Covid-19: Dental Protection survey reveals top 5 worries for dentists

A survey of dentists in the UK has revealed the key issues affecting their mental wellbeing during the pandemic. In the Dental Protection survey of nearly 500 dental professionals, five in 10 (53%) said financial worries were having the most impact on their mental wellbeing. Lack of work and lack of adequate PPE were cited by nearly 4 in 10 (37% and 38% respectively).

The survey also shows that dentists are more concerned about their patients’ health, than their own, with 43% saying concern for the health of patients is having the most impact on their mental well-being, and 34% saying they are concerned for their own health.

In March 2020, Dental Protection announced a support package, worth the equivalent of two months’ subscription for free, to acknowledge the concerns of dentists who have experienced a significant drop in their workload and a dramatic fall in income due to Covid-19.

In addition, it extended its counselling service for those dentists experiencing work-related stress due to the crisis. The service is provided through a third-party partner and is completely confidential.

Last week Dental Protection also reassured all members in England who choose to return to work that they will continue to be supported and set out some points for those operating in the private sector to consider when making the decision. 

Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection, said: “Dentists are among the most dedicated healthcare professionals in the world. I am not surprised that so many have put the concerns of their patients’ health before their own in this survey. The extent to which financial worries are impacting on our members’ mental well-being is also evident and concerning. We hope that the subscription relief we have provided has made some difference, along with access to counselling. Many dentists have been hard-hit by the loss of income in recent months with the private sector most affected. It is difficult to predict how long it will take before practice activity returns to levels seen prior to the pandemic. We want to reassure all members that Dental Protection is here to offer support and in the event of a claim, complaint, or related inquiry arising from your decision to re-open, we are here if you need to request assistance.”

New steps to help businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak

On 17 March, the chancellor announced bold new measures intended to help any business that is seeing, or anticipating, financial disruption during the coronavirus pandemic. These were in addition to what had already been outlined in Rishi Sunak’s Budget, just one week earlier. As the situation continues to escalate, the government wants to reassure businesses and the UK workforce that it is committed to doing all it can to minimise the impact of COVID-19.

I’d like to highlight the following:

Changes to Statutory Sick Pay

Perhaps one of the most key measures for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including dental practices, was the move to bring forward legislation to allow them to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus. With every business seeing their workforce deplete – the latest advice is, if you live with someone showing symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days – this could be important. Criteria for eligibility will apply and the government is going to work closely with businesses during the coming months as this represents a big departure from how the system of SSP works currently. For example, an employee will not even need to present a doctor’s note – bold moves for unprecedented times.

Is it time to use Time to Pay?

All businesses and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities and who are in financial distress may be eligible for support through Time To Pay, a service from HMRC. If you think you could benefit, HMRC will look at each case individually, taking circumstances and liabilities into account. There is a dedicated helpline, but speak to your specialist dental accountant for advice first.

Loans and overdrafts

Also announced was the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. This will help businesses access loans and overdrafts, should they need to. To incentivise them to provide SMEs with finance, lenders will get a guarantee of 80% on each loan. Again, go through your options with a specialist accountant who will look at both the bigger picture and the minor details to advise if this could be a smart move for you.

Other measures

Also announced was an additional £2.2 billion for local authorities who pay little or no Business Rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR). Any business that does get SBBR, or Rural Rate Relief will therefore get a £10,000 grant to help with costs.

In short, the government made many promises to reassure businesses that the health of the economy will be protected as far as possible, while we face the biggest threat to the UK’s public health that we have seen for generations.

For all your business concerns and queries, speak to a specialist dental accountant like the team at Lansdell & Rose. We will be able to apply our years of experience of working with the dental industry to these difficult circumstances we’re facing.  

Working together we can find the best solutions to keep your practice working efficiently.


For more information please visit
or call Lansdell & Rose on 020 7376 9333.


COVID-19 – how to minimise the impact on how your dental practice is running as a business

Lansdell & Rose are specialist dental accountants and want to do everything we can to support all dental practices during this uncertain time. We are offering sound, expert financial guidance and assistance, to help you maintain efficient and safe business operations and patient services.

With so much information our there, we recommend a clear, sensible, pragmatic and well-informed approach based on open communication between all members of the dental team. This is a worrying period for most business owners; dental practice owners must also ensure they continue to deliver exceptional patient care, while keeping things running smoothly. So let us share some of the load.


Start with the basics


  • Ensure there are extra precautions for anyone who is particularly vulnerable, such as pregnant women. Again, consult the government’s latest guidance.


  • Ensure everyone’s contact details/emergency contact details are up-to-date.


Take care of your team, including working from home

  • The government has recommended that people work from home, where possible, to curb the spread of the virus. Although this is not always possible for people who work in a clinical setting, if home working is agreed on, usual pay will apply. If you need impartial advice about how the team could be restructured, we can help. If you wish, or need to speak to an employment lawyer, we can introduce you to one, or to a HR advisor.


  • What I cannot stress enough is, to ensure smooth operations, give all dental team members the means to communicate with each other during this pandemic, whether they are in the practice or working from home. It is a worrying time for all of us, for many reasons, so ensure they can all speak freely with you, and each other.


On a contract, or self-employed?

  • Most dental practices will have both contracted employees and people who provide their services on a self-employed basis. Even in “regular” times there are different rules regarding things like reducing someone’s contracted hours, or making lay-offs. In these stranger times, you may even decide ­– or need ­– to close the practice for a short period of time and all rules are subject to change anyway. You must speak with an employment lawyer or HR specialist for specific, expert advice to keep within the law and ensure you are doing all the right things by your team.


  • Finally, communicate, communicate, communicate! Keep everyone in the loop and explain all your decisions fully.


Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

  • The government has recently announced a package of changes to help all employers through this period, including bringing forward legislation to allow them to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to coronavirus. Give us a call if you need anything explaining, or how these measures could benefit your practice.


This situation is fluid and fast moving and things are changing all the time. Keep informed, keep talking and contact Lansdell & Rose for guidance – we will do our best to help your business find a smooth path through this tough time, so you can continue to deliver the highest quality service.


For more information please visit
or call Lansdell & Rose on 020 7376 9333.


Entries are open for the Dental Awards 2019

You can now register your entry for the Dental Awards 2019…

The Dental Awards 2019 will take place on Friday 17 May with a sparkling gala dinner at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, held alongside the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show at the NEC.

Entries are now open for next year’s prestigious event, and you can register your entry for free until 7 September 2018; after this a fee of £45 will apply for each category entered. And then all Awards entries must be received by the final deadline on 7 December 2018.

So if you think that you, your colleagues or your whole team deserves the chance to be honoured at the Dental Awards simply download an entry form and put your case forward – and you could be picking up a trophy on stage at the Awards next May! Start writing your entry now to try and wow the judges with how great you are!

New award category for 2019

The 2019 Dental Awards sees the introduction of a brand new category – Best Outreach or Charity Initiative in the UK. This award recognises the special work that dental professionals and practices do to help others, whether it is one mega event or continuous work in the community. The judges will be asking, what is your initiative – your chosen cause, fundraising event or volunteering scheme – and why did you choose this? How have you made a difference to this project? What events have you held, how have you raised awareness or what support have you provided? What was the outcome?

This category sits alongside other returning categories for 2019:

Best National Smile Month Event

Dental Receptionist of the Year

Dental Therapist of the Year

Dental Hygienist of the Year

Dental Nurse of the Year

Website & Digital Campaign of the Year

Young Dentist of the Year

Dental Practice Team of the Year

Practice Manager of the Year

Practice Design & Interiors

Dental Practice of the Year

Dentist of the Year

Find out more about the Dental Awards at:

The Dental Awards, supported by the UK’s leading dental magazine publisher, Purple Media Solutions, consistently recognise the very best in UK dentistry. Winning or becoming a finalist is a tremendous accolade and provides a massive boost to the profile of your practice. After all, who wouldn’t want to be treated by the Dentist or Dental Practice Team of the Year?

This is always a great way to thank your team and celebrate all that is best in a profession that rarely gets the full credit it deserves. Presenting the Dental Awards alongside the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show provides a brilliant opportunity to combine attending the awards with a visit to the show, the leading CPD-led exhibition in UK dentistry.

Being a finalist or a winner can do wonders for you and your practice. So have you had a successful year, or do you have a particularly outstanding colleague or collective team? Perhaps you’ve recently refurbished your practice, you consider your online presence to be better than your competitors, or your National Smile Month campaign has been a tremendous success? Tell our judges! There are many categories at the Dental Awards that are perfect for recognising all the areas and all the roles that are essential in the efficient running of your dental practice. Previous winners have been amazed at the attention they have received from patients, the profession, local press and news programmes.

For information on how to enter, visit: Or, alternatively, call Linda Aitken on: 01732 371570 or e-mail:

You can send your entry by email – – or by post to – Linda Aitken, The Old School House, St Stephens Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 2AD.

Important – If you plan to enter more than one award category you must submit separate entries for each category. Do not combine entries for different categories. For example, if you plan to enter the Dentist of the Year and Team of the Year categories, you need to supply a complete entry for both.

Passion, perseverance and performance

How dentists can help a talented team compete and succeed

Main picture: Laura, Sophie and Jen at tour of the Reservoir. Sophie Wright was the overall winner!

Ian Hutchinson is well known in dentistry as a passionate and innovative orthodontist, keen to help dentists make good decisions about treating patients, and choosing and using the best orthodontic approaches, methods and systems for each patient. Each year up to 400 dentists attend his weekend seminars under the Wired Orthodontics, and Assure banners.

But one of Ian’s first passions was racing his bike, and if he had delayed or swayed from dentistry, he might have had an entirely different career.

Now, more than 30 years on from a decision to go to University, rather than to Europe to race, Ian is once again indulging his passion for time on his bike, and he has also committed to supporting one team of up and coming young cyclists.

Torelli Brother Assure (Torelli) are a relatively new team on the European circuit. The brainchild of ex-European Pro cyclist, Tony Orrell, Torelli was set up to become a serious player in the ‘next big thing’ in cycling – women’s cycle racing. And to boot, Torelli’s mission became to help develop young talent – giving young women who may not take the usual route to success a chance. With some sponsorship and a huge amount of determination Torelli’s results in its first seasons are impressive. The team have raced against amateur and pro teams and cyclists, racking up wins, and reputation, with some of the riders going on to accept professional contracts at the end of the first year.

One of this year’s new recruits is a multiple Junior Scottish Champion and pro – hopeful, Georgia Mansfield, whom Ian had sponsored in her journey from determined schoolgirl to Torelli’s notice. En route from supporting this young Scottish cyclist, Ian has discovered that Torelli is this year desperately short of funds, and he is determined to help.

Ian is now organising further clinical, business and personal development evening, day and weekend courses for dentists and managers, where the proceeds are given to Torelli to help them fund travel, racing and equipment for the talented team of 16 women, racing all over the UK, and in Europe. And to help more immediately, Ian has been recording some online lectures for which he will ask a modest fee – payable to the team – in order to view. Ian is also hoping that the dental industry will help with sponsorship, and that other experts will be persuaded to record further online episodes. This is all to give a number of talented youngsters their first chance to turn their passion into the performance of their lives.

Ian’s first online lecture – ‘The Art of Self Defence’ – on consent in orthodontics is now available. Simply donate £40 or more on to be sent the code to view.

Dental industry’s reaction to the GDC’s unchanged ARF

After the GDC released a statement stating that the ARF for 2019 would remain the same, leading associations in the profession had some responses to contribute…


The British Dental Association (BDA) has responded to the news that the GDC’s Chief Executive, Ian Brack, has revealed the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) will remain unchanged at £890 in 2019. 

The regulator has offered no detailed rationale for the move, offering instead a series of claims on uncertainty and future risk.  

Dentist leaders have slammed the lack of transparency over the process. Fee levels should be debated and determined in a Council meeting open to the public, linked to a budget and business plan. The BDA had already told the regulator in response to its consultation Clear and certain: A new framework for fee-setting, that not consulting registrants on fee levels again was unacceptable. 

The Council has not yet published its evaluation and response to the consultation. The profession’s trust in the regulator remains as low as ever due to its approach to fee setting and handling – and continuing lack of transparency.

Fees remain the highest of all the UK health regulators and continue to be used to top-up reserves, well beyond the regulator’s own stated requirements. 

 BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: “The £890 ARF symbolises the GDC’s cavalier disregard for the profession it regulates, offering new excuses when the old ones have worn thin.

“We require a regulator prepared to live within its means, willing to approach upstreaming and contingency planning with a cool head. Instead we have a body that puts padding out war chests above all else.

“We have long argued that the GDC’s approach to its reserves is fundamentally flawed, but even by their own measure, they now exceed their required need. The levels of uncertainty are the same for all the regulators, yet nobody else seems to be arguing in this way.

“The Overseas Registration Exam  – and any new approach to registering EU nationals if necessary – should be self-financing. Yes, there may be overheads, but the bottom line is existing registrants should not have to fund registration costs for new registrants. It is simply not a good enough excuse to hoard our cash.

“When the budget for 2019 hasn’t even been formally agreed by the Council, it is not a good look for the GDC’s Chief Executive to unveil the figures in this manner. The serious concerns about transparency that we keep raising continue and increase. The ARF hasn’t changed, and neither has this profession’s trust or confidence in its regulator. The case for a significant fee cut remains, a coherent argument for a freeze has not been offered.”


The British Association of Dental Nurses, the UK’s professional association for dental nurses – the largest professional group on the GDC Register –  today condemned the GDC decision not to lower the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) for dental nurses.

“We made it very clear, in our response to the GDC consultation, that the current ARF of £116 per year is an unreasonable financial burden on dental nurses, the majority of whom are earning minimum wage” said BADN President Hazel Coey.  “Our salary surveys show that a qualified, registered dental nurse with more than 10 years’ experience and working 40 hours per week is earning, on average, around £15,000 a year – compared to hygienists and therapists, who can earn up to three times that much.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to the ARF for DCPs is not acceptable – and we call upon the GDC to recognise this fact and lower the ARF for dental nurses.  BADN also recommends a reduction in the ARF for those registrants – not just dental nurses but all registrants – who work part time.

“Mr Brack states that “protecting the public and maintaining public confidence in dentistry” will always be the GDC’s first priority. BADN would suggest Mr. Brack remembers that without registered dental professionals there would be no dentistry; and pays a little more attention to the needs of registrants – who, after all, are funding the GDC through their ARF!”

A spokesperson for the GDC told The Probe:

“The GDC is facing specific external risks at a time when it is making significant investment for long-term improvement and efficiency. It’s disappointing because real improvements have been made but the risks are real, and they must be planned for. In the first half of next year, we are consulting on our three-year costed corporate strategy. The activity we propose there will tell us what the ARF level will need to be to carry out that work and we look forward to the debate that will bring.”

David Sarver and the art of the possible

David Sarver, an orthodontist from Alabama, and one of the world’s best-known speakers on aesthetic dentistry, is to present new data on the way in which our smile changes over the life span when he takes to the stage at the British Orthodontic Conference in September.

Dr Sarver has led the way in smile design, developing his theories on aesthetic dentistry as early as the 1980s. He developed the Orthotrac software in the 1990s and has lectured and written frequently about the role of the orthodontist in managing the treatment of all aspects of a patient’s facial appearance. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry and was a presenter at its 2017 Quadrennial meeting.

He is an outstanding authority, having written a book as well as co-authoring three with Dr William Proffit, contributed chapters to 20 books, articles for 73 publications (including the BOS Journal of Orthodontics) and delivered 300 presentations around the globe.

His research interests include:

  • Computerisation of treatment planning and prediction-digital algorithmic imaging
  • Orthognathic surgical techniques
  • Three-dimensional facial mapping

A learned speaker he may be, he is never dry. His presentations reflect how science is evolving, his theories illuminated by superb case studies and supported by advice on optimum communication with patients.

At BOC Dr Sarver is participating in an interdisciplinary session, which will be an opportunity to showcase his clinical procedures as well as his working relationship with colleagues. In his view, interdisciplinary goes beyond dentistry, it’s a multi-medical and dental approach incorporating plastic surgery too.

Dr Sarver said: “I will present new, concise data on how the smile changes over the decades and how that data has significant influence over our decision making. The expansion of our knowledge in interdisciplinary treatment opens avenues for enhancement of our orthodontic treatment outcomes. I will present new concepts of smile design that will challenge you to open you mind to fascinating possibilities.”

Simon Littlewood, a BOS member and a Consultant at St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford, heard Dr Sarver speak at the American Association of Orthodontics earlier this year. He commented: “I have always enjoyed David Sarver’s lectures, so whenever I see his name on the programme, I will always make sure I am there to hear it. David presented at the recent AAO in Washington, talking about how he uses new digital technology to help in predicting outcomes and discussing what may be possible with his patients. His lecture provided an inspiring approach to communications with patients, using the evolving technologies that are available to us, and as always he presented in his own inimitable and entertaining style.”

Calcivis receives another exciting accolade

The Calcivis imaging system is delighted to have won a Silver Award in the European Product Design Awards 2018.

The Award recognises the dedication and talent of design teams in creating innovative solutions that improve quality of life, provide solutions to common problems or simply make life easier.

The Calcivis imaging system was said to be “revolutionising the management of cariology” by facilitating real-time, chair side identification of demineralisation associated with active caries.

It does this by using photoproteins that produce light wherever they react with free calcium ions released from actively demineralising tooth surfaces. This affords dentists with a reliable method for early caries detection, which can help to ensure prevention and efficient treatment for patients.

To find out more about the Calcivis imaging system, head to:

Dentists: Heatwave resulting in spike in sugar consumption among kids

The British Dental Association has urged restraint as new figures show kids are eating five times their recommended daily sugar intake during the summer, with the heat pushing them to ice creams, lollies and soft drinks.

A poll of 1,000 parents with children aged two to 17-years-old conducted by mydentist found sugar intake will be hugely boosted during the break from school. 24.5 per cent of parents estimated they gave their children twice as much sugar over summer compared to other times of year. 15.6 per cent said three times as much, with 11.5 per cent suggesting more than five times.

The BDA has been a leading advocate of action on sugar, including the soft drinks industry levy. It has called on parents to take responsibility over sugar consumption, and on Ministers to deliver an ambitious follow up to its landmark Obesity Strategy, with measures to restrict the marketing, sale and formulation of sugary products.

Every 10 minutes a child in England has a tooth removed in hospital due to preventable decay according to figures from Public Health England. Tooth extraction also remains the most common reason for hospital admissions in five to nine-year-olds.

Russ Ladwa, Chair of the BDA’s Health and Science Committee, said: “It is tempting to beat the heat with soft drinks and ice cream, but parents must recognise the damage these sugar-laced confections can do.

“Tooth decay is now a wholly preventable epidemic, and the number one reason a child will be admitted to hospital. Yes, we need parents to take responsibility over what they buy, but Ministers also need to force industry to change the way they formulate and market these products.

“Added sugar is cheap, addictive and nutrient free. Ultimately if you want to keep the kids cool and hydrated reach for the water.”

Are your customers right at the heart of your business?

By Les Jones, Creative Director at Practice Plan

In this highly competitive consumer world where customers are like gold dust, it never ceases to amaze me how many times I find myself in a situation where I’m ready to part with my money, but my supplier of choice is unable to take it.

It seems the art of grabbing defeat from the jaws of success is alive, and thriving, on the high street.

Here are two recent examples of how my desire to part with my hard-earned cash was thwarted by the very people I was trying to give it to.

One size does not fit all

I’m off on holiday in the next few weeks and, as is traditional, I thought I’d treat myself to a few new items of clothing to boost my holiday image. So, I pop into French Connection (I know what style is all about!) and I find a few pairs of trousers that seem to fit the bill. Yet, as I flick through them on the rack, something strange emerges – every single pair, in every colour are a 32-inch leg.

Now, despite the fact that I’d like to think I’m a strapping six-footer, I am, in fact, 5 ft 8 and not much more than a 29-inch leg. I ask the sales assistant if she has any of the trousers in a different length to which she says ‘no, sorry, we only do them in a 32-inch leg, you’d need to roll them up or get them shortened.’

I can only assume that the decision to restrict the trousers to just one length somehow makes the production run easier and more cost-effectively. But it’s also a sales barrier – because I don’t want to roll the trousers up and I can’t be bothered to get them shortened. So, I decide to take my business elsewhere and FCUK lose out on a £100 sale.

The breakfast deadline

I’ve written before about my cycling exploits and how every good cycle ride has a great coffee stop at the halfway point. A recent ride out was no exception. I cycled out one morning, got 25 miles under my belt and then decided it was time for breakfast. I was looking forward to an egg and bacon bagel and a great cup of coffee. I stopped at a cafe I’d not tried before and when the waitress arrived I put my order in. However, I was immediately knocked back by being informed that the bagels were part of the breakfast menu, which finished at 11am. It was now 11.20am and the lunchtime menu had kicked in – I could choose from a list of sandwiches.

Lunchtime! Who has their lunch at 11.20am?

I don’t know about you, but when you have visions of a bacon and egg bagel in your head, a cheese and pickle sandwich is not going to cut it! So, I decide to leave it and I cycle a further five miles to another cafe that is able to satisfy my growing need for breakfast.

Again, there’s probably a perfectly good reason why the cafe has organised its menu availability that way – but, I’m guessing it’s all about making things easier for them, not better for their customers.

They lost my business that day, and they’ve probably lost it for the foreseeable future. When you factor in the lifetime value, that could represent a reasonable amount of income lost.

The amazing thing is the bagel, bacon and eggs were in the building, as were the tools to cook them, as was my money – we just couldn’t do the exchange!

Barriers in your practice

I could also drone on about the car hire company that wouldn’t hire me a pre-booked car because I didn’t have a credit card – even though I had the money and the paperwork! Or the shoe shops that entice me in with their lovely displays but eight times out of ten can’t sell me a pair of shoes as they don’t have my size (7) in stock. The list goes on.

So, the question is – is any of this happening in your dental practice, are there barriers that you are inadvertently erecting which are costing you much needed income? Are you really putting the customer right at the heart of your business and responding positively to their wants and needs…or do they just have to fit in with your way of doing things?

Keeping a note of how many times patients don’t go ahead with an appointment or a treatment plan might give you some valuable insights into how you could change the way you do things to ensure the pendulum swings back in your favour.

I’m guessing that none of the examples I’ve given are isolated ones, I bet they happen every day – what wasted opportunities for those businesses involved.

Make sure you don’t fall into the same trap.

Les Jones is the Creative Director at Practice Plan, the UK’s number one provider of practice-branded dental plans. He has over 30 years’ experience of working within the creative and dental sectors in the fields of design, marketing and strategic consultancy. If you are interested in finding out more about how we help practices to become more profitable, call 01691 684165 or visit