A new future opens for dentistry with the launch of the College of General Dentistry

Yesterday (1st July 2021) marked a momentous day in the history of dentistry in the UK as the College of General Dentistry officially opened in a ceremony at the Barber Surgeons Hall. Dentistry now has its own, independent College.

The new College of General Dentistry 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. 

As Dr Abhi Pal takes office as the first elected President of the College, he said of the historic day: “The College of General Dentistry looks forward to providing new leadership, much-needed career pathways, fit-for-purpose standards and cutting edge, evidence-based guidelines with much more besides. Going forward we intend to build on the fabulous legacy provided by the FGDP and to further raise the standing and status of dentistry as an important, integral, never-to-be-forgotten element of health and social care. The College considers oral health to be fundamental to general health and wellbeing at all ages.”

The College officially launched, Covid-compliant, at the Barber Surgeons Hall and is ready to welcome all oral healthcare professionals into its membership.

The move to an independent college for dentistry will finally realise the long-held ambition of those who founded the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK) in 1992. It was their foresight, hard work and commitment to general dental practice which allowed them to establish FGDP(UK) driven by the vision that one day dentistry would have a Royal College. The new independent College is not quite at the stage of applying for a Royal Charter, but the move to an independent College of General Dentistry is a giant step closer to that ambition.

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.

Nairn Wilson, Honorary Founding President, said of the historic day: “Today realised a long-held ambition. The Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK) (FGDP) formed in 1991, and incorporated The College of General Dental Practitioners (UK) (CGDP).  Today’s milestone is reached thanks to thousands of hours of volunteer time, support from many individuals and organisations, generous donations and unswerving perseverance and determination; we can now officially open the doors of The College of General Dentistry. The formation of the College is so important because, at long last, dentistry will no longer be the exception amongst key healthcare professions in not having its own college, with all the associated benefits.”

Engagement in the College, both individually and collectively, has the potential to positively transform the standing and status of every member of the team, both in general healthcare and in the eyes of the public.

The College, with a membership open to all GDC registrants (past and present), together with suitably qualified colleagues from across the rest of the world, is for all members of the dental team to benefit and contribute to a new, rewarding future for dentistry. Our members will be able to access a rich library of online CPD, courtesy of our partners ProDental. They will also be able to access a programme of webinars through the year tailored for the College’s membership.

For more details on the launch of The College of General Dentistry, read Nairn Wilson’s article in the June 2021 issue of The Probe here.

New Vice Deans of FGDP and Vice Presidents-Elect of CGDent

Roshni Karia and Tashfeen Kholasi have been elected as the next Vice Deans of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP), and will become the first Vice Presidents of the College of General Dentistry (CGDent).

Roshni Karia MFGDP(UK) qualified from King’s College London in 2010, and works in Surrey as an associate dentist in general dental practice. After developing a special interest in periodontics, she completed an enhanced two-year postgraduate study programme and is now also a clinical tutor in periodontology at King’s.

Roshni Karia

After joining the Faculty in 2012 and completing the MJDF, she joined the FGDP Board as an Early Career Representative in 2015.  She was elected as a full member of the Board in 2017 to represent the South East and South West Thames membership divisions, and re-elected for a further three years in 2020. Currently Chair of the Education and Qualifications Committee and previously Chair of the Membership Affairs Committee, she is also the Faculty’s representative on Public Health England’s Children’s Oral Health Improvement Board. From 2019-20 she was Junior Vice Dean of the Faculty, becoming the youngest person ever elected to the post, and at 34 will now become the Faculty’s youngest ever Senior Vice Dean.

Tashfeen Kholasi

Tashfeen Kholasi MFGDP(UK) is an associate dentist and Chief Clinical Information Officer in general dental practice, as well as a Clinical Tutor in Special Care & Sedation at King’s College London, from where she qualified, and a health informatics clinical lead at NHS Digital. She has worked in a range of roles in primary care referral services and in secondary care, and as a Fellow in Clinical Leadership at Health Education England. With a strong in interest in digital health, she has a BSc in Computer Science & Maths, is a Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics, was Clinical Lead for Digital Dentistry at NHS England and obtained her diploma in Digital Leadership from the NHS Digital Academy. She has a Diploma in Conscious Sedation and a Master’s in Legal Aspects of Medical Practice, and is currently completing Master’s in Healthcare Leadership & Commissioning. She joined the Faculty in 2012, served as an examiner for the MJDF, and was elected to the FGDP(UK) Board in 2020 to represent the Faculty’s North East and North West Thames divisions.

Succeeding Onkar Dhanoya FFGDP(UK) and Susan Nelson MFGDP(UK), the new Vice Deans were elected by the Board for one-year terms, most of which will be served as Vice Presidents of CGDent following the transfer of the Faculty into the new organisation next month.

Abhi Pal FFGDP(UK), FGDP’s new Dean and President-Elect of CGDent, said: “On behalf of all members of FGDP and CGDent, I congratulate Roshni and Tashfeen on their election as Vice Deans and future Vice Presidents. I look forward to working with them over this critical period as we seek to build on the achievements of the FGDP(UK),  developing our new College of General Dentistry with enhanced services and benefits to meet the needs of general dental professionals and their patients.

“I would also like to thank Onkar and Susan for their service as Vice Deans during a year of unprecedented and unanticipated challenge for our profession, and I am delighted that they will continue to serve on the FGDP Board and CGDent Council.”

Three new members elected to the FGDP Board and CGDent Council

The Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP(UK)) has announced the results of recent elections to its National Board, with three new members elected, and two re-elected.

Matthew Collins FFGDP(UK), a General Dental Practitioner in Batley, has been elected to the National seat previously held by former Vice-Dean Mark Richardson FFGDP(UK), who stepped down to fulfil an overseas military posting.

Matthew Collins

Matthew has a particular clinical interest in dental rehabilitations for patients with worn and missing teeth, and has undertaken extensive postgraduate training in composite techniques, aesthetic dentistry and dental implantology. He graduated from Leeds University in 1998, joined the FGDP(UK) in 2001, achieved Fellowship in 2010, and holds both a Master’s degree in Clinical Dentistry from the University of London and the Diploma in Implant Dentistry of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. A member of the Association of Dental Implantology,  and Chair of Calderdale and Kirklees Local Dental Committee, he is also a Facilitator for the Faculty’s ‘Preparing for Fellowship’ programme and a member of the FGDP(UK) Academy.

Kanwar Singh Ratra MFGDP(UK) has been elected to the West Midlands seat, which was recently vacated by Abhi Pal following his election as the final Dean of FGDP and first elected President of the CGDent.

Kanwar Singh Ratra

Kanwar qualified from Liverpool Dental School in 1999 and is Principal Dental Surgeon at Lansdowne House Dental Practice in Bromsgrove and at Bilston Dental Practice, where he enjoys guiding nervous dental patients through their treatment journey. With a strong interest in dental education, he was a clinical lecturer at Birmingham Dental Hospital from 2003 to 2012, and in 2015 was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education from the University of Birmingham. He has been a full member of the FGDP(UK) since 2004, and served as President of the Central Counties Branch of the British Dental Association from 2015 to 2017. He is also a director and founder of an innovative medical devices company, Sentra Medical Limited.

Ewen McColl MFGDP(UK), Director of Clinical Dentistry at Plymouth University’s Peninsula Dental School, and Co-Editor of FGDP’s Standards in Dentistry, has been elected to represent the South West of England, succeeding Suzanne Sykes MFGDP(UK).

Ewen McColl

After qualifying from the University of Edinburgh in 1993, Ewen worked in maxillofacial surgery posts before spending seventeen years in the British Army, during which time he served in Afghanistan and Brunei as a General Dental Practitioner. During his military career he completed specialist training in periodontics, restorative dentistry and endodontics at The Eastman and Guy’s dental hospitals in London, in addition to studying at Loma Linda University in California. With postgraduate diplomas in conscious sedation (from King’s College London) and in medical education (from the University of Dundee), he holds the FDS(Rest. Dent.) of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, is a Fellow of both the Faculty of Dental Trainers (RCS Ed.) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and is a member of the FGDP(UK) Academy.

The new Board members were elected for three year terms and will take up office on 25 June. They will serve most of their terms as Council Members of the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) following the transfer of the Faculty into CGDent next month.

Andrew Parashchak MJDF RCS(Eng) has been re-elected to represent the Mersey & North West membership divisions, and Jonathan Farmer MFGDP(UK) has been re-elected to the Trent & East Anglia seat.

Ian Mills FFGDP(UK), current Dean of the Faculty, said: “Many congratulations to Matthew, Kanwar and Ewen on their election to the Board, and to Andrew and Jonathan on their re-election. I wish them all the best, and am sure their vast and varied experience will serve the Faculty well as it fulfils its destiny in the historic launch of the College of General Dentistry.

“I would also like to thank Suzanne and Mark for their dedication and service to the Faculty through the Board, and for their collegiality and invaluable advice during my term as Dean.”

Abhi Pal to be first elected President of CGDent and final FGDP Dean

Abhi Pal has been elected as the next Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP), and will become the first elected President of the College of General Dentistry (CGDent). 

Dr Pal qualified in 1987 with honours and distinction from Guy’s Hospital, London, and has worked in general dental practice ever since, joining The University Dental and Implant Centre, a mixed NHS and private practice in Edgbaston of which he is Principal, in 1991.

With special interests in dental implantology and restorative dentistry, he is Editor of FGDP’s Training Standards in Implant Dentistry, for which he is currently leading the development of mentoring requirements, and was a tutor in Risk Management on the University of Warwick’s MSc courses in implant and restorative dentistry for seven years.

He joined FGDP in 1997, becoming active in its West Midlands division as a tutor and examiner for the MJDF, and later being awarded the Diploma of Fellowship. He was elected to represent the region on the National Faculty Board in 2014, was re-elected in 2017 and 2020, and is Chair of the FGDP Professional Affairs Committee, and a Senior Member of the Faculty Academy. In addition he represents the Faculty at meetings of Health Education England’s Advancing Dental Care Stakeholder Forum, and is involved in the development of a GDP career pathway for CGDent.

He has also previously served the Faculty as Chair of both the Education and Finance Committees, as Junior Vice-Dean (2016-17) and Senior Vice-Dean (2019-20), and as its representative on the Health Education England dental advisory group and NHS England clinical reference group on record-keeping standards.

He is one of the authors of the FGDP-CGDent guidance, Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice, and has played a leading role in developing the Faculty’s international relationships, most recently organising a joint webinar on dental practice during the coronavirus pandemic in conjunction with the dental associations of Kenya, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Abhi also holds the Expert Witness Certificate from Cardiff University Law School, and has twenty years’ experience of providing clinical assessments and reports, and giving evidence at courts and hearings, as an independent expert for lawyers, regulatory bodies, insurers and defence organisations. He advised Heart of Birmingham NHS Primary Care Trust on dental complaints, clinical governance and commissioning for twelve years, and brings his dento-legal knowledge to bear in representing the Faculty on the GDC’s complaints handling policy group, and at Dental Complaints Service stakeholder meetings. In 2019 he was also Guest Editor of a themed issue of the Primary Dental Journal on dento-legal matters.

He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, has a Postgraduate Award in Medical Education from the University of Warwick, and holds the Membership in General Dental Surgery qualification of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He has also been a Foundation Trainer for twenty-five years, and is a member of NHS Education for Scotland’s National Review Panel for Vocational Training.

Elected for a three-year term, he will be inaugurated as FGDP(UK)’s eleventh and final Dean on 25th June 2021, succeeding Ian Mills. He will become the first elected President of the College of General Dentistry, succeeding the Honorary Founding President, Nairn Wilson, upon the transfer of the Faculty to CGDent. It is intended that the transfer will take place on 1 July, though membership of CGDent is already open to all dental professionals.

Commenting on his election, Dr Pal said: “I would like to thank my colleagues for the faith they have placed in me.  It will be an enormous privilege to lead this country’s only professional body dedicated to general dental practice, an organisation with which I have been involved for 24 years, and a deep responsibility to be the first elected President as the Faculty fulfils its destiny of becoming an independent College of General Dentistry. I invite all those in the general dental professions in all four nations of the UK to join us as we take this historic step.”

Ian Mills, current Dean of FGDP(UK) and a Trustee of the CGDent, added: “Many congratulations to Abhi on his election as Dean. An accomplished practitioner, with a proven commitment to postgraduate dental education and a detailed understanding of good practice and standards, he is a highly respected colleague and members should be delighted that our organisation will be in such good hands at this critical time.”

Nairn Wilson recognised for contribution to the new College of General Dentistry

The College of General Dentistry is delighted to announce that Prof Nairn Wilson CBE is to be recognised for his contribution in the establishment of the College of General Dentistry as Honorary Founding President.

The College of General Dentistry is making plans for its future effective governance and representation with the announcement that the roles of Chair of Trustees and Presidency of an elected Council will be separate when the College formally launches in July 2021.

Prof Wilson steps down as Chair of the Trustee Board with immediate effect, his position taken in an interim capacity by Janet Clarke MBE, who has been a Trustee since 2019. The substantive role of Chair of Trustees will be recruited openly in the coming weeks.

In recognition of his contribution to the establishment of the new College, the CGDent Trustees and the FGDP(UK) Board have agreed that Professor Wilson will be granted the title of Honorary Founding President. After a rich career in leadership across dental organisations, Prof Wilson has led the Trustee Board of the College from its initiation in 2017. He takes on this new role in the months leading to the launch in July, to champion the vision and goals of the College, and to lead fundraising in support of its mission at this critical time in its development.

The launch is intended to tie in with the transfer of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) on 1st July 2021, its elected Board forming the core of the planned College Council. Ian Mills, current Dean of FGDP(UK) and a Trustee of the College, demits office immediately before the transfer, and his successor as Faculty Dean is expected to take up the role as the first elected President of the College.

The President will thereafter be elected by the Council (continuing from the current Faculty Board), the Council itself being elected from amongst the College’s membership on a regional basis. The Council will provide the College’s leadership in all professional affairs in dentistry, and guide Trustees accordingly.

Nairn Wilson said: “I am hugely honoured and delighted to have been appointed Honorary Founding President of the College of General Dentistry.
“The long-overdue formation of the College, which will provide new leadership and career pathways, will bring together and develop the skills and expertise of all members of the dental team in the interests of patients. In achieving this goal, the College will allow dental healthcare professionals, individually and collectively, to realise their considerable potential to enhance general health and wellbeing.

“I commit myself, with renewed resolve, to doing everything possible to provide solid, enduring foundations for the intended Royal College.
“In emerging from unprecedented, challenging times, the College intensifies and strengthens the light at the end of the tunnel and beyond.”

Janet Clarke said: “The appointment of our Founding President marks another confident step toward the formal launch of the College of General Dentistry, and I can think of no more appropriate candidate for the role than Nairn Wilson. We are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to lead the redoubling of our efforts in establishing the College; building support amongst our future partners and stakeholders, and focusing our development campaign.

“I look forward to working with my fellow Trustees to prepare ourselves for an historic

year ahead, with the formal launch of the College and the welcoming of the members
that will be at the heart of our professional community”.

Ian Mills said: “The College of General Dentistry was conceived though the determination of the Board of FGDP(UK) to establish an independent College, and I am delighted that Nairn Wilson is recognised for his tireless work with us to bring that to fruition. We are now within touching distance of the fulfilment of this great enterprise. There is great promise for the future in our proud profession, building on the twenty eight years of progress achieved by the Faculty”.

Prof Nairn Wilson CBE

Nairn Wilson is a Past President of the British Dental Association and Emeritus Professor of Dentistry at King’s College London, where he was Professor of Restorative Dentistry, Dean and Head of the College’s Dental Institute (2001-12), and Deputy Vice Principal (Health) (2009-12).

His other positions have included Editor of the Journal of Dentistry (1986-2000), Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1995-98), President of the General Dental Council (1999-2003), co-chair of the Forum of European Heads and Deans of Dental Schools (2007-12), and Editor of FGDP(UK)’s Primary Dental Journal (2012-2017).

Nairn’s interests include healthcare regulation, international trends in dental education, and future developments in the clinical practice of dentistry. He continues to contribute to the dental literature, while serving as patron or trustee of various dental charities. He was appointed CBE in 2004 for services to dentistry and healthcare regulation.

Janet Clarke MBE

Janet Clarke recently stepped down as Deputy Chief Dental Officer for England. Her career has included chairing the BDA’s Central Committee for Community and Public Health Dentistry and leading negotiations to introduce the new contract for salaried primary care dentists, establishing a new pathway for career progression.

In 2010 Janet was awarded the MBE for services to dentistry having twelve months previously been appointed by the Government to work alongside Professor Jimmy Steele in his Independent Review of NHS Dentistry. Previously, she worked as a clinical dental officer in a range of Midland health authorities before becoming Associate Director for Dental Services in 1991.

BDA, FDGP(UK) and College of General Dentistry join forces to investigate discrimination in dentistry

The British Dental Association, Faculty of General Dental Practice UK and College of General Dentistry have joined forces to conduct a survey into discrimination in dentistry.

The survey is aimed at all dentists who have ever practised dentistry in the UK, and at dental students studying in the UK, and asks about their morale and career satisfaction as well as any experiences they may have had of being treated unfairly whilst working or studying.

Feedback from the survey will be anonymised, and the data and experiences captured will be used to identify and raise awareness of the ways in which discrimination is experienced in dentistry, and how these affect individual practitioners.

In recent months, the three organisations have convened a programme board to promote joint working on issues of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in dentistry, as well as a joint working group to investigate racial inequality in particular. The survey results will help these groups take forward evidence-based actions to address the underlying issues, and to promote greater understanding in the profession of the experiences and concerns of their fellow dentists.

The survey is available at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/racismindentistry/.

Onkar Dhanoya, Chair of the BDA-FGDP(UK)-CGDent Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Board, said: “Dentistry is a caring profession by nature, but the experiences of some dentists suggest that as a profession we don’t always treat our colleagues as well as we do our patients. Only by listening can we better understand others’ concerns in order to address them.”

Russ Ladwa, President of the BDA, said: “Discrimination is unfortunately still a feature of our society, and dentistry is far from immune, but this survey is an important step towards understanding and addressing the issue in our profession, and I encourage all dentists to complete it.”

College of General Dentistry appoints further Ambassadors

The College of General Dentistry has appointed three more Ambassadors: Professor Richard Horton, Dr Govin Murugachandran and Professor Jonathan Cowpe.

College Ambassadors are drawn from different backgrounds and walks of life. They support the engagement of the College in general healthcare and society and promote its influence in the interests of patients and the public, building trust and confidence in the dental profession.

More Ambassadors will be appointed in the coming months as the College works towards its historic, formal launch, now planned for mid-2021.

Chair of the College Board of Trustees, Professor Nairn Wilson, said: “I am delighted that Professors Horton and Cowpe and Dr Murugachandran have joined the College’s exceptional team of Ambassadors. Collectively, they have a huge range of highly relevant expertise and knowledge, with opportunity to greatly increase awareness of the College and its importance. The College looks forward to having the support and encouragement of its new Ambassadors in working towards realising the goals of excellence in oral healthcare provision and new leadership and support for all dental healthcare professionals.”

In commenting on his appointment Richard Horton said: “It is a privilege to join the College as one of its Ambassadors. For too long, medicine has neglected oral health. I want to make it my mission to ensure that oral health receives the priority it deserves within the NHS, medical research, and medical education. The College has a vital part to play in advancing oral health nationally and globally. I look forward to working with the College to deliver these goals.”

Govin Murugachandran commented: “It is a privilege to join the College as Ambassador at a time when the need for a clear and independent voice has shown its importance. I am looking forward to working with the college to bring guidance and innovation to the profession”

Jonathan Cowpe added: “I’m honoured to be an Ambassador for the College of General Dentistry. Dentistry is at the forefront of significant challenges in the delivery of high standards of healthcare to communities, not least during the present pandemic. I look forward to supporting the College spearheading excellence in healthcare delivery and promoting education and training for professionals from across the dental team.”

Richard Horton

Richard Horton is Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet. He qualified in physiology and medicine with honours from the University of Birmingham in 1986. He joined The Lancet in 1990, moving to New York as North American Editor in 1993. In 2016, he chaired the Expert Group for the High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, convened by Presidents Hollande of France and Zuma of South Africa. In 2011, he was elected a Foreign Associate of the US Institute of Medicine and, in 2015, he received the Friendship Award from the Government of China. In 2019 he was awarded the WHO Director-General’s Health Leaders Award for outstanding leadership in global health and the Roux Prize in recognition of innovation in the application of global health evidence. He works to develop the idea of planetary health – the health of human civilizations and the ecosystems on which they depend.

Govin Murugachandran

Govin Murugachandran is a dually qualified clinician with a medical degree from University College London and a dental degree from Kings College London. He completed his core surgical training in the London Deanery as part of pursuing a career in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

In 2017, Govin founded Flynotes, a digital health company that uses AI to optimise patient and clinical communications. Flynotes partners with leading organisation and institutions to deliver software solutions to health care professionals. Most recently, Flynotes worked with the FGDP(UK) and CGDent to deliver the Fallow Time Calculator for use by dental teams across the UK.

Jonathan Cowpe

Graduating from the Turner Dental School, Manchester in 1975, Jonathan embarked on a career in Oral Surgery in the NHS and through clinical academia, with senior posts in Dundee, Cardiff, and Bristol. His early research was on the application of quantitative cytopathology in early oral cancer detection. He has been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate education and training developments for 40 years. Elected to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Dental Council in 1995, he became Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (2005-08). He was appointed Head of the School of Oral & Dental Sciences, Bristol (2001-04). Returning to Wales in 2009, he was appointed Director of Postgraduate Dental Education in Wales. During that time, he was elected Chair of the Joint Committee for Postgraduate Training in Dentistry (2009-13). These roles facilitate his continuing aspirations to smooth the transition from graduate dental professional into clinical practice, a springboard into a career-long period of CPD and promote an ethos of inter-collegiality and engagement across the profession. Jonathan led on the ‘DentCPD’ project (2010-12) and the recent ADEE reports ‘Review of CPD’ (2019), ‘Preparedness for Practice’ (2020) and ‘Professionalism’ (2020) published by the GDC. He continues to supervise students/trainees in minor oral surgery.

Dental Protection and College of General Dentistry announce partnership to offer indemnity protection for less

Dental Protection and the College of General Dentistry have announced the establishment of a partnership which includes a discount on Dental Protection subscription fees for members of the College.  

Under Dental Protection’s new ‘CGDent Scheme’, Members and Associate Fellows of the College will receive a discount of 5% on their Dental Protection subscription, and Fellows will benefit from an 8% discount. Existing Dental Protection members who are also members of the College can contact Dental Protection to get their relevant discount applied.

To take advantage of the reduced fees, College of General Dentistry members should contact Dental Protection. Existing Dental Protection members should call 0800 561 9000 to get their relevant discount applied, and those who are not yet Dental Protection members should visit www.dentalprotection.org/uk to join.

Dental Protection members wishing to join the College should visit https://cgdent.uk/join/ Membership of the College opened earlier this week. Membership is open to all registered dental professionals, and prospective members should at present join the FGDP(UK) to be eligible for admission to CGDent membership. Registered dentists with a postgraduate dental qualification will qualify as full members of CGDent and be eligible for an indemnity fee reduction.

The ethos of Dental Protection is closely allied with that of the College of General Dentistry, with a clear focus on education, quality and standards. This new partnership will allow both organisations to work closer on new initiatives, alongside improving standards of dental care both nationally and internationally.

In light of the challenges currently facing dentists, the two organisations have established a ‘win-win partnership’ that will draw upon their respective areas of expertise in order to meet their members’ needs.

Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection said: “I am delighted that we will be partnering with the College of General Dentistry. We both provide high quality support for general dental practitioners and it was an obvious decision for us to work even more closely together.

“This partnership lays on the shared understanding of the needs and challenges that the profession faces. The College seeks to improve the standard of care delivered to patients through standard setting, publications, postgraduate training and assessment, education and research. Something that Dental Protection has also been doing for years.

“I believe this will be the beginning of a long-lasting partnership aimed at improving the standards for the profession and supporting dentists in the UK.”

Nairn Wilson FFGDP(UK), Chair of Board of Trustees, College of General Dentistry, said: “Partnering with Dental Protection is an important step for the College of General Dentistry. I am delighted that Dental Protection are keen to be part of our journey to improve oral health care for all.

“This partnership demonstrates that ambitious and dedicated dental professionals who strive to deliver the best quality of care, through a robust career pathway and professional qualifications such as are being developed by the College, can be rewarded. We look forward to further developing this partnership for the benefit of our members and the profession in the future.”

College of General Dentistry announces membership scheme

The College of General Dentistry (CGDent) has published details of its new membership scheme, enabling all members of the dental team to become part of the UK’s first independent college for primary dental care.

Full Membership of CGDent requires a relevant postgraduate qualification and entitles the holder to use the post-nominal designation ‘MCGDent’. It has now been opened to Full Members of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP(UK)), who automatically qualify for CGDent membership, but will still need to apply.  Non-members of FGDP who hold the MJDF, MFGDP or MGDS, or a postgraduate diploma-level qualification from one of the four surgical Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland, can also apply by first joining the Faculty as a Full Member. Those with a dentistry-related PgDip, MSc or PhD from a UK Higher Education institution also qualify if they first apply for ad eundum membership of FGDP.

Fellowship of the new College, described as ‘the hallmark of leadership and commitment to excellence in dentistry’, entitles the holder to use the post-nominal designation ‘FCGDent’. It has now been opened to Fellows of FGDP, who automatically qualify but will still need to apply. Fellows of the other dental faculties of the Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland, and other recognised institutions worldwide, also qualify by first applying for ad eundum fellowship of the Faculty.

Associate Membership of CGDent is now available to all dental professionals who are registered with the General Dental Council or an overseas equivalent, including dental care professionals and newly qualified dentists. Applicants do not need to be members of FGDP(UK), though Associate and Affiliate Members of the Faculty are encouraged to join CGDent in this category. To join, visit https://cgdent.uk/join/.

From 1 July 2021, applications for Full Membership or Fellowship of CGDent will also be open to all members of the dental team with appropriate qualifications, without the requirement of FGDP membership. Associate Fellowship, with the post-nominal ‘AssocFCGDent’, will also then be introduced to mark out those who have developed their practice to a high level, and as a stepping stone to Fellowship. CGDent has also committed to enable membership for retired practitioners.

Prior to 1 July 2021, CGDent is only charging members at all grades an initial administration fee of £20, and details of annual fees thereafter will be announced in due course.

National dental organisations have come together with a reminder: Antibiotics do not cure toothache

National dental organisations have come together to support the World Health Organisation’s Antibiotic Awareness Week, which runs from 18-24 November.

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK, Association of Clinical Oral Microbiologists, College of General Dentistry, British Dental Association, British Association of Oral Surgeons, Association of Dental Hospitals and the dental sub-group of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group are repeating the message to patients that “antibiotics do not cure toothache”, and reminding dental teams that antibiotics should only be used as an adjunct to definitive clinical management of the cause, and only where indicated.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the dental profession has focussed on preventing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to their team, patients and the wider population. During the first national lockdown, the provision of general dental services was severely restricted and limited to the referral of urgent and emergency cases and the provision of advice, analgesics and antimicrobials where appropriate.

As a result of these constraints, a marked increase in antibiotics prescribed in NHS general dental practice has been reported. In England the number of prescriptions was up 22% during April to June 2020, and in Scotland there were steady month-on-month increases from April, peaking at a 50% rise in July, when compared with the same periods in 2019.

It is estimated that dentists account for around 10% of all oral antimicrobial agents prescribed in healthcare, and a clear link has been established between the consumption of antimicrobial agents in human medicine, animal healthcare and agriculture and increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance.

While antimicrobial resistance continues to be a long-term problem, a government review reported that 700,000 people worldwide are already dying of antibiotic-resistant infections every year, and estimated that by 2050 the annual global cost could be 10 million lives and £66 trillion.

Prudent prescribing of antimicrobials can slow down the further development of antimicrobial resistance, and all healthcare prescribers play a vital role. The dental profession has shown its clear commitment in addressing antimicrobial resistance by significantly reducing the use of antibiotics in dental practice over the last decade.

Last year alone, dentists in the UK reduced their prescribing of antimicrobials by 9%, and the organisations say it is vital that the profession maintains and builds on this success. They are encouraging all dentists to continue to play their part in reducing the development of antimicrobial resistance by ensuring appropriate prescribing of antibiotics when managing their patients during the Covid-19 pandemic and into the future.

Guidelines for antimicrobial prescribing in dentistry are available at https://www.fgdp.org.uk/guidance-standards/antimicrobial-prescribing-gdps and https://bnf.nice.org.uk.

Posters and leaflets for patients are available at https://www.fgdp.org.uk/antimicrobial-prescribing, and a Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit, developed by FGDP(UK), the British Dental Association and Public Health England, is accessible at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dental-antimicrobial-stewardship-toolkit