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What it means to be ‘award-winning’

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  Posted by: The Probe      26th December 2021

To win a professional award in recognition of hard work, clinical skill and outstanding patient care is a massive achievement for dental professionals. To win three in the same year is an even greater accomplishment. But that’s what Dr Luke Hutchings from Clear Dentistry in Southampton did at the Aesthetic Dentistry Awards 2021. As a Board Member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), this is a fantastic example of the heights that can be reached with the ethos and support of the organisation.

Luke humbly reflects on his wins, commenting:

“I’m still pretty shocked to be honest! These awards are a validation of many years of hard work. As an associate in a general practice, I’m not in the same situation as a lot of cosmetic dentists and I see patients mostly for routine treatments. I simply try to put as much effort into making everything look good, making everyday dentistry look and function as well as it possibly can. Winning the awards offers validation of the journey that I have been on, and it’s great to be seen to be doing some decent dentistry!”

Luke was the overall winner in three categories – Restorative Single Tooth Composite, Restorative Dentures (Partial) alongside Ashley Byrne, and Best Aesthetic Dentist 2021. As for how he prepared for the event, his keen eye for detail and commitment to excellence in everything that he did meant he could simply keep doing what he was doing.

“I mostly just selected what I considered some of my best cases when the time came,” Luke continues. “Having worked in general practice for nearly 20 years and having been BACD member for many years, I changed how I approached my dentistry some time ago. A training course I took with Chris Orr in 2011 opened my eyes to how I should be working, and from then on, I started photographing and documenting all my cases. My consequential journey with the BACD helped me further review my processes.”

The BACD has always been dedicated to clinical excellence, helping members develop their skills in everyday dentistry while also exposing them to cutting-edge concepts in the cosmetic dental field. Its ethos promotes the importance of well-rounded clinicians with competence and confidence in a broad range of areas to ensure the very best quality patient care. Luke details further how being associated with the Academy has helped him develop:

“After the training course with Chris, I was impressed by BACD educational events like the Annual Conference and study clubs. I soon got involved on committee level before I was invited to join the Board. I am currently the Congress Convenor and the incoming Vice President, which is very exciting and slightly nerve-racking given the calibre of individuals who have come before me.

“During this time, the BACD has helped me enhance my clinical skills but also change my mental approach to the dentistry that I do. It has provided opportunities to network with likeminded colleagues, to ask questions of friends and gain advice in the informal settings that I personally learn best in.

“BACD membership offers many intangible benefits that are essential for professional growth. Dentistry is a singular business as you are often isolated in your surgery. Having a network of colleagues to connect with and a community to engage with provides confirmation that you are not alone. There are some truly inspirational professionals within the Academy who I aspire to be like in order to drive up my own standards.  

“More tangible advantages are the educational events available, with world-class speakers coming to share their work. There is very much a culture of sharing mistakes and less-than-perfect outcomes as well as successes, so everyone learns from each other in an open environment. Most of all, the BACD is a family.”

Offering a few final thoughts, Luke adds: 

“Winning awards like these opens new doors to opportunities outside clinical dentistry. such as lecturing and mentoring, which I am thinking about doing more of. In terms of my everyday practice, very little will change – I love what I do and I will continue working in general practice to deliver functional and aesthetic outcomes wherever possible. After a rubbish couple of years, winning these awards has been a great light at the end of the tunnel – both the win and the chance to socialise with friends at the ceremony.”

From everyone at the BACD, many congratulations to Luke on his fantastic achievement!


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

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