BBC investigation reveals ‘full extent of NHS dentistry shortage’

NHS dentistry reforms may be on the way, but according to the BBC, “patients face ‘unprecedented’ difficulties”. The broadcasting corporation’s research, published today, found that “nine in 10 NHS dental practices across the UK are not accepting new adult patients for treatment under the health service” and that “no dentists taking on adult NHS patients could be found in a third of the UK’s top-tier councils”.

In addition, the extensive report found that:

  • Eight out of 10 NHS practices are not taking on children
  • The problem is worse in the south-west of England, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West, where 98% of practices are not accepting new adult NHS patients
  • Access is currently best in London, as almost a quarter of practices were accepting new adult NHS patients when the BBC was carrying out its investigation
  • One in 10 local authorities do not have any practices taking on under-16s for NHS treatment even though children in full-time education being entitled to completely free care on the health service
  • Approximately 200 practices said they would take on a child under the NHS only if a parent signed up as a private patient
  • Scotland has significantly better access to NHS dentistry for adults than the other UK nations, with 18% of practices taking on new health-service patients
  • Wales, England and Northern Ireland, meanwhile, have similar rates of access, at 7%, 9% and 10% respectively

The British Dental Association echoed its sentiments that NHS dentistry was at a “tipping point” after a decade of under-investment.

“Access to NHS dentistry has been a problem ever since the health service was created. Free treatment ended in 1951, just three years after the NHS was formed, because it was deemed unaffordable,” said BBC Health Correspondent Nick Triggle. “Ever since, a subsidised system – where some patients pay towards the cost – has been in place.”

Nick Triggle continued to list the strong private dental market, “unpopular” NHS contract, austerity and the Covid-19 pandemic backlog as combining to cause more dentists to walk away from the service. “The numbers doing NHS work dropped by 10% last year,” he added. “It’s fair to say the difficulties patients are facing are unprecedented.”

Read the full BBC report, Full extent of NHS dentistry shortage revealed by far-reaching BBC research, by Ruth Green, Harriet Agerholm & Libby Rogers, here.

Howden’s Simon Gale and Mark Thomsen Have You Covered

Simon Gale and Mark Thomsen, divisional directors for Health and Care at Howden Broking Group, discuss the difference between discretionary and contract certainty insurance policies – and how insurance in dentistry has fallen behind other industries. They also talk about the benefits of an insurance-backed product, as well as the advantages of going through a broker.

Howden’s dedicated team of Dental Indemnity insurance specialists have supported general and cosmetic dentists for over 25 years. All Howden policies are specifically designed for the dentistry sector and evolve to respond to the latest innovations and practices.

Find out more and contact Howden’s expert team:

Listen here as well as on all major podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:


Mark Thomsen

Simon Gale

The Probe Dental Podcast presents: Dr Ghassan Radi – ‘Making a Difference in Sierra Leone’ (NSK Podcast Series)

In this episode from the NSK Podcast Series, Dr Ghassan Radi, founder of the Smile Again Dentistry charity, discusses his team’s work in Sierra Leone, West Africa, creating a dental support network and implementing sustainable solutions across communities.

Listen here as well as on all major podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:


For more information, visit and for more from NSK, visit


The Dental Awards 2022 – Ceremony Broadcasting Thursday 26th May!

Save the date as the much-anticipated Dental Awards 2022 are presented on Thursday 26th May at 12pm (midday). Following the success of last year’s virtual ceremony, the 24th edition of the Dental Awards will also take place as a broadcast event that you can join here at, with on-demand replays immediately available for watching at your leisure.

In addition, this year’s event will be made available on The Probe’s YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe to ensure you don’t miss the show.

Following the presentation, with Covid restrictions behind us, this year’s winners will also be invited to a celebratory lunch in London’s West End, where they will be handed their trophies and certificates in person.

Sarah Keith-Lucas returns to host the 2022 Dental Awards

Organising body Purple Media Solutions is excited to announce that BBC weather presenter and meteorologist Sarah Keith-Lucas will be returning to the podium to host The Dental Awards 2022.

With the deadline for entries past, judging having taken place, and a shortlist revealed, all that remains is the anticipation in discovering who will be named as finalists and who will take home the trophies. In total, there are 12 awards up for grabs this year:

  • National Smile Month Award
  • Dentist of the Year
  • Young Dentist of the Year
  • Dental Therapist of the Year
  • Dental Hygienist of the Year
  • Website/Digital Campaign of the Year
  • Dental Nurse of the Year
  • Best Outreach or Charity Initiative
  • Practice of the Year
  • Practice Manager of the Year
  • Dental Practice Team of the Year
  • Front of House/Receptionist of the Year

A special thanks goes to our expert judging panel, comprising: Ben Atkins, Mhari Coxon, Lisa Bainham, Diane Rochford, Debbie Hemington, Pam Swain, Amit Patel, Paroo Mistry, Ewa Rozwadowska, Glenys Bridges, and Amanda Oakey.

The Dental Awards is sponsored by B.A. International Colosseum DentalDental Elite, and Waterpik, and is presented in association with the Oral Health FoundationADAMBADNBADT, and BSDHT.

We look forward to welcoming the dental industry to join us on Thursday 25th May at 12pm here on, joining in the conversation on social media using #DentalAwards.

Don’t forget that, following the broadcast, the ceremony will be available to watch, in full, on demand.

Best of luck to everyone who entered this year’s Dental Awards!

Shortlist announced for The Dental Awards 2022

The Probe is thrilled to announce the shortlist for this year’s annual Dental Awards.

A massive thank you to everyone who entered this year’s awards. The high volume of entries from dentists, therapists, hygienists, practices, nurses and dental teams lends itself to the immense talent and skill within the profession, as well as the high esteem in which the Dental Awards is held.

A special thanks goes to our expert judging panel, comprising: Ben Atkins, Mhari Coxon, Lisa Bainham, Diane Rochford, Debbie Hemington, Pam Swain, Amit Patel, Paroo Mistry, Ewa Rozwadowska, Glenys Bridges, and Amanda Oakey.

The Dental Awards is sponsored by B.A. International, Colosseum Dental and Waterpik, and is presented in association with the Oral Health FoundationADAMBADNBADT, and BSDHT.

The winners and finalists will be announced via a virtual presentation which will be broadcast at the end of May, so keep an eye out for details of the exact time and date. 

This year the winners will be invited to attend a special celebratory lunch along with the sponsors and judges which will take place on Friday 1st July in Central London.

Good luck to you all.

Dental Receptionist of the Year

Lisa Fee – Baycliff Dental & Implant Surgery, Liverpool
Barbara Bolton – {my}dentist Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire
Beth Donkin – Kingswood Parks Clinics, Kingswood
Dena Russell – Kingswood Parks Clinics, Kingswood

Dental Therapist of the Year

Kirsty Chappell – Jamil Dental, Aberdare
Lauren Long – Cherrybank Dental Spa, Edinburgh
Karenn Helmrichne Davila – Gentle Dental, Salisbury
Amy Northen-Hills – Kingswood Parks Clinics, Kingswood
Neringa Krusinskaite – Falkirk Dental Care, Falkirk
Sarah Homolka – Forest Dental, Cefn Fforest
Lorena Pivoda – Banning Dental, London

Dental Hygienist of the Year

Lorena Pivoda – Banning Dental, London
Jenita Radhakissoon – Orchard Orthodontics, London
Preetha Chandran Sakunthala – ODL Dental Clinic, London
Alison Craig – Direct Dental Hygienists, Essex
Beata Knysak – SW1 Dental Studio, London
Neringa Krusinskaite – Falkirk Dental Care, Falkirk
Nancy Bentley – Appletree Dentistry, Cambridge

Dental Nurse of the Year

Alexandra Fisher – Baycliff Dental & Implant Surgery, Liverpool
Dillon Booth – Kingswood Parks Clinics, Kingswood
Chloe Clappison – Kingswood Parks Clinics, Kingswood
Joanna Kapczynska – Seven Dental, Nottingham
Kerry Kellock – Falkirk Dental Care, Falkirk
Lucy Hales – New Square Dental Practice, Cambridge
Lorraine Hanvey – {my}dentist Portadown, Belfast
Smile Together Dental CIC (Sarah Andrews) – Penzance
Kim Russell – New Square Dental Practice, Cambridge

Practice Manager of the year

Claire Lewis – Seven Dental, Nottingham
Maiara Ban – ODL Dental Clinic, London
Jean Henry – The Market Place Family Dental Centre, Mansfield
Jessica Silvester – Orthoworld, Eastleigh
Patrycja Binkowska – Anstey Family Dental Centre, Anstey
Shanice Askew – Somercotes Family Dental Centre, Somercotes
Toni McGuire – Cahill Dental & Implant Surgery, Bolton
Kamila Soja – Normanton Road Family Dental Centre, Derby
Stephen Potter – Baycliff Dental & Implant Surgery, Liverpool

Best Outreach or Charity Initiative

Basingstoke Orthodontics – Basingstoke
The Happy Smiles Club – Norfolk
Forest Dental – Cefn Fforest, Blackwood
Cahill Dental & Implant Clinic – Bolton
Dental Arts Studio – London

Website & Digital Campaign of the Year

Neel Dentistry – Welwyn, Hertfordshire
ODL Dental Clinic – London
Smilessence – East Molesey, Surrey
Courtyard Dental – Huddersfield
Cannon Street Dental Centre – London

Young Dentist of the Year

Christian Lucas – Castle View Dental Spa, Staffordshire
Alaa Ati – Almas Dentistry & Aesthetics, London
Ankeet Shah – Greenwich Dental Health, London
Dr. Anas Ashekhi – The Market Place Family Dental Centre, Mansfield
Dr. Syed Zain-Ul-Abideen – Somercotes Family Dental Centre, Somercotes
Emi Mawson – Smile Together Dental CIC, Penzance
Gary O’Neill – Cosmetic Dental Clinic, Durham
Jamil Torofdar – Forest Dental, Cefn Fforest
Dr. Jana Denzel – Complete Smiles UK, Harrow
Krishen Shah – Smile Cliniq, London
Dr. Matthew Ames – Baycliff Dental & Implant Surgery, Liverpool
Ajay Mehta – Dental Arts Studio, London
Risha Patel – Fulham Road Dental, London
Amir Nazim – {my}dentist, Ayrshire
Aly Virani – North Cardiff Dental & Implants
Dr. Simon Rana – Halesowen Dental, West Midlands

Practice of the Year

ODL Dental Clinic – London
The Portland Road Family Dental Centre – Nottinghamshire
North Cardiff Dental and Implants – Cardiff
Normanton Road Family Dental Centre – Derby
Balham Smile Clinic – London
Anstey Family Dental Centre – Anstey
Baycliff Dental & Implant Surgery, Liverpool
Beech House Smile Clinic – Dereham
Cobbins Brook Smile Clinic – Essex
Honour Health – Newcastle upon Tyne
Hoyland Family Dental Centre – South Yorkshire
Kingswood Parks Clinics – Kingswood
Ruddington Dental Practice – Nottingham
Seven Dental – Nottingham
Smile Together Dental CIC – Penzance
Somercotes Family Dental Centre – Somercotes
South Elmsall Family Dental Centre – West Yorkshire
Staffa Lodge Smile Clinic – Ipswich
The Market Place Family Dental Centre, Mansfield
North Cardiff Dental & Implants – Cardiff
Cuffley Smile Clinic – Cuffley

Dentist of the Year

Dr. Fariba Zolfaghari – Taverham Dental Health Clinic, Norfolk
Dr. Kish Patel – Smile Clinic Group
Dr. Jin Vaghela – Smile Clinic Group
Dr. Jit Vaghela – Smile Clinic Group
Dr. Thuha Jabbar – Almas Dentistry & Aesthetics, London
Dr. Wajiha Basir – Sale Dental Spa, Sale
Dr. Zaidoon Al-Kenani – Hoyland Family Dental Centre, Hoyland
Dr. Salman Khan – Baycliff Dental & Implant Surgery, Liverpool
Marcin Wilk – Anstey Family Dental Centre, Anstey
Monica Bhardwaj – New Square Dental Practice, Cambridge
Dr. Kiran Shankla – Wood Lane Dentistry, Reading
Rachel Derby – St Mary’s House Dental Care, Shoreham by Sea
Dr. Manrina Rhode – London
Rashmi Chattopadhyay – Southport Road Dental Practice, Chorley
Neil Simkin – {my}dentist Newtown Advanced Oral Health Centre, Powys
Eram Durrani – D&K Dental Care, Sheffield

Dental Team of the Year

Smile Max Studio @ Falkirk Dental Care – Falkirk
ODL Dental Clinic – London
Baycliff Dental & Implant Surgery – Liverpool
Church Street Dental Centre – Somerset
Community Dental Services CIC, Prisons Team – Bedfordshire
Balham Smile Clinic – London
Beech House Smile Clinic – Dereham
Cahill Dental & Implant Clinic – Bolton
Cobbins Brook Smile Clinic – Essex
Cuffley Smile Clinic – Cuffley
Harrow Smile Clinic – Harrow
Normanton Road Family Dental Centre – Derby
Seven Dental – Nottingham
Staffa Lodge Smile Clinic – Ipswich

Haleon’s inception with Tess Player

In this episode, Tess Player, Global HCP Lead at Haleon, discusses the company’s formation. Haleon is a new, independent consumer healthcare company emerging as a result of GSK demerging its Consumer Healthcare division. Therefore, Haleon will be home to brands such as Sensodyne, Aquafresh, Parodontax, Polident and Biotène.

A longstanding member of the GSK team, Tess explains the reasons behind Haleon’s establishment and the impact it will have on dental care professionals as well as some of the programmes the company will offer for DCPs.

For more information, please visit GSK Health Partner:

You can also connect with Tess on LinkedIn:

Listen here as well as on all major podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:

Alex O’Neill on Agilio Software’s iComply NextGen (VIDEO/PODCAST)

James Cooke, speaks with Alex O’Neill, Head of Compliance at Agilio Software, in the wake of the release of iComply NextGen

Agilio Software has launched a new and improved version of the compliance management tool with the release of iComply NextGen. The system is designed to retain its existing robustness and simplify processes in order to help reduce the time dental practices spend on compliance by up to 50%.

For more information, please visit:

Watch the interview here:


Or listen to the podcast here, as well as on all major podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:


For two decades, Agilio Software’s renowned iComply system has helped to ensure that its users within the dental profession are practising free from worry of any potential compliance issues. iComply provides all the documentation, information, and support you need – its automated system notifies you and your staff when there are legislative changes or new guidelines, offers templates for policies and procedures, and guides practices to success in a CQC or HIW inspection.

Colgate® launches ‘HappyHabits’ campaign in partnership with Dr Monik Vasant and Dr Alex George

A survey of 2000 people* commissioned by Colgate®, revealed a decline in daily oral care routines as a result of lockdown. The research shows that changes in daily routines including working from home has led to:

  • Over a third (36%) stating the lack of routine meant they often forgot to brush their teeth
  • 28% stating they had other health-related issues on their mind, so oral health was not a priority
  • A low awareness of the link between oral health and overall health

Dentist, Dr Monik Vasant says, “The social factors surrounding the pandemic such as lockdown and homeworking have led to a decline in many people’s oral health. As dental professionals, we can play an essential role in helping people get back on track. The pandemic has brought about many changes that seem to be here to stay, we need to help people adapt and reprioritise their oral health. Educating on the link between oral health and overall health is an important part of this.”

Dr Vasant commented “Typically, dental health professionals recommend specific products for specific therapeutic needs. Educating patients on the fact that not all toothpastes are the same can make a difference to how patients view and approach their oral health. Another key element of oral health that patients are unaware of is biofilm. Uncontrolled biofilms put all patients at risk and affect all surfaces of the mouth contributing to oral disease.”

Dr Vasant continued “Patients are keen to know what more they can do to improve their oral health at home. Dental professionals can help by recommending a good daily oral health routine using Colgate Total® (with Dual Zinc + Arginine) proven to provide superior biofilm control1-3, leading to superior clinical outcomes.4-7” Dr Vasant concluded with “We want to reinforce the idea that good oral health begins at home, not in the dentist’s chair.”

Colgate® is launching the ‘HappyHabits’ campaign in partnership with medic, Dr Alex George, and dentist, Dr Monik Vasant, to help remind people of the importance of a good basic oral care routine.

Your participation is key to the success of this campaign.  Please click here to:                                                                                                     

  • Be part of a wider national campaign reinforcing the importance of a good oral care routine
  • Access educational resources including a waiting room video, social media tools and infographics to help motivate your patients, in practice and at home
  • Empower your patients with superior biofilm control1-3** that’s ‘always on’ by recommending Colgate Total® with non-stop^ anti-bacterial action

*Research was conducted by OnePoll surveying 2,000 UK adults, December 2021
**Colgate Total® provides superior in vitro delivery, penetration, and retention of Zinc through Arginine technology for biomass reductions vs Zinc control toothpaste
^ With 2 x daily brushing and 4 weeks continued use


  1. Manus L, et al. J Clin Dent. 2018;29(Spec Iss A)A10-19.
  2. Daep C, et al. August 2019, Data on file.
  3. Manus L, et al.2021 IADR/AADR/CADR General Session
  4. Delgado E, et al. J ClinDent 2018;29(Spec lss A) A33-40.
  5. Seriwatanachai & Mateo, September 2016, internal report.
  6. Hu D, et al. J Clin Dent. 2018;29(Spec lss A)A41-45.
  7. Garcia-Godoy & Mateo, February 2017, data on file

NSK Podcast: You too can live the dream! (VIDEO)

Dental hygienist and practice principal, Joanne Knox, explains how she came to open her own hygiene-only practice and why other hygienists and therapists with drive and determination should aim to do the same.

Many hygienists can only dream of the day when they own their dental hygiene practice, but with hard work and dedication, this dream is becoming a reality for those who are determined to pioneer independent access to hygiene care.

Since I was a child, it was my dream to become a dental hygienist, to build up lasting relationships with patients and help educate them on the need and benefits of regular hygiene treatment. Of course, back then there was never any likelihood of owning my own hygiene practice and I was fortunate to go on to work for many years in a practice that was very accepting and proactive about dental hygiene, but little did I realise that a significant change was on the horizon.

That change came in 2013 when the GDC (General Dental Council) removed its barriers to Direct Access to allow dental hygienists and therapists to see patients directly without the need for a referral from a dentist. I saw this as a unique opportunity for hygienists like myself to become a more accessible independent entity and I wanted to be one of the first hygienists in the country to set up my own surgery.


Taking the first steps

The thought of starting my own hygiene practice was daunting to say the least, but I wanted my independence and managed to find a building I felt was ideal in Coleraine, County Londonderry, close to my family and friends. Unfortunately, at the same time my mum was taken seriously ill and looking after her took precedence over anything else, so I thought no more about.

My mum sadly died in August 2020, but unbeknown to me she left money specifically in her will so I could go ahead with pursuing my dream independently. The building I wanted was still available so knowing this is what she would have wanted, I decided to go for it. Without question I was extremely fortunate to have this unexpected financial support, but I was already prepared to put everything I had on the line to start up my practice and I would much prefer that my mum was still around to see it happen!

There’s no escaping the fact that the level of investment needed to set up a practice is significant, especially when you’re starting from scratch. But if you have the determination to succeed, a sound business plan and take advantage of the help and support available for new business start-ups then you too can live the dream.

Getting started

After signing for the building we started renovation work in October 2020, and just to add to the pressure, all under lockdown restrictions. Despite having a focus and an endgame, nothing was ever straightforward and I found myself on a steep learning curve like no other.

One notable benefit of opening during the pandemic was that I was able to design the practice in a completely different way to how I would have done a few years ago. I have two surgeries which means I can alternate to allow for fallow time, air filtration systems have been installed and there is a ‘donning and docking’ room with a washing machine and tumble drier so all our gowns can be washed and changed for each new patient.

In the current climate there’s a renewed focus on scrupulous hygiene measures to protect patients and staff from any risk of infection. I have purchased an NSK iClave plus autoclave which is ideal for fast instrument sterilisation plus it has a USB data logger which means I can download and store all cycle data for total traceability.

I rely mainly on ultrasonics for my work and for that reason I use the NSK Varios Combi Pro. I love the Varios because of its power settings. It’s easy to move between surgeries, there’s a wide variety of tips available and you can change power settings and the air/water flow which patients find gentler and easier to manage.

My advice to anyone starting their own practice is to partner with an equipment manufacturer such as NSK who offers local product support to guide you through, especially with any early teething problems. If any of my equipment breaks down for whatever reason I can’t work – this is my bread and butter so to have that sort of backup available to me is invaluable.

Being your own boss

Opening Pure Dental Hygiene has been my dream, and despite the challenges I really do feel I’m living it – I have no regrets so far! The acceptance from other local dentists has been overwhelmingly positive and the idea of a dental hygienist practicing without the oversight of a dentist is a concept that is definitely gaining traction.

My patient base is growing fast and my aim is to grow a successful business in which I’m respected and seen as a centre of excellence within the industry, known for the quality of patient care we provide in a clean, modern and friendly environment. I have a tremendous amount of pride in the work that I do and I want dentists to see the services I offer as an advantage and not a threat. If I can do this – then other hygienists and therapists can certainly do the same.

Do you want to learn more about opening an independent dental hygiene/therapy practice? Join the NSK Ikigai LIVE webinar on Thursday 7th October 2021 at 7.30pm to hear Joanne Knox and fellow hygienists and therapists discussing the 5 key steps to consider when opening a stand-alone practice, how they’ve opened and developed their own successful practices and specialist financial advice on how to obtain the planning and finance to deliver your dream.

For more information and to register visit
Facebook: NSK UK Ltd
Twitter: @NSK_UK

About the Author

Joanne Knox is a dental hygienist and practice principal at Pure Dental Hygiene in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

GDC 5893
Company Director and Principal Hygienist at Pure Dental Hygiene NI
14 Sandel Village
Coleraine BT52 1WW
Northern Ireland

Dalghous Twins aim to Put a Smile on the Face of the Nation (S05 E04)

Twin brothers Hussein and Hassan Dalghous join us for this episode of The Probe Dental Podcast from the practice that their father, Dr Abdul Dalghous, set up just five years ago and that has quickly become the highest rated dental practice in the UK on Google: The Yorkshire Dental Suite.

Hussein and Hassan, both bodybuilders in their spare time, discuss their healthy mindset, as well as their ambitions to expand the Yorkshire Dental Suite with practices across the country via a franchise model. They also recall their time studying dentistry in Valencia and the benefits that learning the profession abroad can bring.

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:


To find out more about the Yorkshire Dental Suite, follow them on Instagram @yorkshiredentalsuite

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