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The Edge of Cosmetic Dentistry: Plan, Treat and Repeat- Oliver Harman BACD

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  Posted by: The Probe      8th August 2018

Dr Oliver Harman, Chairman of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) Credentialing Committee, says: “If you have ever watched the Tom Cruise film, The Edge of Tomorrow, you might have noticed it has broad similarities with the BACD Accreditation Programme. This is particularly relevant in regards to working with your basic training, only to fall short of reaching your ultimate goals. For instance, your initial work as a cosmetic dentist may not be your best, but once you go back over your work, you can find ways to improve treatment, which will eventually enable you to achieve the ideal result.”

As one of only two British dentists to achieve the prestigious BACD Fellowship Award, Dr Harman has extensive experience in all aspects of cosmetic and general aesthetic dentistry. He has owned two private practices in his career but now splits his time between BUPA Dental Care and MyDentist, working in the Lake District in Cumbria, and lectures both nationally and internationally. He is eager to take part at the BACD Fifteenth Annual Conference, where he will join Dr Julian Caplan on stage to engage with delegates on the benefits of BACD Accreditation.

Dr Harman explains: “Why should a practitioner become BACD Accredited? Well, modern dentists are, quite rightly, very selective about how they use their academic energy. I think that the BACD Accreditation Programme offers something unique to aspiring practitioners – a fantastic accolade that they can use to differentiate themselves from other clinicians. Many dentists can talk to the talk, but we at the BACD want to ensure that those who undergo Accreditation can also walk the walk.

“This programme looks at how you can develop your cosmetic dental work, ensuring you use sound analytic processes, as well as the right clinical techniques and materials, all guided by a trained artistic eye to produce beautiful results. In this day and age, it must also, of course, fit within the appropriate care pathway of general care, offering all the options and obtaining informed consent. While it sits comfortably alongside any Aesthetic Masters-level course, BACD Accreditation serves as a distinct award in it’s own right that can be presented to patients and peers, demonstrating that you really can deliver excellent clinical results – as judged by some of the top cosmetic dentists in the country.”

Speaking about his upcoming hands-on workshop at the BACD Annual Conference, Dr Harman says: “I will be looking at the process of Accreditation in further detail and demystifying some of its protocols. I will also be exploring the cycle of reflective learning and how a framework will enable delegates to self critique their work in order to successfully complete BACD Accreditation – which is broadly designed to assess the essential skills we’d expect to see from a cosmetic dentist.

“For instance, candidates must be able to demonstrate their understanding of smile design, as well as their ability to match teeth to other teeth, replace teeth in the anterior zone, and expertly carry out composite bonding. This is the bread and butter of day-to-day work as a cosmetic dentist. I’m conscious that dentists’ time is precious so I will be presenting streamlined guidelines on the  BACD Accreditation process that, while not spoon feeding candidates, will at least simplify and speed up their progression.

“For example, we will look at the marking scheme, particularly in regards to gingival lines and black triangles. We will also go over the photographic elements of clinical cases and why it is not necessarily the glamorous shots that are important, but the ones that show the dentist’s work clearly in the cold light of day to be good or bad. These are the images that enable the examiner to impartially and accurately assess the quality of work presented.

“Besides this, delegates will explore example cases and why they have and haven’t been successful in the past. The session will also cover what resources are available, what is included in the essential reading list, and what should be part of the reports for each case submitted for assessment. Ultimately, we at the BACD want to see that practitioners can produce consistently high quality work on a day-to-day basis using the correct protocols. A reliable and skilled pair of hands is essential.

“What I really want to emphasise is that BACD Accreditation is about self improvement, enabling clinicians to work more efficiently and effectively. The BACD essentially trains dentists to examine what they are doing and determine how they could do it better within a specific framework, so that they can become recognised as a ‘dentist’s dentist’, as well as a ‘patient’s dentist’. BACD Accreditation sets a high bar for standards, but it isn’t impossible to get over.”

Dr Harman adds: “As a large group of cosmetic dentists with an ethos based on learning, the BACD aims to be at the forefront of helping practitioners improve their cosmetic dental practice. It’s also an all-inclusive organisation that welcomes a lot of internationally-renowned speakers to its Annual Conference. This event delivers a lot for your buck in terms of up-to-date information and fresh ideas. It’s fantastic to have John Kois presenting at the conference this year, as he is one of the world’s most famous dentists, and an expert in so many disciplines that you wonder how he has managed to master them all in one lifetime.”


Make sure you don’t miss out – visit the BACD website to book your ticket.


The BACD Fifteenth Annual Conference 2018

‘The Functional Smile: Start With Why…’

8th– 10thNovember 2018

Millennium Gloucester Hotel

Kensington, London


For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit

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