Oral Health in Residential Aged Care training for Care Workers
March 16, 2024

Global Award for NIOH founding member


Professor Linda Slack-Smith received the International Association of Dental Research 2024 Distinguished Scientist Award in Geriatric Oral Health at a ceremony in New Orleans in March.

Based at the University of Western Australia, Linda has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to oral health and dental care in older people with a prestigious international science award.

Professor Slack-Smith, whose research includes population epidemiology, qualitative studies and healthcare policy, said she was elated to have been recognised and that this work addressing inequities in the health system is being acknowledged.

“Oral health of older adults is a challenging area where many older adults do not receive appropriate help with personal oral or dental care,” she said.

“In Australia we don’t have a specialty in geriatric dentistry, there is limited relevant training in packed dental courses and limited support or structure for services, with an urgent need for government support.”

Professor Slack-Smith is Head of the Equity and Oral Health Group in UWA’s School of Population and Global Health.

She has had input on state and federal policy, and appeared at the Senate inquiry into dental services where her work was also cited.

“Oral health is a really good lens to look at inequity because there are so many groups that miss out on good oral health,” she said. “It's become a type of modern-day indicator of how population groups are going.”