Dean's Blog



Ian Mills FFGDP(UK) is a partner in a mixed NHS/private general dental practice in North Devon, and Dean of the FGDP(UK)


We're on the march with Abhi's Army
Ian reflects on this historic time for primary care dentistry, as the Faculty prepares for the imminent transfer to the new College of General Dentistry, and looks back on his tenure as the tenth Dean of FGDP.


Developing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategies for the dental profession
Guest blog: Consultant in Emergency Medicine Dr Chet Trivedy (FFGDP) discusses 'EDI' in dentistry and how the Faculty and College of General Dentistry are addressing these issues.



Health and wellbeing in dentistry
Guest blog: Dental coach and mentor, Dr Janine Brooks MBE (FFGDP(UK)), considers the impact of the pandemic on the health and wellbeing of dental professionals and offers advice for those affected.




What defines professionalism in dentistry?
Guest blog: Professor Jonathan Cowpe FFGDP(UK) discusses the findings of a review into professionalism in dentistry, and considers how CGDent will enable its members to achieve the high level of professionalism expected by patients and fellow professionals.



Gender equality in dentistry - my experience  
Guest blog: FGDP(UK) Vice Dean and panel member on the recent Gender Equality in Dentistry webinar, Susan Nelson, shares her experiences of gender equality within the profession.



Is CGDent the opportunity to unify as a profession before we can connect to the rest of healthcare?  
Guest blog: Dr Tashfeen Kholasi MFGDP(UK), Faculty Board Member and member of the College of General Dentistry's Advisory Strategy Group, explains how the new College will encourage collaboration and cohesion within the profession and promote dentistry's role in general healthcare.




AMR: a greater threat to public health than COVID
Guest blog: Dr Nick Palmer FFGDP(UK) says antimicrobial resistance is a greater threat than the coronavirus pandemic, and describes how new guidance can help dentists avoid exacerbating the problem through their prescribing.



 A now-or-never opportunity to improve dental teamwork
Guest blog: Dr Janet Clarke MBE FFGDP(UK), former Deputy Chief Dental Officer for England and Trustee of the College of General Dentistry, explains why she supports proposals to allow dental hygienists and therapists to supply and administer certain medicines without a prescription.


Delivering urgent dental care: lessons for now and the future
Guest blog: Simon Hearnshaw MFGDP(UK), Chair of North Yorkshire and Humberside Local Dental Network, discusses the challenges of providing urgent dental care during the pandemic and the implications for the future.


What's changed in X-ray safety regulations in 19 years?
Guest blog: Keith Horner FFGDP(UK)(Hon.), the Faculty’s representative on the PHE working party that developed the Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment, reflects on the changes in regulations.



Don't forget your underwear
Guest blog: Mick Horton FFGDP(UK), Immediate Past Dean of FGDP(UK) and the Faculty's representative on the National Advisory Board for Human Factors in Dentistry, discusses how individuals and teams can reduce the risk of mishaps occurring and recurring.


Keeping faith with CWF 
Guest blog: Simon Hearnshaw MFGDP(UK), Chair of North Yorkshire and Humberside LDN and Co-ordinator of the National Community Water Fluoridation Network, describes an increasingly positive attitude to water fluoridation among local and national decision makers.



The present crisis is the worst I’ve witnessed, but dentistry will survive
Guest blog: Patricia Thomson MJDF RCS (Eng), FGDP(UK) National Board Member for the North and West of Scotland, reflects on her experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how general dental practice has adapted to survive previous crises.



Black Lives Matter: My experience as an Asian dentist
Guest blog: Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, FGDP(UK) Vice Dean Onkar Dhanoya FFGDP(UK) shares experiences of his education and career as an Asian dentist, and discusses actions the profession can take to address racial inequality.


Back to the Future
I fear there is more stress and pressure ahead as we navigate our way through this transition period. We cannot afford to continue to work like this, but we cannot afford to simply ignore the risks to ourselves, our staff and our patients.


It’s time to use the F word!
As we look forward to the re-opening of dental practices, our priority has to be safety, but this will undoubtedly come at a price. The Faculty will be supporting a safe return to work with the clear, practical guidance the profession desperately needs.


Working together to deliver Urgent Dental Care
Urgent Dental Care centres may provide an excellent service, but they do not have the capacity to meet the need. The number of dental practices involved needs to be rapidly increased to prevent the backlog of worsening cases becoming unmanageable.


A horrendous mess, but everyone's working tirelessly to improve the situation
I fully appreciate how anxious and frightened many of us are, and how angry we are at the apparent lack of support, but the outpouring of vitriol on social media towards colleagues is completely unacceptable.


Covid-19: finding our own way forward
Between patients, I have been triaging phone calls, meeting with my practice manager and scouring the internet for updated guidance from NHS England. It is a bit like waiting for Father Christmas, except he generally turns up on time and has rarely let me down.


This virus is punishing delay and indecision
We certainly need to avoid the escalation of panic based on hasty guidance, but when there is a paucity of research we need to rely on expert opinion and patient preference in light of the level of risk and potential consequences.


If ever we needed NHS leadership, it's now
Being in general dental practice during the coronavirus epidemic is a bit like watching a trailer for an apocalyptic film, then realising that you are part of the cast.


We need to act now to identify and manage erosive tooth wear
Why is it important to identify erosive tooth wear? And what can we do as a profession?


The significance of oral health for vulnerable groups
We may have been successful in delivering better oral health for many, but we have been largely ineffectual in addressing inequality and supporting those who are most in need our support.


Responsible prescribing for the sake of future generations
As healthcare professionals, we are told that we are well placed to raise awareness of the need to reduce the use of antibiotics. But how easy is it to explain that to the emergency patient with a raging toothache?


It’s who you know
Working as a dentist in primary care can be tough. The key to success is to surround yourself with the right people, but that’s easier said than done.


The essential role of the team in dentistry
From time to time we find our jobs difficult or uninspiring, but it is often the sense of team that pulls us through.


The Importance of Record Keeping
The use of records as much for protection as for patient benefit is now a necessary evil, but we appear to be spending as much time at a keyboard as we do at the chairside.


People Power
Last year saw the influence of people-power in changing society and the attitudes of others. With patients queuing to access NHS dental care, perhaps the public will also influence contract reform.