Mission & Vision
1. Our Mission
In short, a professional association can be described as an association of people who belong to the same professional group and who together stand up for the interests of their members. The Belgian Professional Association for Dental Hygienists (BBM) has a threefold mission, namely:
- Advocating Belgian dental hygienists
- Contributing to affordable, high-quality preventive dental hygiene based on evidence-based practices
- On a social level, contributing to general public health, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups within Belgian society
The association believes very strongly in the importance of this healthcare profession, and has adopted the following underlying values: Professionalism, Commitment, Collaboration & Quality
2. Vision for Belgian Dental Hygienists
Work according to codes
All members of the Belgian Professional Association for Dental Hygienists (BBM) will adhere to the code of ethics that will be developed by the association in collaboration with subject matter experts. As a dental hygienist, one must always work with integrity, and respect this code of conduct. Dental hygienists always work evidence-based. For example, dental hygienists regularly follow accredited training and work according to the latest scientific best practices. The clinical expertise of the dental hygienist is also important here, and the values and needs of the patient will always remain central.
All members of the association must respect the BBM’s regulations in order to maintain their membership. The law regarding quality practice in health care (BS 14/05/2019), which helps guarantee the quality and safety of care for the patient, always serves as the underlying guideline for the codes that dental hygienists comply with.
Alle leden van de vereniging dienen het huishoudelijk reglement te respecteren om hun lidmaatschap te behouden. De wet op kwaliteitsvolle praktijkvoering in de gezondheidszorg (BS 14/05/2019), die de kwaliteit en de veiligheid van zorg voor de patiënt helpt te garanderen, dient steeds als achterliggende richtlijn in de codes die mondhygiënisten naleven.
The setting in which a dental hygienist works can be very diverse. It can be in a dental practice or in collaboration with specialists such as periodontists, orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. A dental hygienist can also work at, for example, the CLB (Student Guidance Centre), in asylum centres, residential care homes, etc. if the preconditions for this are met. In these settings, a dental hygienist can provide preventive care, give advice, and develop and/or integrate dental hygiene policy.
A dental hygienist is one of many care providers (doctors and allied health professionals) that support a patient and who, based on the conviction of the importance of interdisciplinarity, provides consultation where requested or required. The interests of the patient always come first.
More specifically, a dental hygienist takes on an important role in the spectrum of dental hygiene with regard to prevention, and from that basis will always work closely with other dental hygiene providers (dentists, dental specialists, etc.)
Dental hygienists strive for preventive dental hygiene that is accessible to everyone. A dental hygienist is a well-trained professional who pays special attention to certain groups such as the elderly, children, people with disabilities, patients with pre-existing medical conditions, people with a low SES, people with anxiety, etc.
Dental hygienists can, among other things, draw up a preventive dental hygiene plan and carry out professional cleaning. With the tasks that a dental hygienist can perform, the aim is to reduce the waiting times for the patient. The hope is that this will also improve waiting times for other treatments, such as curative treatments, at the dentist or dental specialist.
3. Vision of the BBM
The Belgian Professional Association for Dental Hygienists (BBM) aims to be a representative association that will defend all the professional interests of Belgian dental hygienists.
The BBM places great importance on collaboration and consultation with its members. They can always contact the association with questions, comments, etc.
The BBM also works together in a constructive manner with related professionals and stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. The objectives of the association are pursued in collaboration with other professional associations, doctors and allied health professionals, as well as with various public bodies.
The association has an important social goal to represent the profession in all its facets and to participate in health advocacy. With this, the association aims to create greater awareness of the value of preventive dental hygiene among the Belgian population.
The BBM will always pursue all the interests of dental hygienists and work towards this with various appropriate Belgian public bodies. As an association, the aim is to represent Belgian dental hygienists on governmental advisory boards.
As a professional association, one of the objectives is to defend the interests of Belgian dental hygienists in, among others, the advisory council for Allied Health Professions, the Dental council and the National Committee for Dental Health Insurance Funds (Dentomut).
The association will also join the EDHF and IFDH to represent Belgian dental hygienists on a European and international level too.
Striving for professionalism and quality
Regular training is essential to continue to deliver quality work. The professional association aims to support dental hygienists in this by organising additional training opportunities. We will strive for financial support to be provided whenever they meet the conditions of continuous training, peer review and a minimum threshold activity.
By developing a quality policy for dental hygienists in standards, guidelines and protocols, quality can be guaranteed.
The BBM wants to contribute to scientific research and will set up a separate working group for this. National and international scientific publications relating to the broad domain of dental hygiene are shared with members via the newsletter and/or website.
All the work done on behalf of the association is carried out by a number of volunteers who are selflessly committed to Belgian dental hygienists. The association is very grateful to these people, including its members, and will also honour this commitment on behalf of the nonprofit as described in the BBM’s regulations.
4. Strategic objectives
On a social level:
– Contributing to the development of structured interdisciplinary care within the echelons of healthcare
– Profiling the dental hygienist profession in all its facets
– Raising public awareness of the benefits of preventive dental hygiene
– Contributing directly and indirectly to good and responsible healthcare
On the level of its individual members:
– Promoting the scientific training and additional training of its members; for example by organising additional training
– Supporting and defending the professional interests of its members, both collectively and individually
– Supervising the working conditions of Belgian dental hygienists
– Developing the code of ethics for Belgian dental hygienists
– Promoting socio-economic interests
– Promoting collaboration with related disciplines, both nationally and internationally
– Monitoring and promoting qualitative professional practices as described in the Belgian Royal Decree of 28/03/2018
– Defending the role of the dental hygienist in healthcare and welfare
– Establishing working groups with specific assignments
– Entering into partnerships with professionally related organisations
– Maintaining contact with training institutions
5. Operational objectives
The association’s strategic objectives are translated into concrete operational objectives. These projects and processes are organised into short, medium and long-term objectives.
– Create the BBM regulations
– Design a user-friendly website where both members and non-members can find information related to the profession
– Publish a digital newsletter for members, informative leaflets and promotional materials
– Join the EDHF
– Establish and maintain contact with various public bodies, including the NIHDI
– Establish and maintain contact with all training institutions, including in Liège and Brussels where the first dental hygienists will graduate in 2022
– Provide advice on salaries and other employment conditions of dental hygienists in lieu of salary bands
– Organise lectures, conferences, courses etc. for members, potentially in collaboration with related professional associations
– Draw up the code of ethics for Belgian dental hygienists
– Represent members via contacts at related professional organisations, patient organisations, etc.
– Collaborate with other organisations, such as professional associations, both in and outside Belgium, with similar or related objectives
– Establish professional working groups, including a scientific branch
– Publish a professional magazine for dental hygienists
– Establish provincial and/or regional working groups
– Prepare for members joining after completing training in Liège and Brussels
– Join the IFDH