Lilam Rai, a dental student from King's College London, has won the BSPD National Student Elective Prize 2022.

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Lilam submitted the winning elective project entitled: Dental aid to the children of Nepal. Lilam explained that dental professionals can grow personally and professionally when they step beyond the walls of their dental practice. With this in mind, Lilam will be using this elective as an opportunity to go back to her country of birth, Nepal, and give back to the community where people are devoid of basic dental care and oral health education. During Lilam's elective, she will be joining a charity organisation, 'Travel Dentistry Nepal', run by Nepali dentists. She will visit the only community school present in a rural village called Sekham, where around 300 children, aged five to eighteen, study. She will apply the skills learned from dental school to provide dental check-ups and supervised treatments to children.

She will also extend oral care to children from Sekham who are not in full-time education. The treatments provided will range from prevention using fluoride varnish and/or fissure sealant, restorations with either glass ionomer cement, amalgam and/or composite, as well as extractions. She and her team expect to treat around 500 children over the course of ten days. In addition, she will help deliver oral health education and demonstrate good oral hygiene techniques to the children and their parents. They will also be distributing free oral hygiene aids.

This competition was open to BSPD student members who are intending to undertake an elective project within the year. Students submitted a summary of a maximum of 250 words, describing their proposed elective project involving the dental health of children. The winning student will have to submit a short report on their elective project once completed. One award of the value of £300 is given for the National Student Elective Prize to support the student's elective project.

Chair of the BSPD Conference Abstracts and Prizes Committee, Dr Chris Vernazza, said: 'We were impressed with the high number and quality of the applications for the National Student Elective Prize. The vision and insight demonstrated by applicants indicates a bright future for the paediatric dentistry profession.'