Smile Together Specialist in Special Care Dentist, Rebecca Iles, gained a Master’s degree in Special Care Dentistry, from Kings College London in 2020, passing with Distinction.

For her Master’s research project, entitled “Oral Health Experiences in Palliative and End of Life Care”, Rebecca spent six months visiting St Christopher’s Hospice in South London, carrying out observational studies, interviews with palliative care patients and focus groups with palliative care staff. Rebecca’s research will prove instrumental in improving the oral health outcomes for this patient group and, she hopes, will improve both the provision of oral care, and the access to dental care, in hospices across the UK.

On 23rd August 2022 Rebecca gave an oral presentation of her research in Paris at the International Association for Disability and Oral Health Conference, a prestigious conference held every two years. She has also been approached by the British Society of Gereodontology and British Society for Disability and Oral Health to lead the development of guidelines for palliative care.

Rebecca returned to the South West in 2022, joining Smile Together as Specialist in Special Care Dentist and fulfilling her desire to contribute to reducing oral health inequalities experienced by people living with complex impairments and disability, and to improve the oral health-related-quality of life for these patients. Attracted by our ethos as an employee-owned community interest company, multi-disciplinary team working and purpose-designed dental centre at Harleigh Road in Bodmin, she has access to specialised equipment and facilities, which provides an accessible and accommodating service for our most vulnerable patients, who frequently experience a multitude of barriers when accessing care.

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