National dental organisations join forces to agree return-to-work guidance

National dental organisations have joined forces to agree guidance for UK general dental practices on returning to work as the coronavirus pandemic eases. The Covid-19 Future Planning Task Group, convened by the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK and College of General Dentistry, brings together senior members of a number of organisations, including the British Dental Association, the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the Association of Dental Implantology and the newly-formed British Association of Private Dentistry.

Dental care professionals are represented to ensure all members of the dental team are able to contribute to this vital piece of work, and the Task Group includes patient representation as well as significant professional experience and expertise in a range of areas. These include infection prevention and control, practice management and emergency medicine during the Covid-19 pandemic, and further individuals and organisations will be added or consulted over the coming weeks.

Minimising the risk of Covid-19 transmission within and outwith general dental practices as a result of re-opening will bring significant implications for patient care and practice management. The group aims to support and enable a return to practice as soon as it is safe to do so, focussing on key areas to address, identifying or developing practical solutions, and feeding into national planning.

It is highly likely that the measures necessary to safely resume general dental practice will carry substantial financial implications, which will have a profound impact on both NHS and private practices. The increased burden on the NHS will be considerable, and it is clear that the safe treatment of the oral health needs of much of the population will only be possible with significant additional public funding.

The general dental profession has already returned to work in many countries, and the group will draw upon the research, advice and resources already published around the world, as well as those within the UK, adapting and adding to them as necessary to create guidance which is relevant and applicable to primary dental care throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as soon as possible.

Dentists instruct Brown Rudnick LLP to advise on business interruption cover

The British Dental Association (BDA) has today announced that it is taking urgent legal advice in respect of the vast majority of insurers not paying insurance claims of dentists for business interruption during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association has instructed international law firm Brown Rudnick LLP to examine insurance policies affecting dental practices. It is now working with grass roots BDA members who have organised on social media to gather relevant evidence on the full range of polices in the sector.

Legal advice will shape the guidance that the BDA will be offering a profession that has been blindsided by a lack of effective insurance response during a period that has seen routine care suspended and cash-flow for many practices fall to zero.

The BDA notes that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), having stated on 15 April that most policies with basic cover would not respond to Covid-19 losses, now seeks “legal clarity” on business interruption insurance in an attempt to provide certainty for businesses and insurers.

The BDA has acted following uncertainty over whether the FCA move will help or hinder practices given the breadth of policy wording covering the different sectors of the UK economy and the urgent cash crisis facing businesses. This has been made more acute in light of the indication that a court hearing will not take place until July.

Dentist leaders have also indicated they hope that instructing Brown Rudnick now will give them a better understanding of their legal position and allow them to consider representations to the FCA as part of the regulator’s recently announced course of action. Following the conclusion of that process, an understanding of the legal position will give the BDA a strong foundation upon which to engage with insurers and the FCA.

The government has remained unwilling to extend the Business Rates Retail Discount of 100% currently offered to leisure and hospitality sectors to dental practices, to ease potentially crippling losses in the sector. BDA polling has indicated over 70% of practices report they can only remain financially sustainable for the next three months.

British Dental Association Chair Mick Armstrong said: “Many dentists who took out policies to guard against the unexpected have been left with no support during this pandemic. The FCA has begun its own legal process to weigh up policies covering almost every business sector in Britain. However, it is clear this will now take months. We’re not prepared to be a passive observer, and wait on a ‘One Size Fits All’ court determination that could leave the practices that millions of patients depend on dangerously exposed. To that end, we have instructed an experienced international financial services law firm to review the insurance policies bought by dentists across the country from all providers. We need to know if there are realistic options to get practices the insurance payments that they desperately need, and that they thought they were signing up to.”

Dentists’ Provident supporting members through the crisis

While the world is adapting to the coronavirus pandemic, the governments decide when and how we might get back to some sort of normality and dental professional bodies strive to make sense of what it means for dental professionals now and in the future, Dentists’ Provident is still doing what it has done for over a hundred years: supporting its members.

Dentists’ Provident is supporting members with teams working from home as well as with limited presence in the office, taking calls and ensuring the business continues to protect future generations of dental professionals. As most dental professionals are currently unable to work as the majority of practices are closed, Dentists’ Provident has acted quickly to enable members to suspend their cover, helping to manage their monthly outgoings.

If you are a member of Dentists’ Provident and would like to request a claim form, you can do so by downloading a copy from the ‘Documents’ section at or by emailing

If you have a question regarding your plan, you may save time by checking to see if the answer is within your plan documents which are also available under the ‘Documents’ section of the website. Alternatively, if you would like to speak with a member of the team, please use the telephone Member services: +44 (0) 20 7400 5712; +44 (0) 20 7400 5717; +44 (0) 20 7400 5721.

Race against time to deliver Covid-19 training modules

Hundreds of dentists and dental care professionals have signed up to a brand new training resource to support dental teams in England going to work in Urgent Dental Care (UDC) centres. Due to standard Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP), the dental profession is among the most vulnerable of all healthcare groups but, as UDCs start to go live in England, dental teams have been uncertain how to establish what is best practice in both triage and treatment of patients.

What was required was online training. A group of dental professionals working in all sectors of dentistry combined their skills and knowledge to create the training which is now available on the ProDentalCPD platform.

Chair of North Yorkshire & Humber Local Dental Network, Simon Hearnshaw, explained how the training modules evolved: “Dental teams need to be aware of protocols that are crucial in providing necessary urgent care that is safe for teams and their patients. It was a matter of thinking outside the box and for the dental profession to provide its own solution to the challenges that lay ahead. We are all in this together, but it was a race against time.“

Dr Hearnshaw contacted Rob Dyas, a Yorkshire-based oral surgeon and founder of ProDentalCPD, who said he “jumped at the chance” to be the training provider. At the time, Dr Dyas said, he was recovering from Covid-19, which he believes he and his dental nurse caught from a patient in the days before lockdown.

Dr Dyas continued: “I just knew we had to come up with interactive and evidence-based video training as the best way to learn. We have worked 12-hour days with our subject matter experts to create an eight-hour training package for the whole dental team. In addition to the online course, users get access to their own secure forum so they can share best practice and interact with colleagues. The group worked across several sectors including Public Health, Health Education and General Practice to develop the training.

“We have also set up a series of live webinars to support our colleagues. This is a living course which will need to change as regulations and guidance changes. We have never been here before. What is best practice today may not be best practice in a few weeks.  And Standard Operating Procedures could vary around the country. So this is going to be a training that continues to evolve.”

“I know personally a number of colleagues and friends who have been extremely ill with Covid-19. That and my experience has brought home to him how at risk dental teams are and important it is to protect colleagues working at the frontline.” 

Dr Dyas explained that LDCs had been making contributions of £150 towards production costs. “To get this training package out  as widely as quickly as possible to support dental teams, we are making it available free of charge at point of access, but are asking all LDC’s, dental organisations and dental corporates to make a small voluntary contribution. All proceeds above basic production costs will be donated to NHS charities.”

For details on how LDC’s and dental organisations can get Covid-19 and UDC course with premium features for free at point of access for their dental teams contact

Align Technology announces virtual events

Align Technology’s Invisalign brand is hosting a digital edition of its Scientific Symposium in the format of a television news broadcast from 14-15 May. In addition, Align Technology is also ‘relocating’ its Dubrovnik Growth Summit to a virtual platform. Described as a ‘hyper-connected broadcast’, the summit will feature a TV studio with a news anchor moderating the event to beam some of the brightest minds in dentistry and business directly into dentists’ homes throughout a full two-day symposium on 19 and 20 June.

The Invisalign Scientific Symposium will present upcoming Invisalign innovations, the opportunity to ‘attend’ lectures from world-class speakers, the chance to network with international colleagues during a virtual social hour, and recognition of Invisalign cases via the Invisalign Scientific Symposium Award. For more information on how to attend, the full schedule and list of speakers, visit

Meanwhile, in June, Align Technology’s Growth Summit has been curated for all dentists to look beyond the current situation and learn how to prepare for a life back in practice. Joining this unique digital experience will present an opportunity to connect with thought leaders and absorb the unrivalled clinical, business development and personal growth modules. The programme covers many in-demand topics from leadership and influence, to crisis management, patient connectivity and communication, recovery and business prosperity, comprehensive and multidisciplinary dentistry, diagnoses, treatment planning and protocols, facial driven treatment planning, ways to lead with digital (iTero), and personal growth and wellbeing.

Align Growth Summit speakers

Align Growth Summit speakers

The list of speakers will include: Dr Ingo Baresel, an accomplished international speaker and author of numerous articles relating to digital workflows and intraoral scanning; Dr Karla Soto, semi-finalist at the national 2017 Invisalign Summit and is the image for a pilot program for the Invisalign software; and Dr David Galler, who has even developed his own interproximal reduction (IPR) technique. The summit will also present speakers on a range on non-dental topics, such as: Ken Hughes, a  shopping and consumer behaviourist who will be suggesting five ways to bring patients back; and Connie Dieken, a word-renowned executive coach for senior business leaders.

For full details, visit

The DLA launch COVID-19 survival campaign for UK dental labs – Save Labs, Buy British

The Dental Laboratories Association has launched its new campaign to help support the plight of dental labs across the UK following the Covid-19 lockdown.

Steven Campbell, DLA President, commented: “The DLA are witnessing severe hardship for many members of the dental technology community, and we believe there is a very real possibility that some dental labs which dental practices depend upon will not be there once the lockdown is over unless the dental community comes together.”

The message from the DLA is clear: they believe that if all dental practices settle their outstanding invoices from their dental labs as a matter of urgency, then many more labs will survive this crisis. The DLA are reporting that as many as 75% of their dental lab members have outstanding debts of over 45 days from well before the Covid-19 outbreak started to impact the dental profession.

In a bid to not only help dental labs see their outstanding invoices settled for work carried out prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, as part of their ‘Save Labs, Buy British’ campaign, the DLA are trying to appeal to the better nature of NHS dental practice principles who are still receiving their NHS contract value. Starting from May and continuing each month until the lockdown is over, the DLA are asking NHS dental practices to ‘forward pay’ their average dental lab invoice to their dental lab in advance and create a credit account for when the lockdown ends. The DLA believe that these two actions could potentially save 80% of those labs that fear their doors will be closed permanently should their current financial circumstances continue.

More than 10,000 dental practices will have received a letter from the DLA President asking them to ‘Save Labs, Buy British’. In the letter, the DLA encourage dental practices to embrace this campaign and use it to their advantage, citing that there will likely be a change in mood for imported goods in the UK, as well as an increased public resolve to see UK businesses backing each other to help grow the economy and save jobs both locally and nationally.

Back in 2012, the DLA launched the British Bite Mark (BBM), which was widely supported by political figures of all parties. The DLA were keen to point out that the BBM was much more about stopping imports and highlighting the risks dental practices face if they don’t carry out sufficient compliance checks, particularly now dentistry falls under the CQC. In comparison, the Save Labs, Buy British campaign is much more about remembering your UK lab supplier, nurturing the relationship, and saving the dental technology profession in the UK.

When concluding the virtual launch of the campaign, Steven Campbell stated that “the support from the CDO’s in all regions has been appalling for dental labs; whilst during Covid-19 dental technicians are recognised as key workers and dental team members, for all other considerations we are excluded. The same can equally be said about the GDC – they are failing to acknowledge the stress their registration

fee will have on many lab owners and dental technicians. If something isn’t done for dental laboratories soon, the history books will note this as the date the profession disappeared in the UK.”

The DLA are making the logo available for all to use and promote and asking all social media posts to end with #SaveLabs. If you would like the electronic artwork, please contact and they will handle your request.

Dental Complaints Service 2019 performance review and research published

Three reports, all relating to the Dental Complaints Service (DCS), have been published.

The reports, which consider the performance, efficacy and social value offered by the DCS – the free and impartial private dental care complaints resolution service – are:

  • The DCS Review 2019
  • Research report: Social Return on Investment of the DCS
  • Research report: DCS Survey of Dental Professional Users

Together, the three reports indicate the improved performance and significant support for the assistance provided by the DCS to patients, practices, and dental professionals.

While recognising the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on every aspect of society, the GDC says it is seeking to make progress where it is safe and reasonable to do so, which includes the publication of research which was undertaken before the pandemic struck.

The DCS Review 2019 and the DCS research reports are available to read in detail online.

Dental Group know the drill when it comes to nailing a performance

Dentists, nurses, hygienists and administrative staff were amongst the singers, musicians and performers who made a success of a lockdown concert for staff with Scotland’s fastest growing dental group.

More than 150 Clyde Munro employees and suppliers took part in an online two-hour gig to connect with colleagues across Scotland and have some fun in a concert billed as ‘The Lockdown’.

Bosses with Clyde Munro have been looking at creative ways to keep up the morale of their 500-strong team, made up of dentists, practice and support centre staff, who are either working from home or furloughed during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The brains behind the operation was Clyde Munro founder, Jim Hall, who launched the business in 2015 with the acquisition of seven practices. He said: “The Lockdown concert was a great success and all of the acts were a big hit amongst their colleagues.

“Everyone was blown away by the talent of the performers, we couldn’t quite believe how many musically talented people we had hiding in our practices across the country.”

Entrepreneur Jim said the concert was conceived to bring the Clyde Munro team together in a virtual setting and to lift spirits while helping the team to enjoy an evening of music and singing with everyone participating via Zoom video call.

He added: “We wanted to help take minds off all the worrying stuff that is going on in the world even for a few hours – and judging by the positive feedback, we definitely achieved that.”

At the start of April, as the full extent of the lockdown started to sink in, Jim knew that keeping in touch with staff and maintaining a high morale would be essential to ensuring the business comes through the virus crisis in the best possible shape.

So he tasked his team to come up with fun events to keep staff connected, starting with an Easter Bonnet competition and culminating with the ambitious Lockdown concert on Friday 24 April. Participants even took part in meticulous rehearsals ahead of the big night.

Jim added: “The team really got into the spirit and many even dressed up as if they were going to a summer music festival which was great as it meant even those who were not performing, still got involved and contributing to the atmosphere. It was a fun night that people will remember for a long time.”

Clyde Munro comprises 40 practices across Scotland, with more than 200 dentists, 350 staff and 300,000 patients.

The group’s ambition is to become Scotland’s “local dentist”, operating an expanding network of family dentists across Scotland, with each devoted to providing the best dental care, while reflecting the needs and character of its community.

BHA announces Pearl integration with MEDiVision

BHA Limited has announced a new agreement with MEDiVision Systems Ltd, which means the company will integrate MEDiVision’s patient visualisation tools into the Pearl Dental Software practice management system, and resell MEDiVision’s chairside and waiting room systems as extensions to Pearl.

The key chair side visualisation function is delivered by MEDiVision CiC Connect. It provides visualisations of procedures that help dentists and nurses better explain their treatment recommendations. The treatments are displayed as 3-D animations showing the problem, the treatment and the expected results. By helping patients understand their proposed treatment CiC increases case acceptance. CiC also increases efficiency by minimising the time it takes to explain conditions and treatments to patients. In addition, patients can view the treatment videos at home on their personal device allowing the ‘sales’ cycle to continue once the patient had left the practice. A video demonstration can be found at:

In areas with a multi-cultural patient base, CiC helps overcome language barriers by using imagery which patients can easily understand. It also comes with multiple language options.

BHA has also agreed to resell MEDiVision’s waiting room TV solution, designed to provide marketing and educational content to patients. Information is easily managed and displayed in a continuous loop to help make waiting room time feel more bearable for patients, while also demonstrating more profitable services and sundries that patients may be interested in buying.

Ben Baker, MD of BHA Software, said; “The introduction of Pearl Tablet has helped the staff side of managing waiting room time. However, I think MEDiVision CiC is going to be really important to many of our clients, particularly those in Periodontics and Orthodontics where treatments are hard to explain, but informed consent is essential.”

Nick Russon, director at MEDiVision Systems Limited said; “BHA has put a lot of effort into making Pearl a very complete system. But it’s ‘behind the scenes’ from a patient perspective. MEDiVision brings a new dimension to a practice, linking excellent practice management software to what the patient sees. Providing better and more consistent marketing and educational information in the waiting room and on the website, combined with accurately animated demonstrations of proposed treatments considerably improves the patient experience. And the use of CiC in discussions about treatment saves time in obtaining informed consent whilst increasing plan acceptance and ultimately practice profits.”

A video demonstration can be found at:

Stress-free working environment to end sugar binges

New research reveals that more than a quarter (28%) of British adults turn to sugar when put under stress. With half of workers reporting feeling stressed in their jobs, the Oral Health Foundation is calling on employers to do more to help combat stress and offer more support to their employees to maintain good oral health.

According to the charity’s research, those in work can be significantly (up to 28%) more likely to binge on sugar than those out of work.

Evidence suggests that office workers are the most likely to eat sugary foods and drinks (32%) as a result of stress. Senior professionals like doctors, lawyers and accountants are also at higher risk (31%).

For many years, ‘comfort eating’ has been seen as an excuse to consume unhealthy sugary and fatty foods. In recent decades, scientific studies have found that comfort eating is actually hormone-related and fuelled by our body’s biological response to stressful situations. When put under stress, our body releases a hormone called Cortisol which increases our appetite.

Once ingested, fat and sugar-filled foods seem to have a feedback effect that dampens stress-related responses and emotions. These foods really are ‘comfort’ foods in that they seem to counteract stress — and this may contribute to people’s stress-induced craving for those foods.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes that businesses need to be more proactive when it comes to combating the effects stress can have on their employees.

Dr Carter says: “Ultimately it is to the employer’s benefit to tackle unhealthy comfort eating as a result of stress, especially as it is happening on work premises so frequently. Desk snacking, communal treat tables and vending machines, often filled with sugary foods and drinks, are the biggest contributors to the problem. This is causing oral diseases such as tooth decay, as well as wider conditions like diabetes and obesity.

“It is important to encourage healthy eating and to develop a more tooth-friendly culture in the workplace. Snacks such as cheese and nuts are better than sugary treats. Milk and water is a great substitute for juices and fizzy drinks while reducing the amount of sugar added to tea and coffee can make a big difference.

“By helping employees look after their oral health, the workforce will not only be healthier, they will be happier too. Importantly, it will reduce absenteeism for oral health issues, which has become a growing issue in recent years.”

The charity has found that around one in seven (15%) people have taken sick leave in the last two years to due to an oral health problem. The OHF estimates that this equates to UK businesses losing 3.6 million hours of labour every year and £52 million for the economy.

“Stress in the workplace can be difficult to avoid but with good provisions in place and proactive measures from employers, the effects of stress can be limited,” adds Dr Carter.

“By encouraging employees to look after their oral health, and to have tooth-friendly workplace snacks, not only will employers have a happier workforce but also a healthier, more productive one too. It is also important to allow employees to attend regular dental check-ups. All these measures will reduce unforeseen absenteeism in the future.”