Smile Aider (Stakeholder Meaningful Involvement Engagement Aiding Dental Research)


Patient public involvement and engagement (PPIE) has become a widely adopted approach in medicine, which dentistry has been slow to adopt. This is largely due to common misconceptions that dental patients do not feel united by an ‘illness’ in contrast to PPIE Forums in medicine. To counter this, DenTCRU established SMILE AIDER which is often invited to contribute to national platforms such as the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership (JLA PSP) for Oral & Dental Health to establish to top 10 research priorities for our discipline.

Boasting more than 20 active contributors, this platform provides an opportunity for members of the public and dental health professionals to come together to ensure a robust patient-centric approach to oral and dental health research. The philosophy being “No research about us without us!”

This has provided a voice for the otherwise under-represented / seldom heard population of adolescents and elderly, who live in areas of well-known oral health inequality.  

Training is provided both for clinicians in how to facilitate effective PPIE partnerships and for PPI contributors to ensure their voice is heard. SMILE AIDER’s is delivering patient-centric research across translational and health service research, resulting in better designed studies.