH, and the theme “The Future in Our Hands” is especially pertinent to dental hygiene practice everywhere. Our roles within the healthcare system continue to evolve, and we are the ones who control our destiny. With educational sessions focused on the concepts of learn, enable, care, and adapt, topics are geared toward every professional role in dental hygiene—clinician, educator, researcher, corporate, administrator, public health, and entrepreneur. 

Any dental hygienist from a member country can become an individual member of the IFDH. I joined more than 20 years ago and have enjoyed not only the important information IFDH shares, but the friendships I’ve developed with colleagues from many different countries. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to amazing places where the symposium has been held such as Florence, Italy; Madrid, Spain; Toronto, Canada; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cape Town, South Africa; and Brisbane, Australia. This year, I am serving as a delegate representing the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. And I’m also honored to be chosen as a speaker at the ISDH. Many well-known US dental hygiene speakers are part of the program, and you’ll recognize names from the international circuit as well.

So, come join us in Ireland! I guarantee you will have an unforgettable time. The connections you make will last a lifetime. The knowledge you glean will enhance your professional and personal perspectives. Sláinte (health) to an unforgettable experience! The full symposium program and registration information can be found at:

Jill Rethman, RDH, BA
Editor in Chief


  1. International Federation of Dental Hygienists. History of the IFDH. Available Accessed February 14, 2022.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. March 2022;8(3):6.

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