THEY say Glasgow smiles better....and Joanna Sigmund might be part of the reason why.

It’s her job to persuade some of the city’s most vulnerable people to visit the dentist.

Based with homelessness services team in Hunter Street, for some, it may be the first time in decades they have had a dental check-up.

Many will be suffering “great pain” she says or are too embarrassed to smile because of the state of their teeth.

Joanna has been praised for her ability to persuade nervous clients to get into the dentist’s chair. According to colleagues, it’s not uncommon for her to into work on her days off , walk miles with clients to their appointments and even hold their hand while they are getting treatment.

It is this dedication to her clients that has earned Joanna a nomination at this year’s chairman’s awards, run by NHS Greater Glagow and Clyde, which are being held on Monday night.

She said: “Often when I see clients at first they won’t smile or simply can’t eat certain foods. “Sometimes they are in great pain.

“It’s not even just about the dental work – it’s a bigger journey they are on to start taking care of themselves again.

“This is the bit that for me is great to see, when they start taking pride in themselves again. Seeing them smile makes my job worthwhile. I love it.”

Marty, 35, who had lived on the streets for a year, was persuaded to go to the dentist, thanks to Joanna.

Marty said: “I’ve actually got quite decent teeth, despite my lifestyle.

“ I knew I needed to go to the dentist – but I struggle a lot in getting round to the things I need to do.

“But Joanna being there for me encouraged me to get the help I needed – it sounds daft but I couldn’t have done it without her.

“She’s given me my smile back and I’m really grateful for that.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Chairman’s Awards are being held on Monday. Categories including best clinical practice, best health & wellbeing project and best nurse.

Among the nominees are a team who developed the Bethlehem programme , for Palestinian children who are experiencing mental health problems.

Carol Sellar has been shortlisted for vaccinating more than 500 people against the flu in hospital wards.

Yvonne Gormley has been nominated for initiating a ‘buddy’ system for junior doctors.

Janette Farr and Susan McPherson have been shorlisted in the nursing category for ‘stepping up’ to take charge on the ward for several months.

Also nominated in the nursing category is 70-year-old Patricia Conlin, who is the ward’s go-to bank nurse’ in times of crisis and has been praised for her “compassion and dedication.’

There will be a special award for excellence on the night.