Eastman Dental Institute


Orthodontic awards success for Eastman students

23 August 2021

UCL Eastman Dental Institute research students have scooped awards at two major orthodontic conferences convened by the European Orthodontic Society and the Association of Orthodontists Singapore. 

Dr Paula Sinnot and Dr Florence Kok UCL

Presented to celebrate and recognise research achievements in the field of orthodontics, the European Orthodontic Society’s (EOS) Houston Oral Presentation prize 2021 was awarded to Dr Paula Sinnott for work from her MClinDent research, ‘Psychological Support for Orthognathic Patients.’  

Current PhD student, Florence Kok, won third prize in the poster competition at the Association of Orthodontists Singapore’s recent online congress (AOSC 2021) for her work ‘A qualitative analysis of pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing orthognathic treatment for severe dentofacial discrepancies.’ The interview-based study focused on exploring factors affecting anxiety in those patients who were awaiting jaw surgery as part of their treatment. 

On her award, Dr Kok said: “I am honoured to have won this award, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful supervisors, Professor Susan Cunningham and Dr Fiona Ryan, for their guidance in my research.” 

Dr Sinnott’s winning presentation focused on her research exploring the psychological support for patients undergoing orthognathic treatment - a form of treatment that involves both orthodontic braces and jaw surgery to treat severe dental and facial discrepancies. Published in the Journal of Orthodontics, Dr Sinnott's study gathered information from over 100 consultant orthodontists in the UK to investigate three main areas: orthodontists’ training experience in the psychological assessment of orthognathic patients and their wish for training/further training; the availability of psychological support, referral patterns and outcomes after referral; and adverse incidents prompting orthodontists to refer patients for psychological assessment. 

Speaking of the 2021 EOS Houston award, Dr Paula Sinnott said: “I am delighted that this research has raised awareness of psychological support for orthognathic patients at a European level. It was an honour to win this award and to present my research in collaboration with my colleagues. I feel really privileged to have had such incredibly supportive supervisors: Prof Cunningham, Prof Hunt and Dr Shute, without whom this research would not have been possible.” 

Dr Sinnott’s research supervisor Professor Susan Cunningham noted that: “Paula worked extremely hard with her research, and I think it is a fantastic example of how our postgraduates undertake research which has a real impact on enhancing patient care.” 

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