Dental Hygiene Legacy Symposium Returns September 18

Participants can receive up to 5 hours of continuing education.
Dental Hygiene Legacy Symposium Returns September 18

Course presenters Jyme Charette, DMD and Leonda Richardson, RDH

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Dental Hygiene Legacy Symposium was postponed to February 12, 2022. For more details, follow the Dental Hygiene Facebook page


Choosing a career in dental hygiene is more than a commitment for today. Due to the nature of the field, it is also a commitment for the future. Virginia Woodward, who graduated from the ULSD dental hygiene program 50 years ago, says that “as a health care professional, we are called upon through our Oath to continue lifelong learning.”

That is why the Dental Hygiene Legacy Alumni Council, which Woodward leads, created an annual event to help dental hygienists stay on top of the latest advances in oral health: the Dental Hygiene Legacy Symposium. The year’s Symposium will take place at the School of Dentistry on Saturday, September 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it will focus on two important issues for hygienists: cultural competency and implants/prosthodontics. All dental professionals are welcome, even if they are not graduates of ULSD’s dental hygiene program.

The day will start with a one-hour product showcase, giving dental hygienists the opportunity to learn about oral health products and services.  The showcase qualifies for one hour of CE.

Next is a two-hour CE course on Implant and Prosthodontic Considerations for the Dental Hygienist, presented by Jyme Charette. Charette is a board-certified prosthodontist and a graduate of ULSD’s DMD program and prosthodontics residency.

Woodward says learning about implants and prosthodontics is incredibly valuable for attendees, because “it is imperative that dental hygienists be able to talk about all options with their patients as they would do for a filling, crown or bridge. The long-term health of the oral cavity and bone is dependent on that.”

Linda Lewis, a Dental Hygiene Alumni Council member, adds that this knowledge is key to working with the dentist as a team. “So many times, a patient can be thinking of something else while the dentist explains and miss information or instructions,” Lewis says. “To hear it again from the hygienist, maybe in a different way, can help patients to remember. Of course, to make it work, the hygienist has to listen to the dentist while they explain.”

The event will wrap up with a two-hour CE course on Cultivating Cultural Proficiency in Dentistry. This course will be taught by Leonda Richardson. While completing her bachelor’s in dental hygiene, Richardson developed a passion for educating others, public health and issues involving racial and ethnic diversity within and beyond the field of dental hygiene. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, specializing in health promotion and behavioral sciences with an emphasis on social justice.

Lewis says it is refreshing to see this topic being discussed during the Symposium. “Every patient is different for one reason or another. Every person is different … For me, to be Black, female, hygienist, teacher, resident of West Louisville, retired military, and a mother, it is interesting that in many circles these differences are not talked about or mentioned. As a past UofL Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Dr. J. Blaine Hudson, III once told me, ‘if you can get one person to see and understand differences, that’s one person more.’”

In addition to providing continuing education for dental professionals, the Symposium helps to raise funds to support ULSD’s dental hygiene program. “The registration fee, once bills are paid, will go directly to the RDH Legacy fund to support the UofL RDH program and student scholarships,” Woodward says. “We want to remember how our program almost closed years ago,” Lewis adds. “With support of our graduates, and many others, hopefully that is something we will never have to worry about again.”

Woodward also looks forward to holding an in-person event again. “Everyone is ready to experience interaction with their colleagues person to person, even if they will be wearing masks. I look forward to seeing everyone and raising more financial support for the RDH Legacy Council.”

For more details and to register, go to 


August 16, 2021