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 mynsk.co.uk/ikigai-webinars

Facebook: NSK UK Ltd
Twitter: @NSK_UK
Instagram: @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 the-probe.co.uk. Theme tune courtesy of Bensound.


Safe Smiles: new campaign set to champion the benefits of safe dentistry

The British Orthodontic Society and The Oral Health Foundation are launching a new campaign to help patients make safer choices when it comes to their dental treatment

The public awareness campaign, named Safe Smiles, will highlight the benefits of safe dentistry and treatment when carried out in dental practices by trained and registered professionals.

Safe Smiles is a dental sector response to concerns about the growth of direct-to-consumer alternatives, with the campaign’s two organisers worried about patients performing treatments at home – potentially putting themselves in danger.

The campaign was announced at this year’s British Orthodontic Society’s annual conference (16 September) in Manchester, in a joint press conference between the Oral Health Foundation and the British Orthodontic Society.

Recent research by the Oral Health Foundation reveals one-in-four (25%) UK households have opted for some form of DIY dentistry during lockdown.

The nationwide study also shows over half (55%) of adults feel they have neglected their teeth during lockdown. Around one-in-seven (15%) admit to not brushing their teeth as much as before the pandemic.  One-in-five (20%) are eating unhealthier foods, and more than one-in-ten (11%) have been drinking more alcohol. 1

Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation is worried the potential decline in oral health status may lead to poor consumer choices, with many favouring shortcuts and attracted by direct-to-consumer alternatives.

Dr Carter says: “We are really concerned by evidence suggesting the UK’s oral health habits have declined during the pandemic. Symptoms associated with dental disease – mainly pain and changes in visual appearance – are leading patients to seek quick and cheap home cosmetic treatments advertised online. This is a great cause for concern and one of the key driving forces behind Safe Smiles.

“Dental treatment of any kind must involve face-to-face contact with a trained clinical professional inside the dental practice. This is to ensure patient safety and the most effective treatment.  It is important that the profession continues to champion safe dentistry and advise patients against direct-to-consumer treatments and alternatives shared on social media.

“When carried out correctly, cosmetic dental treatment can give patients the white, straight and confident smile they have always dreamed about. Safe Smiles will make sure patients are given the very best advice about the safest and most effective way to have dental treatment.”

Further findings from The British Orthodontic Society suggest that adults have become more conscious of their smile during lockdown. Over half of orthodontists (60%) say they have seen a larger than expected demand for treatment during the pandemic. It is suspected those affected could be looking for solutions to treat dental problems and improve the appearance of their smile.  

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Anshu Sood, Director of Clinical Practice at the British Orthodontic Society, says: “We’re delighted to be extending our long-standing campaign with the Oral Health Foundation. It’s heartening to see overwhelming endorsement from the dental sector. This couldn’t be more timely. Our recent stats revealed the pandemic has seen a rise in the number of people seeking orthodontic treatment. With this demand comes a growth in online companies offering treatments.

“Embarking on treatment without seeing a suitably trained clinician could result in serious conditions being missed or dangerous treatment carried out. We want to ensure patients have the very best advice about the safest and most effective way to have treatment. We know that, when carried out correctly, orthodontic treatment can have a positive and life-changing impact.”  

Data shows that more than four-in-five (84%) UK adults want to change something about their smile. Over the next year, more than one-in-three (35%) are thinking about having their teeth whitened while around one-in-six (16%) are considering orthodontic treatment. 1

Safe Smiles will be asking all patients considering treatments to visit dental practices in the UK and have treatment carried out by clinicians registered with the GDC.

The campaign will tackle the dangers associated with dental tourism, inappropriately fitting mouthguards bought online, as well as harmful aesthetic changes to the mouth like lip tattoos, oral piercings, tooth jewellery, modifications and grillz.

The new campaign is being supported by Align Technology and has gathered support from across the dental world. The campaign has already received endorsement from the British Dental Industry Association, British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, British Dental Bleaching Society, British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, British Association of Dental Nurses, and British Association of Dental Therapists.

Edmund Proffitt, BDIA Chief Executive, says: “The British Dental Industry Association is delighted to be supporting Safe Smiles. With ever growing interest in cosmetic dental work, the dental industry feels that it is very important that patients can achieve a healthy smile in a safe environment. Be it orthodontic work, tooth whitening or any other aesthetic dental treatment, working with trained dental professionals within a dental practice is a great way to get safe and effective treatment.

“With some unsafe and unregulated online and ‘do-it-yourself’ treatments available, and unfortunately, a number of unregulated practitioners offering treatments, we thoroughly recommend that patients engage directly with dental professionals to get the best, safest healthy smile.”

Jacqui Elsden, BADN President: “We’re thrilled to be supporting safe smiles. With the rise in popularity of unsafe do it yourself treatments and unregulated providers, we hope that this campaign will help patients become more aware of these dangers and think twice before they purchase them. We recommend that patients engage in this initiative and take steps to safely pursue treatment options.”

Zaki Kanaan, Chairman of the British Dental Bleaching Society: “There is no doubt that one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that is carried out routinely in dental practices is tooth whitening. Done properly, by a dental care professional, tooth whitening is one of the least invasive ways to improve one’s smile. This popularity has led to the growth of direct-to-consumer options that often get around the legality by using non-peroxide based products that not only have little to no efficacy in whitening one’s teeth but many OTC products are in fact harmful to teeth and their surrounding structures. Members of the public seeking OTC products are leaving themselves open to harm with virtually no recourse when things go wrong.  Over many years at The British Dental Bleaching Society we have been striving to highlight to the public this exact issue and we therefore fully support The Safe Smiles Campaign.”

A special toolkit has been created to help dental professionals support the campaign and share the importance of safe dentistry.

The toolkit is available on the campaign website at www.dentalhealth.org/safesmiles.


  1. ORAL HEALTH FOUNDATION (2020) ‘National Dental Survey’ Atomik Research. UK. Sample 2,004.

Bernard Lester opens wide on 50 glorious years as a dentist (S05 E03)

With more than fifty years’ experience as a dentist, Bernard Lester recalls the highs and lows, the dramas and close calls of his work in both the NHS and private practice, in an honest and humorous memoir. His new book – Open Wide! Fifty Glorious Years as a Dentist – is available from Pegasus Publishing and covers Dr Lester’s career in its entirety, from medical school to practice owner.

In this episode, Dr Lester recounts some of stories from the book and explores how dentistry has changed over the course of half a century.
Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify and more:


Dr Bernard Lester

The book compiles a plethora of anecdotes and sometimes bizarre occurrences, from dental school through to retirement. These include: his ‘first attempted filling on a real person’; winning the MacLean’s Children’s Prize for Dentistry, ‘mainly for [his] ability to treat very difficult children and get them not only to sit on the chair, but to have treatment’; marriage proposals; three-day-old urine pouring out from beneath a dental chair on a Monday morning; power outages during the miners’ strike; a patient cleaning his teeth – and his gums away – with Vim; the stark coincidence of being on holiday in Crete, just down the road from a patient in need; giving a geriatric patient a much-needed new lease on life; being elected chairman of the most prestigious medical rooms in Manchester; mixing up dentistry with gynaecology; how a new front bridge helped combat a kidnapping; and cementing a long-span bridge that has lasted for more 40 years for one patient.

Triumphs and disasters, as the good doctor remembers them. Pick up a copy from any of the following retailers:

For more from The Probe, visit the-probe.co.uk. Theme tune courtesy of Bensound.

Selling Squats and Hosting Ghosts with Grant McAree (S05 E02)

Grant McAree, the Dental Business Mentor, is on the podcast to discuss turning squats into sellable dental practices, how marketing plays a key role in success, the proudest moments of his career and how failure plays an important role.

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


Grant McAree

For more from Grant, head over to https://dentalbusinessmentor.co.uk/

For more from The Probe, visit the-probe.co.uk. Theme tune courtesy of Bensound.


Nairn Wilson CBE introduces The College of General Dentistry (S05 E01)

Nairn Wilson CBE joins us as the Honourary Founding President – and was recently declared President Emeritus – of The College of General Dentistry.

The College of General Dentistry officially opened on 1st July 2021, providing DCPs with their own, independent College, which embraces the whole dental team, recognising the invaluable contribution made by every member of the dental profession in delivering high quality oral health care for patients and the wider community.

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


The College will set standards and provide guidance, encouraging and recognising continuing professional development. And, importantly, it will provide a unified collegiate voice for all oral healthcare professionals. The aim is for the College to one day gain a Royal Charter, thus becoming The Royal College of General Dentistry.

Nairn Wilson CBE

Membership is open to all GDC registrants (past and present) at https://cgdent.uk/.

For more information, as well as how you can help contribute to the College, visit https://cgdent.uk/about/.

Nairn Wilson is the Honorary Professor of Dentistry, was Professor of Restorative Dentistry, Dean and Head of King’s College London Dental Institute (formerly Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Dental Institute, King’s College London) from 2001 until 2012 and Deputy Vice Principal (health) between 2009 and 2012.

His expertise encompasses the regulation of dentistry, international trends in dental education, tooth-coloured filling materials and related systems and minimally invasive approaches to conservative dentistry. Nairn has received numerous awards for his contributions to dentistry including his CBE status.

For more from The Probe, visit the-probe.co.uk. Theme tune courtesy of Bensound.

Remembering Dame Margaret Seward – 1935-2021

The sad news reached us late last week that Dame Margaret Seward, a true pioneer and trailblazer within the British dental sector, had passed away. The legacy she leaves behind is simply phenomenal.

The list of firsts that Margaret accomplished includes becoming the first ever Dame within the profession, the first female resident dental house surgeon at the London Hospital, the first woman to be elected to the dentists governing body of the General Dental Council as well as its first female president, and the first female to be named Chief Dental Officer for England. In addition, she was the second woman to be elected president of the British Dental Association.

Born in Weymouth, Margaret graduated from The London Hospital as a dentist. She would go on to be presented responsibility for the dental unit at Highlands Hospital in North London, treating long-stay patients whose plight was captured in the film Awakenings starring Robert de Niro.

Margaret later became editor of the British Dental Journal and restructured the title over the course of 13 years – from 1979-1992 – to become more relevant for general practitioners. She also spent a decade as editor of the World Dental Federation’s publication, the International Dental Journal.

In 1994, Margaret was honoured with a CBE. Five years later, in 1999, she not only retired from the GDC, but was issued with a DBE, becoming the First Dame of Dentistry. And she wasn’t done yet, as in the year 2000, Dame Margaret Seward was headhunted by the Department of Health to look at modernising NHS dentistry as Chief Dental Officer for England.

In 2004, Margaret was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Dental Awards.

Outside of dentistry, Dame Margaret Seward was happily married to Professor Gordon Seward CBE and, together, they raised a daughter and son.

GDC Chief Executive and Registrar, Ian Brack, said: “We were saddened to hear the news that Dame Margaret Seward has passed away. As a past President of the GDC Council from 1994 to 1999, she was a leading figure in dentistry and inspired many dental professionals who are no doubt practising today. We send our thoughts to her family.”

“Words cannot express the depth and breadth of Margaret Seward’s contribution to this profession,” said BDA Chair Eddie Crouch. “The first female Chief Dental Officer, our second female president. From the BDJ to the GDC hers was a career like no other, as a dentist who inspired every colleague she met. On her ascendency to the presidency she told BDA members that a profession which has forgotten its past can have no future. We can never forget Margaret, and the future for all dentists is brightened by every glass ceiling she smashed.”

During her time as GDC President, Dame Margaret worked closely with the British Association of Dental Nurses, of which she was an Honorary Life Member, supporting the campaign for registration of dental nurses as well as their recognition as dental professionals and valued members of the dental team. Paula Sleight, BADN President from 1995-1997, and Pat Harle MBE, BADN President from 1999-2001, both remember her fondly.

“We worked together on the Teamwork Initiative,” Paula recalled. “Margaret placed a great deal of emphasis on the entire dental team and that, of course, included dental nurses.

“Although she was incredibly career-driven, Margaret was genuinely interested in people and very welcoming. She had a fantastic smile. And, having reached several positions of power, she remained incredibly helpful to other women in industry.”

“Dame Margaret was an inspiration to so many in dentistry and one of the first to recognise the contribution of all members of the dental team,” added Pat. “She chaired the GDC Dental Auxiliaries Working Group, which lead to the recommendation of statutory registration for Dental Care Professionals. As a member of that Group, and someone who worked closely with Dame Margaret, I salute her vision, work and commitment in ensuring a modernised national oral health care service.

“On a personal level, I very much enjoyed working with Dame Margaret, appreciated her sense of humour, and admired her energy, determination and vision.”

On behalf of everyone at The Probe, we remember and revere Dame Margaret Seward. Our thoughts remain with her family.

New GDC Chair and Council Member announced

Following a competitive recruitment process, the General Dental Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Baron Harris of Haringey (“Lord Toby Harris”), who will join the GDC as Chair of Council, and Angie Heilmann MBE, who joins as a registrant Council Member.

Both will take up their new posts on 1 October 2021, when the current Chair Dr William Moyes and Council Member Catherine Brady leave office at the end of September.

Lord Toby Harris has spent his career working in the public interest, with a focus on consumer protection, security and policing, and healthcare inequalities. He brings 40 years of non-executive experience. 

He currently chairs the National Preparedness Commission, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to improve the level of preparedness in the UK to major threats and shocks, and the Fundraising Regulator, which oversees charitable fundraising and was established to raise standards and improve public trust in the sector. He is currently undertaking a review of London’s preparedness to respond to a terrorist incident, which is a follow up to the review he conducted five years ago.

He has previously chaired several public sector bodies, including the first Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), and subsequently on behalf of successive Home Secretaries oversaw national police work on counterterrorism and security. From 2009 to 2015, he was the Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody, that reports to the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care.  He also led at the request of the Minister for Prisons the independent review of self-inflicted deaths in custody of 18 to 24 year olds published as ‘The Harris Review – Changing Prisons, Saving Lives’ in 2015.

Lord Toby Harris spent 12 years leading the Association of Community Health Councils, representing the interests of the public in the NHS. He is a former council leader; member of the London Assembly; and he was the first Chair of the Association of London Government (now London Councils) that led cross-party collaboration across the London boroughs and prior to the creation of the Greater London Authority acted as the democratic voice of Londoners.

He is also the Chair of the Independent Advisory Group on Ethics for the National Crime Agency and the outgoing Chair of National Trading Standards, which delivers national and regional consumer protection enforcement activity.

Lord Toby Harris graduated from Cambridge University in 1975, having studied Natural Sciences and Economics and where he was President of the Cambridge Union. He was made a life peer in June 1998 and is the Chair of the Labour Peers Group in the House of Lords.

Angie Heilmann MBE (previously McBain) is a registered Dental Nurse who has had a long clinical and academic career. Firstly, in Scotland and then moving to England in 1986. Angie qualified as a Dental Nurse in 1989 and went on to achieve NEBDN qualifications in Dental Sedation Nursing (with Distinction) and worked in clinical practice until 2007 before focusing solely on Dental Nurse Tutoring.

Angie has held a number of educational and tutoring positions since then, most recently as the Dental Workforce Development Regional Advisor for Heath Education England (East) until 2020 and is currently the Director of Dental Nurse Education at Cambridge Dental Nurse Academy, the dental nurse arm of Antwerp Dental Academy. Previously, she was part of the team that introduced Foundation Degrees in Dental Nursing at the University of Bedfordshire.

Angie has held a number of non-executive positions, including President of the British Association of Dental Nurses, Chair of the Local Dental Education Committee at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. She is the only Dental Nurse to have sat on the Council of the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD). She holds a Masters of Medical Education from the University of Bedfordshire and was awarded an MBE for Services to Dental Nursing in 2012.

On the announcement of his appointment Lord Toby Harris said: “I am very pleased to be joining the GDC as Chair of Council and look forward to working with my fellow Council Members and the Chief Executive and his senior management team, to ensure that we remain an effective and efficient regulator and that we ensure that public protection is at the heart of everything we do. 

“At this time of significant change and after what has been a very difficult period for many dental professionals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I look forward to working collaboratively with colleagues from across the professions to ensure that our approach to regulation is proportionate and focused on the important areas of public safety and ensure public confidence in the professions we regulate.”

Current Chair Dr William Moyes added: “It is great news that the GDC has secured the services of such an experienced Chair and Council Member. I look forward to working with Lord Toby Harris to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months, and to welcoming Angie Heilmann to her role as Council Member.”

On her appointment Angie Heilmann said: “As a registered Dental Nurse, having worked in dentistry for over 30 years I am thrilled to be joining the GDC as a registrant member of Council.  

“I look forward to working with my Council colleagues and contributing to making the journey better for both patients and professionals.” 

Both Lord Toby Harris and Angie Heilmann start their new roles on 1 October 2021.  

Don’t Miss The Dental Awards 2021 – Virtual Ceremony Broadcasting Friday 28th May!

Save the date as the much-anticipated Dental Awards 2021 are presented on Friday 28th May at 7pm. With certain Covid restrictions still in place, this year’s ceremony will take place as a virtual event that you can join here at the-probe.co.uk.

Organising body Purple Media Solutions is excited to announce that the 23rd annual Dental Awards ceremony will be hosted by BBC weather presenter and meteorologist Sarah Keith-Lucas.

With the deadline for entries past, and judging having taken place, 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 13 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
  • Practice Decontamination Award
  • Dental Receptionist of the Year

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

The Dental Awards is sponsored by Colosseum Dental, Dental Elite, and Waterpik, and is presented in association with the Oral Health Foundation, ADAM, BADN, BADT, and BSDHT.

We look forward to welcoming the dental industry to join us on Friday 28th May at 7pm here on the-probe.co.uk, joining in the conversation on social media using #DentalAwards. Following the broadcast, the ceremony will be available to watch, in full, on demand.

Prepare to astonish… Applications OPEN for The Dental Awards 2021

The Probe is delighted to reveal that entries are now being accepted for the eagerly awaited Dental Awards 2021. 

The most highly esteemed dental awards ceremony out there, each of the various categories are judged by a panel of well-known industry experts with superior knowledge of their respective fields. The event is the highlight for practices wanting to express the abundance of skills and talents that exist in their teams. 

The Dental Awards exclusively aims to recognise the outstanding individuals and teams whose commitment to patient care and professional development are raising standards throughout the profession.

As well as boosting the morale of your dental team by entering, the evening marks the perfect opportunity for team building – previous years have seen new friendships emerge from the event, with ample opportunity available for networking and knowledge sharing.

Su Freear – 2020 Dental Receptionist of the Year

But don’t just take our word for it. Here is what some of the 2020 winners had to say:

“I was delighted to have been nominated for the award and over the moon to have won,” said Su Freear, winner of the award for Dental Receptionist of the Year. “It is a little bit surreal as I don’t work to receive accolades, but to be recognised for the job I love is really special. It is certainly a stand-out moment of my career.”

Maiara Ban won the award for Practice Manager of the Year in 2020, while her practice, ODL City Dental Clinic, London, was also a winner in the category of Dental Team of the Year – South, and named the National Winner, in addition to picking up the prize for Website & Digital Campaign of the Year. “Our team is so proud to have been recognised for our relentless hard work to ensure our patients have the best experience and receive the best care from our practice,” said Maiara. “I am extremely flattered to have been named Practice Manager of Year. I am so thankful to god for this great honour and I am so grateful to my principal, Alex Seijas, and to my whole team for their constant support. This award will further motivate me to work hard for my colleagues, our practice and our patients.”

David Bretton was named Young Dentist of the Year – North, and also took the National honour. He said: “What an honour to win these awards! It has been a very unusual year and a challenging few months for all of us in the dental world. This recognition came at a time for me when a little positivity was needed and although I couldn’t celebrate it with my friends and colleagues, I dedicate it to all the profession, who I feel have come together so well in these hard times. Winning these awards shows what is possible with goal setting, hard work and focus.”

Kayley McCauley celebrating her Dental Hygienist of the Year win

Although the 2020 Awards Ceremony was unable to take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that certainly didn’t stop Kayley McCauley, who won the award for Dental Hygienist of the Year, from celebrating in style! “I was absolutely delighted to win Dental Hygienist of the Year, as after 10 years in practice in a variety of hospital and general settings the last 3 years of my professional life have been dominated by setting up our Implant practice Dorset Dental Clinic as a squat practice,” she explained. “Taking it from a run down office space and converting the gorgeous Grade II listed building into what it is today, a 3 surgery practice with laboratory and the team has grown from 5 to 12. Managing to juggle this and working as a DHDT alongside having 2 babies and moving house 3 times, and keeping my sanity is my own personal triumph! Promoting the scope of the DHDT will continue to be my passion and connecting with the dental community near and far is truly inspiring.

“To celebrate we threw our own Dorset Dental Awards ceremony as our team and our receptionist were highly commended for awards, so it was an all out black tie event and a light hearted fun way to celebrate everything we have achieved as a team this year.”

All entries must be received by 28th February 2021. 

Registration is £25 per category per entrant. The final deadline for all entries is 28th February 2021.

For an entry brochure, please click here.

A huge thank you to The Dental Awards 2021 sponsors: Click to find out more!