Using skill mix to adapt to new world dentistry

Michaela O’Neill – a highly experienced dental hygienist and Past President of the BSDHT – will be speaking as part of the Team Programme at the ADI Team Congress 2021. She will be joining the debate about whether skill mix is safe and how practice teams can best utilise the benefits available.

She says:

“I believe skill mix can be utilised differently today compared to how we approached it pre-pandemic. There is a huge push on prevention right now, which is definitely one of the strengths of a dental hygienist/therapist. The fact that oral health education can be delivered virtually provides a new way for dental hygienists/therapists to utilise their skills. I think DCPs need to have more confidence in their abilities and speak up.”

Encouraging dental hygienists and dental therapists to attend the ADI Team Congress, Michaela adds:

“Dental implants are commonplace now in every practice. Over the past few years, the importance of optimal oral hygiene to maintain these has been a constant drum beat within the profession. It is imperative to attend an event like this to develop and update our skills. I also believe the best way to stay motivated in practice is to learn more and mix with enthusiastic colleagues. It renews your passion and keeps you at the top of your game.”


ADI Team Congress 2021

“The Great Debate”

6-8 May 2021, Manchester Central


ADI members will be able to attend the ADI Team Congress for discounted rates. Join today.

NeoArch® Centres open to referrals

Should your patient require full arch rehabilitation that you are unable to deliver in-house, it is important to refer them to a team you can trust to ensure the highest clinical standards.

The NeoArch® Centres, supported by Neodent®, have all demonstrated exceptional treatment outcomes in full arch restoration cases. They are dedicated to advanced professional training, use only the very latest, evidence-based techniques, and invest in cutting-edge technologies and materials.

That’s why they utilise the Neodent® NeoArch® system, which facilitates shorter treatment times while enhancing patient quality of life by effectively restoring both function and aesthetics.[i] It uses the Helix GM® dental implants that promote flexibility of treatment to ensure high primary stability in all bone types.[ii]

NeoArch® Centres may also use digital solutions alongside the implant system to maximise predictability and accuracy of every single treatment.

To find your nearest Centre, or for more information, contact the friendly team today.


For more information, please visit https: 


[i] Babbush CA. Post treatment quantification of patient experiences with full-arch implant treatment using a modification of the OHIP-14 questionnaire. J Oral Implantol. 2012 Jun;38(3):251-60.

[ii] Steigenga J, Al-Shammari K, Misch C, Nociti FH Jr, Wang HL. Effects of implant thread geometry on percentage of osseointegration and resistance to reverse torque in the tibia of rabbits. J Periodontol. 2004;75(9):1233-41.

Latest NASDAL Goodwill Survey released, covering 1st April – 30th September

This week saw the latest results published from the NASDAL (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) Goodwill Survey statistics. In a normal world, these statistics are produced on a quarterly basis – however, 2020 has proved to be far from normal – hence six months delay since the last publication. This survey covers the period from 1st April to 30th September 2020 and is based on deals done (i.e. practices bought or sold by NASDAL members’ clients in the period).

As the graph illustrates, goodwill prices have held up very well. Goodwill as a percentage of fee income in the period across all types of practice averaged 141% of gross fees – only down from 159% from the quarter to January 2020 – the last pre-Covid quarter.

And, the level of deal activity is very much higher than many expected.

NHS Goodwill values were higher when compared to the previous quarter with 191% of gross fees across the six months to 166% of gross fees last time. Private goodwill values fell back to 114% of gross fees from 143% of gross last time. The big fallers were mixed practices – falling from 188% of gross fees in the quarter ending January 2020 to just 110% of gross fees this time.

What does this mean?

Alan Suggett, specialist dental accountant and partner in UNW LLP who compiles the goodwill survey, said, “I have to say that both the level of deal activity and the pricing levels have surprised me. I was expecting to see a big drop in the number of practice sales coupled with a sharp fall in prices. In NASDAL members’ experience, there have been only limited price reductions and the corporates haven’t used Covid as an opportunity to negotiate lower deal values. It certainly does show that the UK dental practice sales market is not the nightmare that some commentators have suggested!

“We do know that many lenders are coming up with an increasing array of hoops for borrowers to go through – which puts cash buyers in a stronger position.

“We decided not to include valuations during this six month period as the amount of data was lower than usual, and valuations are invariably subjective, which is unhelpful during this period of uncertainty.

The goodwill figures are collated from accountant and lawyer members of NASDAL in order to give a useful guide to the practice sales market. These figures relate to the six months ending 30th September 2020.

NASDAL reminds all that as with any averages, these statistics should be treated as a guideline only.

Another happy customer

Dr Erika Spyer from Smile Solutions, London, has used products from 3M Oral Care for several years. Here, she reviews the new 3M RelyX Universal Resin Cement:

“The new syringe design is sleek and simple to use. I love the fact that it does not require a lid and the application tip is magnificent!

“Compared to previous products, this latest version features a better syringe design and leads to less waste of material.

“It also works really well with the new Scotchbond Universal Plus Adhesive, which is just as easy to apply when following the simple steps. I would recommend RelyX Universal Resin Cement to colleagues.”


For more information, call 08705 360 036 or visit

3M representatives continue to be available via video calling technologies for your convenience.


3M, RelyX and Scotchbond are trademarks of the 3M Company.

Improving work quality of life

The average person spends around 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. Making those hours as positive, enjoyable and rewarding as possible is therefore crucial for happiness and quality of life. That’s why we are working hard to constantly improve the working environment for all our practice team members at Colosseum Dental UK.

We are always speaking to our people to find out exactly what they value most and how we can continue to improve what we offer. As such, we understand that the following are some of the most important areas to our people, which is why we remain committed to supporting each and every one.

Quality first

Of course, in order to enjoy your work, it’s important that you have confidence in the quality of patient care your team is able to deliver. That’s why we are committed to maintaining exceptional clinical environments, with state-of-the-art facilities, an array of quality materials and meticulous protocols designed to keep you and your patients even safer in this new world we find ourselves in. We also have a Clinical Care Board to oversee and support clinical excellence and provide the highest standard of clinical governance for total peace of mind.

Potential to grow

For those at all stages in their careers, the potential to grow and develop is crucial for continual career progression and job satisfaction. To support this personal and professional growth, we offer an array of training and educational opportunities for all members of our practice teams. We actively encourage individuals to take the next step, expand their capabilities and broaden their horizons with additional skills, new experiences and different role responsibilities. We are also keen to recognise and reward their advanced skills and remunerate them accordingly.

A valued member of the team

Even before all the challenges faced by dental professionals post-pandemic, dentistry could be a stressful occupation. The pressure to meet patient expectations, time restrictions, CPD commitments, volume of patients and administrative tasks all contributed to a busy workload. At Colosseum Dental UK, we do our best to alleviate potential stress points by taking responsibility of much of the paperwork, creating productive working environments and delivering the support that individuals need to care for their patients. We have also always recognised and appreciated the hard work and dedication of our practice teams.

We really value each and every person within our clinics and our operational team. We also care about what they have to say – we actively seek out feedback, ideas and suggestions from all members of our practice teams to help us build an even greater place for them to work and for our patients to receive first-class dental care. 

Proof is in the pudding

We are just as proud to receive positive feedback so that we know what we are doing well and what our people like the most. Bryony, for example, recently started at Manor Dental Clinic as a practice manager, and said:

“I joined Colosseum in February this year and it was the best decision I could have made – I have never felt so welcome! I have been supported in all aspects of my role from the get-go and I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I feel respected and listened to, I have the best team around me at the practice and I am part of an amazing team of leaders. Working with Colosseum is about being part of the family, being supported and championed for being you and working hard to deliver the best patient care. I have found working here really rewarding and I know that I am helping to make a difference to the care and support patients receive. It is an absolute pleasure to work for Colosseum Dental.”

Kindly commenting in a similar vein, a new dentist to the group added:

“In the interview stages I was impressed by the professionalism of the members of the team that I interacted with. They were all very friendly, reassuringly supportive and thorough. The group vision also resonated well with my future aspirations. I am looking forward to a sustainable development of my career within the group.”

Investing in you

At Colosseum Dental UK, we are all about investing in our people and ensuring they have a great place to work. If you enjoy what you do and where you do it, it will be easier to deliver exceptional patient care, which is the end goal for us all. If you’d like to know more, check out our website.


For more information about Colosseum Dental, please visit

Support World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day on 1st December is a widely recognised international health day. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It also presents a chance to celebrate successes such as increased access to treatment and prevention services for these diseases.[i]

Dental professionals will be aware that HIV is a virus that leads to immune deficiency in humans. There is no vaccine or cure, yet there is effective treatment available to control the virus, support the immune system and extend life. Over the last decade, incidence of HIV has greatly reduced and, due to new medication and combination therapy, many individuals have been able to achieve undetectable levels of HIV viral load, which significantly minimises the chances of transmission. Nevertheless, HIV is still a serious health concern. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 14 people living with HIV do not know they have the virus and can therefore pass it on. Furthermore, over 4,300 new cases are diagnosed each year. [ii]

Obviously, the mission is to prevent new infections with a target to achieve zero HIV transmissions by 2030. But for now, dental professionals still have a vital role to play in early detection. By recognising the oral manifestations that may relate to HIV infection, clinicians are able to refer patients to appropriate care provision for prompt treatment and better health outcomes.[iii] Oral lesions are among the earliest clinical signs of HIV and are important indicators in the detection of infection, for prediction of viral infection progress and the progression to AIDS.[iv] They are observed in 79-90 percent of HIV positive patients during different stages of the disease and lesions strongly associated with HIV infection include:

  • Candidiasis – Erythematous – Pseudomembranous
  • Hairy leukoplakia
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Periodontal disease – Linear gingival erythema – Necrotizing (ulcerative) gingivitis – Necrotizing (ulcerative) periodontitis[v]

As well as detecting symptoms that may be related to HIV, the dental team are also crucial for providing the comprehensive care required to help HIV patients maintain their health and quality of life. People with HIV/AIDS have an increased risk for oral health problems as the disease compromises the immune system and makes it harder for the body to fight off opportunistic infections. In addition, due to the side effects of medication or treatment, these patients commonly experience oral changes that not only cause discomfort, but may also lead to difficulties with eating or sleeping. For example, some drugs cause taste changes, resulting in loss of appetite or alterations to food choices and eating patterns, which, in turn, can weaken the body’s ability to cope with the virus and affect the patient’s overall health. Some anti-HIV drugs can also decrease the production of saliva, making the mouth dry and more vulnerable to bacteria. Consequently, the patient is at increased risk of developing tooth decay and periodontitis. Dental problems such a tooth decay and gum disease also have the potential to change the patient’s appearance and affect their self-esteem. Fortunately, dental professionals are ideally placed to help these patients by increasing oral hygiene awareness and making sure that those diagnosed with HIV have the support and knowledge they need to prevent further complications.

Dental hygienists and dental therapists are fighting viruses and bacteria on a daily basis and need to continually update their knowledge through education. The British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy (BSDHT) provides its members with the highest level of information, research and development opportunities to help maintain the very best level of patient care.


For more information about the BSDHT, please visit,

call 01788 575050 or email


[i] World Health Organisation. World AIDS Day. 1 December. [Accessed 21st September 2020]

[ii] National AIDS Trust. HIV in the UK Statistics – 2018. [Accessed 21st September 2020]

[iii] Reznik D.A. et al. Managing dental patients with HIV. Journal of Multidisciplinary Care. Decisions in Dentistry. Dec 1 2015. [Accessed 21st September 2020]

[iv] Pakfetrat A. et al. Oral manifestations of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients. Iran J. Otorhinolaryngol. 2015 Jan: 27(78):43-54.,ulcer%20(4%2C5). [Accessed 21st September 2020]

[v] Vaseliu N et al. Oral manifestations of HIV infection. Texas Children’s Hosptical. Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. [Accessed 21st September 2020]

Dr Linda Greenwall’s Dental Wellness Trust (S02 E05)

In this episode of The Probe Dental Podcast, Dr Linda Greenwall discusses the formation of her charity: the Dental Wellness Trust.

Established in 2011, the Dental Wellness Trust charity has one simple mission and that’s to improve the general health and wellbeing of children through dental wellness – especially those most in need.

The charity’s LiveSmart supervised tooth brushing programme addresses the ever-worsening crisis of child dental health. Initially set up to help communities in Dr Greenwall’s home country of South Africa (with over 80% tooth decay rates in children under 5 years old), it is now being rolled out in schools and nurseries across parts of the UK.

In addition to discussing the Dental Wellness Trust’s aims and the LiveSmart campaign, Dr Greenwall speaks about how rewarding charity work can be, as well as how others can involved through volunteering or interning – particularly student dentists looking for a more unique experience.

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts:


For more information about the Dental Wellness Trust, visit

Dr Linda Greenwall

The Probe Dental Podcast is presented by The Dental Awards.

The Dental Awards is the original and most respected awards programme in British dentistry. 2021 marks the 22nd anniversary of the Dental Awards, and over the decades, this prestigious event has recognised the outstanding individuals and teams whose commitment and drive continue to raise standards throughout the profession.

The Dental Awards is attended by over 600 clinicians each year. Winning, or being a finalist, is a tremendous accolade and provides a massive publicity boost to the profile of your practice and your team. After all, who wouldn’t want to be treated by the Dentist or Dental Team of the Year?

The Dental Awards are sponsored by B.A. International, Colgate, Colosseum Dental, Dental Elite, and Water Pik. The Probe and The British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show are official partners.

For more information, please visit

For more from The Probe, visit Theme tune courtesy of Bensound.

Kick-start 2021 with the game-changing GBT course

EMS and the Swiss Dental Academy (SDA) are delighted to announce that their ever-popular Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) events are back for 2021, with new protocols to ensure everyone’s safety.

The courses are ideal for dental hygienists and therapists looking to offer their patients the very best in prophylaxis and to renew their vigour for dentistry in these challenging times, while achieving a financial benefit.

Currently, the SDA is offering the GBT Masterclass, a half-day of theoretical knowledge to develop strategies for periodontal and implant maintenance by looking at the components of the GBT model including AirFlow, PerioFlow and the advancements in ‘No Pain’ Piezon technology.

The GBT protocol is based on individual patient diagnosis and risk assessment in order to achieve optimal results. The treatment is given in the least invasive way, with the highest level of comfort, safety and efficiency. This means that even previously anxious patients are happy to return time and again, boosting practice income on a regular basis.

Course numbers are limited to 10, in a space suitable to hold at least 20 delegates, so that social distancing can be easily achieved. The organiser will also be printing QR codes for track and trace, keeping windows and doors open, plus providing hand sanitiser on arrival and masks for whomever wants them.

Upcoming events* include:

• 13 January, Newcastle

• 15 January, London

• 18 January, Exeter

• 22 January, Liverpool

• 5 February, Coventry (GBT and implants maintenance)

• 20 February, Oxford

• 26 February, Plymouth

• 13 March, Brighton

• 12 March, Edinburgh (GBT and implants maintenance).

For further information and to book, visit

* In the event of any local lockdowns, a full refund will be given.

Mouth cancer referrals plummet by a third since start of pandemic

The Oral Health Foundation is calling for urgent action around cancer diagnosis, following new data that shows mouth cancer referrals have fallen by a third (33%) since the beginning of the pandemic. 

New figures collected from seven NHS Trust Hospitals across the UK, reveals the number of people being referred for possible mouth cancer fell from 2,257 in the six months prior to March 2020, to 1,506 in the six months after March 2020.

In total, six out of the seven NHS Trusts saw mouth cancer referrals tumble during this time, with two hospitals in Wales recording a 47% drop in referrals – the most in the UK.

In Northern Ireland, mouth cancer referrals have fallen by 36% since the beginning of the pandemic while England and Scotland have seen decreases of 31% and 30%, respectively.

Many mouth cancers are spotted in the early stages by a dentist during a routine check-up.  With Covid-19 limiting dental practice activity to 20% of normal activity, the Oral Health Foundation is deeply concerned that many people with early stages of mouth cancer are going undiagnosed.

In the absence of seeing health professionals face-to-face, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation highlights the importance of self-checks at home and knowing how to spot mouth cancer in the early stages.

Dr Carter says: “Regular dental check-ups and GP appointments are the main routes for identifying the early stages of mouth cancer.  We fear that without access to dental and wider health professionals, that many mouth cancer cases will go undiagnosed.

“A person’s quality of life after being treated for mouth cancer, as well as their chances of beating the disease, is highly dependent on the time of diagnosis.  By allowing so many potential mouth cancers to go untreated, there is a real danger of more people losing their life to the disease.

“While dental and GP visits remain disrupted it is important that everybody knows how to check themselves for mouth cancer. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your dental practice, who will be able to see you as an emergency patient.”

Mouth cancer can appear on the tongue, tonsils, gums and lips.  It can also be found on the roof and floor of the mouth, as well as the head and neck.

Mouth ulcers lasting three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth, or unusual lumps and swellings, are the typically early warning signs.  Persistent hoarseness can also be a symptom.

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on dental access in the UK.  Research by the Oral Health Foundation shows that more than half (56%) of UK adults claim to have had dental check-ups postponed or cancelled.

During this time, one-in-six (16%) have experienced at least one of the potential early warning signs of the disease.

Meanwhile, the British Dental Association estimate a 10 million backlog of appointments due to dental practices being forced to shut down during the pandemic.

Dr Catherine Rutland, Clinical Director at Denplan, part of Simplyhealth, believes it is crucial that dental practices remain open during the remainder of the pandemic.

Dr Rutland says: “Dentists continue to play a vital role in identifying mouth cancer at routine check-ups.  However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, access to dentistry was severely curtailed and opportunities to catch mouth cancer early will have been missed. If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete cure are good.

“The Foundation’s recent research has revealed that nearly four in 10 people reported encountering an issue and being unable to see or get advice from their dentist because of the current limited access to dentistry caused by the pandemic.  Keeping practices open from now on is vitally important to help ensure the early detection of mouth cancer. It could save thousands of lives.”

Stuart Caplan was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2012.  The husband and father-of-one from Marble Arch, lost two-thirds of his tongue to the disease but says acting quickly was key for him beating the disease.

Stuart says: “Mouth cancer is a hidden cancer, unlike a lot of cancers where there are obvious symptoms.  People think ‘oh it’s only a mouth ulcer, it’ll pass’.  It’s easy to just put a mouth ulcer treatment on and ignore it, and without visiting a dentist regularly it’s likely to get missed.

“If it’s not normal for you, get it checked immediately, especially you have had something for a few weeks. Cancer symptoms don’t go away. That’s the litmus test.  Go and see a dentist or hygienist.”

Figures collected by the Oral Health Foundation show that 8,722 people in the UK were diagnosed with the disease last year, increasing by 97% since 2000.

Mouth cancer cases in the UK have soared for the 11th year in a row and have more than doubled within the last generation.

It is also vital that government issues updated advice about fallow periods for dental practices. Some practices are still working to the original one-hour fallow period, while others have reduced their time between patients.  More frequent communication and direction is needed.


  • Oral Health Foundation (2020) ‘State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2020/21’ Published November 2020, online at
  • Mouth cancer referral data was collected from; NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, NHS Ayrshire & Arran, Bwrdd Lechyd Prifysgol Aneurin Bevan, NHS Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, NHS Wye Valley NHS Trust, and NHS South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

An update from Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer England

Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer for England, sent out the following NHS dentistry and oral health update on Friday evening, 27th November:

Dear colleague,

Every week I get the statistics on my desk which show how many patients we are seeing and what type of treatments we are giving them. I’m happy to report that access is steadily increasing and the initial evidence from over the summer shows that the majority of treatments we are offering are tooth saving. 

As you will have seen, since my last update, the NHS has moved to incident Level 4 and the government has announced the tiers communities in England will be in after the period of national restrictions ends on 2nd December. Our clinical priority remains the provision of urgent dental care. As we continue the transition to recovery of services and where practice capacity allows, we would increasingly expect practices to be actively recalling patients to resume interrupted care pathways and seeking to offer appointments to patients who normally attend the practice for care in terms of their risk. 

I recognise that there is a delicate balance in meeting patients’ needs against the restrictions of COVID. However, the statistics demonstrate the great efforts of the majority of practices in providing access and addressing a wide range of patients’ dental care concerns.

November is mouth cancer awareness month so it is a good opportunity for me to remind everyone that a patient with suspected mouth cancer is in urgent need and should be prioritised for a face to face consultation.

Sandra White, Public Health England’s lead for dental health has also written an important update on the use of antibiotics. Dental professionals have done sterling work in reducing the use of unnecessary antibiotics in the last few years and we must continue to do our bit to avoid the development of antibiotic resistance.

I’m also delighted that the amazing Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise has been named the South West Regional Winner in the Health Equalities Award category of the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2020. Their local MP nominated them after seeing the excellent work the practice has done to support those who are homeless in Plymouth. More detail on their achievement is below. In these updates to you, I want to share just some of the stories which show why we should be proud of what we’re doing. If you know of a colleague who deserves a shout out (and you all will) then please do drop me a line at