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  Posted by: The Probe      3rd December 2021

It is often an encounter with a particular person, organisation or event that ends up shaping our career. Whether we know it at the time or not, seizing the opportunity and making the most of all the benefits available to us is crucial. The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) has provided such a turning point for many clinicians and team members over the years.

Putting into words what the BACD means him, Dr Chris McConnell says:

“I feel that people use the phrase ‘cosmetic dentistry’ too easily. To do it properly, you need to know about much more than just tooth whitening or veneers. Cosmetic dentistry is about understanding smile design, functionality, occlusion, materials, amongst a few things and most importantly how to make the smile fit the patient. It is a multifaceted field and the clinician requires a significant amount of knowledge, acquired through additional training, to deliver all this ethically.”

“The BACD embodies this and supports individuals in their pursuit of clinical excellence. It offers education, but, much more than this, it creates a community to turn to with questions or concerns, to expand capabilities and celebrate achievements. We are also very proud to be so inclusive – championing diversity and equality. We are a meritocracy, so everyone is judged by merit only and nothing else.”

Chris has been involved with the BACD for many years. He shares his initial thoughts of the Academy and his journey so far:

“I initially wanted to improve my skills in cosmetic dentistry but I couldn’t find a way to access the peer support I was looking for. I came across the BACD when I attended a Conference in 2005 – it was then that I realised the full value of having a network of like-minded peers to help elevate my work.

“I knew absolutely no one when I started, but by attending meetings over the years and speaking to lots of people, I made many friends. It also became easier than I thought it would be to advance my skills, as I found a source of mentors and peers including some of the most highly-achieved cosmetic dentists in the UK. When you surround yourself with people who inspire you, you see their influence in your work. Years later, my dentistry has completely changed for the better, I have more structure and all the support I need to achieve my cosmetic dentistry aspirations. That is what the BACD is.”

Taking up the gauntlet as President of the BACD from November 2021, Chris is looking forward to building upon what is already a widely respected organisation. He comments:

“The BACD is very well recognised across the world, known for bringing amazing speakers to conferences and promoting the importance of going back to basics in terms of clinical skills, education and networking.

“I would like to see the BACD promoted more in the public arena. I believe it is important to engage with the general population and make them aware of how to check a cosmetic dentist’s credentials before proceeding with treatment. It would be great to empower patients to ask their clinician if they are a BACD member in order to gain peace of mind that the dentist the patient chooses adheres to the highest training and clinical standards. 

“The best way to achieve this is through our member base. In the coming months, we will be encouraging members to get involved in a brand ambassador programme, providing them with content and support to promote their services and what it means to be a BACD cosmetic dentist to their patients. We will also be helping to market practices locally, raising awareness of the BACD and driving more patients to our members’ doors.”

Continuing to look ahead at what’s in store for his BACD Presidency, Chris adds:

“We are currently restructuring the BACD educational programme to offer even more hands-on opportunities and some great new events for members. We are looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality with the return of face to face meetings with 4 hands-on sessions, 2 full day free educational sessions, our annual Female Leaders in Dentistry day, BACD Business Day and a fantastic lecture in memory of  past president Anoop Maini in June.  As well as all the physical meetings we have found our members really enjoyed the webinars, so are looking at continuing this too. Our aim is to carry on supporting members during and after Covid, giving ever-greater value for BACD membership.

“For me the biggest highlight of the educational calendar has to be the first ever BACD residential conference in November 2022. Held at Celtic Manor in Wales, this will be a special event, with many companies and overseas dentists already registering high interest. We are really excited to welcome Frank Spear on the Friday – a Rockstar of US dentistry who rarely lectures in Europe, so it’s a massive deal to see him this side of the pond! But we firmly believe in fun as well as education so have a golf day on the 2010 Ryder Cup course, fantastic after-conference parties , gala dinner, and much more for every delegate.”

We wish Chris the very best of luck as BACD President over the coming year!


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

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