FGDP(UK)’s Ian Mills and Onkar Dhanoya on equality racial prejudice (S01 E02)

Ian Mills and Onkar Dhanoya from the  Faculty of General Dental Practice – better known as FGDP(UK) – join The Probe Dental Podcast to discuss the issues of equality and racial discrimination within the dental profession, which have come to forefront of general conversation thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Ian Mills is the current Dean of FGDP(UK), while Onkar serves as one of the Vice Deans. They discuss their own experiences and where there’s severe inequality within the dental industry, as well as how they both continue to learn. For more information, you can watch a webinar that Ian and Onkar both took part in in conjunction with CGDent, titled Why Colour is the Elephant in the Room, which you can view here: https://www.prodentalcpd.com/module1316/-black-lives-matter—experiences-from-the-dental-profession-

Listen here or search wherever you get your podcasts. 


For details on FGDP(UK), visit https://www.fgdp.org.uk/


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, Carestream Dental, Colgate, Coltene, Dental Elite, Geistlich Biomaterials, Simplyhealth Professionals, Sparkle Dental Labs, and Water Pik. The Probe and The British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show are official partners.

For more information, please visit the-probe.co.uk/awards


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

Why Colour is the Elephant in the Room – Webinar to explore experiences from the dental profession

On Tuesday 21st July at 7pm, FGDP(UK), in collaboration with ProDental CPD and the College of General Dentistry, is hosting a webinar titled Why Colour is the Elephant in the Room, which will take a look at real life experiences of and what we can do about racism in dentistry.

Looking at the response of the dental profession to the Black Lives Matter movement, the webinar aims to provide an honest exploration of racial inequality and prejudice with real life experiences from colleagues working in all areas of dentistry.

Chaired by FGDP(UK) dean Ian Mills, the panel will comprise:

CPD will be available. GDC outcomes: A,B,C,D

To register for the event, follow this link.

BDA commits to tackling racism and discrimination at all levels in dentistry

The British Dental Association has set out its commitment to tackle racism and discrimination at all levels in dentistry, following international outcry initiated by the death of George Floyd in May.

In response the Association has set out a major programme of work. It will engage with BAME dentists, as part of a research project to establish the views of those involved both in its ranks and the wider profession, to identify clearly those areas where racial disparities and racism exist within dentistry and on the basis of this develop an evidence-based action plan to address them.

Despite the demographic changes in the make-up of the dental profession, Black people are still significantly underrepresented, accounting for only one per cent of the GDC register. While other BAME groups are steadily increasing in number, all remain underrepresented at all levels within the profession’s leadership.

The BDA is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of its governance structures, with an emphasis on diversity and ensuring that it represents the profession fully at its heart. Lack of diversity in leadership is an issue across health care, with research describing ‘the snowy white peaks’ at the top of the NHS.

There is also evidence to suggest that BAME patients are less likely to attend the dentist. The BDA has said the reasons for this need to be clearly understood, so that all communities can have access to dental services on an equal footing. Public Health England analysis of the disparities in Covid-19 outcomes related to ethnicity and other factors have drawn renewed attention to health inequalities and dentist leaders have said these inequalities must be addressed in oral health as well.

BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: “The dental profession is guided by the principle of acting in the best interests of patients, regardless of their background. Yet it is clear, as recent events have highlighted, that we still have a long way to go before everyone in our society is treated equally, and with dignity and respect. Recent events have forced us all to confront the reality of continued anti-Black racism. We stand in solidarity with those who have been peacefully demonstrating against anti-Black racism and say, unequivocally, that Black lives matter.

“Deeds not words is our mantra. We are resolved to do what we can to overcome persistent inequalities and discrimination, whether that is challenging the words and behaviours of colleagues, patients and officials, or reforming and transforming the world in which we all work.”

FGDP(UK) issues statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racism

George Floyd’s horrific death and the events of the last month have highlighted the issues of inequality and racism that are present globally, including in the UK.

The FGDP(UK) is proud of its long standing commitment to promoting equality and inclusion. The diversity of our Board is central to its effective representation of the general dental profession, however we know that more needs to be done. We want to be proactive in addressing these issues in our organisation and in our profession. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and are an anti-racist organisation.

The FGDP(UK) represents general dental practices throughout the UK. The dental team is a diverse community of dental care professionals which includes many members of the BAME community. The term BAME is homogenous and describes a wide group in which the members have very different experiences. We are aware Black colleagues are a more disadvantaged group and do not have equality of representation and opportunity in dentistry. We are committed to addressing the impact of discrimination and believe this will benefit our patients and our profession.

Actions we will be taking immediately; we will:

  1. Educate ourselves about the issues that affect the various groups within the BAME community, and ensure our organisation actively promotes inclusion at every level. As part of this, we will review our ongoing equality and diversity training for FGDP(UK) Board members and educational programme leads to ensure that it is fit for purpose, and can implement positive and lasting change.
  2. Invite dental health care representatives from Black, Asian, Chinese and other minority groups to join a task force, to be chaired by FGDP(UK) Vice Dean Onkar Dhanoya, to identify the areas in dentistry which directly or indirectly disadvantage these groups.
  3. Collaborate with organisations and individuals across the profession to actively promote equality, diversity and inclusivity in general dental practice.

Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), Ian Mills (pictured), said: “This is an extremely important issue and I am extremely grateful to Onkar, and many other colleagues, who have had a significant role in influencing changes within dentistry. I am proud of the progress which our Faculty has made over the years to embrace equality and diversity, but it is clear that we still have significant work to do. The first step is to acknowledge that inequality exists within many areas of dentistry, and large sections of our profession are at a disadvantage in terms of opportunities and progression. This is particularly evident in relation to leadership roles within dentistry, where there is a distinct lack of diversity within many organisations. The FGDP(UK) and the new College of General Dentistry are amongst a number of dental organisations who are committed to influencing change to ensure that there are equal opportunities for all.”