Dentsply Sirona presented the second iteration of its Smart Integration Award to women in dentistry on 12 November. With the award, which was launched in 2019, Dentsply Sirona recognises visionary treatment concepts and the outstanding achievements of women in dentistry worldwide, while creating a network of women in dentistry. The 2021 applicants came from nearly 40 countries. The award ceremony took place virtually this year.
Dentists and dental technicians from around the world submitted their ideas for integrating digital technologies into the practices and dental laboratories of the future and improving the treatment experience for patients. The award ceremony was attended by 90 nominees, who had been selected by an international jury of Dentsply Sirona executives and renowned external experts. Winners were awarded in five categories: “Digital Clinical Workflow”, “Digital Patient Communication”, “Innovative Infection Control and Prevention”, “Management of Dental Equipment”, and “Smart Lab-Dentist Cooperation”.
The innovation categories in the field of digital dentistry were expanded this year due to the high level of global interest. The pool of applicants was also larger: for the first time, dentists and dental technicians from the United States (US) were also able to apply. With the Smart Integration Award, Dentsply Sirona wants to do justice to the growing proportion of women in dental professions, promote their skills, and improve their career opportunities.
Focus on digital workflow
Two of this year’s Smart Integration Award winners are Dr Shivi Gupta from San Diego, US, and Christine Trautmann from Darmstadt, Germany. Dr Gupta took the prize in the “Digital Patient Communication” category. In three exemplary case descriptions, the CAD/CAM expert showed how she achieves high aesthetic and functional success in treatment in her practice using a completely digital workflow. This also allows her to offer patients an efficient, comfortable treatment experience and precise results.
Christine Trautmann convinced the jury in the “Smart Lab-Dentist Cooperation” category with her presentation of a fully digitalised ordering process between the dentist and lab.
“End-to-end digitised workflows are still a vision in this field – but a very desirable one,” Trautmann said in the interview. “That’s because they facilitate communication between both parties equally and give dental technicians the ability to meet individual restoration requirements even better.”
Dr Terri Dolan, vice president and chief clinical officer at Dentsply Sirona, sees great potential in the Smart Integration Award: “The significant interest from women worldwide shows us how important awards like this are. They recognise achievement and boost professional confidence, helping us promote gender parity in dentistry to support the next generation of female leaders.”
Dr Dolan, who is a dentist herself, is responsible for the Key Opinion Leader Network development programme at Dentsply Sirona.
Prof Ihsane Ben Yahya, president of the World Dental Federation FDI, attended the award ceremony as guest of honour.
She is also convinced that initiatives such as the Smart Integration Award will increase the influence of women in dentistry: “I am certain that tonight’s winners are the leaders of tomorrow. And that the women gathered here will help lead the way to empower patients everywhere with innovative solutions and ideas that can revolutionise our industry.”
Supporting and empowering women in dentistry is the common goal of FDI and Dentsply Sirona.
Advanced training and international networking
Immediately after the award ceremony, the winners of the Smart Integration Award 2021 embarked on a two-day expert training programme consisting of training sessions, workshops, and seminars on numerous specialist topics relating to treatments. The programme is designed to enable women to draw on the great potential of digital technologies in dentistry and dental technology.
Furthermore, the expert programme promotes international networking among women in dentistry. The winners of the Smart Integration Award become automatically part of the “Smart Integration Network”. Members of this network contribute practical and thus expert knowledge to further develop existing Dentsply Sirona products and find new, innovative solutions.
Corporate goals: integration and equity
Beyond the Smart Integration Award, Dentsply Sirona is comprehensively committed to equal rights, equal opportunities, and sustainability. Various initiatives for women support their development in dental professions and make their achievements visible.
One of these is “First to 50,” a global programme to promote women as speakers. It aims to connect women to professional coaches to support their professional development and empower them to become speakers. Other measures relate to improved opportunities for networking and sharing experiences at panel discussions and conferences.
To achieve inclusion and equal opportunities for all employees within the company, Dentsply Sirona has launched Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) – interest groups to promote equity, diversity and inclusion. These include the “DS Women” initiative, which was founded in October 2020 and already has more than 750 members from 30 nations. The stated goal of DS Women is to promote more women to leadership positions at Dentsply Sirona.
Equal opportunities as a pillar of sustainability
In its new sustainability strategy published in September 2021, Dentsply Sirona also makes a clear commitment to equity. Among other things, the company defines the achievement of gender parity and gender pay equality by 2025 as a milestone on the way to a “brighter world”
For Dentsply Sirona, the strategic pillar “Healthy Business” includes having 50% of its board members be gender and/or ethnically mixed and having 60% of its board committees chaired by women.