Inaugural College Medal awarded to Ian Mills

Ian Mills has become the first ever recipient of the prestigious College Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the College of General Dentistry (CGDent).

Reserved to no more than one recipient per year, the College Medal succeeds the Faculty Medal, which was previously awarded by the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) to just four individuals. It is conferred for exceptional service of the dental profession and its patients in a manner aligned with the values and mission of the College, and both members and non-members are eligible for consideration. 

Dr Mills has received the award in recognition of his considerable contributions to the profession over many years, including through the College and previously the Faculty, in particular his exemplary leadership at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, his pivotal roles in establishing the CGDent and securing the FGDP’s transfer into it last year, and his promotion of greater equality, diversity and inclusion in the dental professions.  

Ian qualified as a dentist from Glasgow University in 1987 and spent the early part of his career working in maxillofacial surgery. In 1994 he moved to Devon, and three years later set up Torrington Dental Practice in North Devon, now an eight-surgery mixed NHS-and-private practice, where he continues to work as a partner.  

He joined the Faculty the same year, and after completing its prestigious Diploma in Implant Dentistry, gaining Fellowship and becoming a Fellowship Assessor, was elected to the National Faculty Board to represent the South West region. He was later appointed Chair of the Examinations Committee and the Faculty’s representative on the Care Quality Commission Dental Reference Group, and served as Junior Vice Dean from 2016-17 and Senior Vice Dean from 2017-18 before being elected FGDP’s tenth Dean, a post he held from 2018-2021.  

During his tenure he represented the profession on a number of committees and working groups, including NHS England’s Advisory Board for Dental Systems Reform, the Joint Committee for Postgraduate Training in Dentistry, the Intercollegiate Advisory Committee on Sedation in Dentistry, the Council of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the Public Health England group overseeing the development the fourth edition of Delivering Better Oral Health. 

In his first annual speech as Dean, he highlighted the inequality of opportunities for career progression within dentistry, noting in particular the disproportionate number of men in leadership roles relative to the gender balance in the profession, and he later instituted the FGDP-CGDent Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Board. 

Early in the pandemic, Ian established a forward planning task group to try to find a way for dental practices to re-open their doors as soon as safely possible. Convening individuals from over 30 organisations to develop suitable guidance, he played a key role in its development, working tirelessly to seek consensus on the many challenges of delivering dental services while minimising the risks of transmission. Completed within the space of just four weeks, Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice was published a week before face-to-face practice resumed in England, giving practices much needed time to prepare when no official re-opening guidance had yet been published. With its in-built responsiveness to varying COVID-19 alert levels, the guidance has remained accessible and relevant over the last 18 months. 

Continuously supporting the profession through the pandemic, he led numerous webinars, joined the NHS England working group on the resilience of mixed dental practices, was part of the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme’s AGP Rapid Review Group, facilitated revised guidance on fallow time and steered the development of the Fallow Time Calculator

Prior to his Deanship, he was an elected member of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee, a member of Devon Local Dental Committee, and on the Professional Executive Committee of North Devon Primary Care Trust.  

In addition to his clinical practice, Ian has worked at Peninsula Dental School since it was established and has remained closely involved in the undergraduate programme. Currently Associate Professor in Primary Care Dentistry, he was previously a clinical supervisor, group facilitator and honorary lecturer. Actively involved in promoting and developing research in primary dental care, with particular interests in measuring quality outcomes, person-centred care and environmental sustainability, in 2018 he was awarded a PhD for research into person-centred care in general dental practice.  

He is an Ambassador, Founder, Fellow and former Trustee of the College of General Dentistry, and has been instrumental in the establishment and progression of its Career Pathways programme. A Fellow of the International College of Dentists, the Higher Education Academy and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, he is a former Trustee of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 

Long-standing BADN member Dr Debbie Reed named first recipient of FGDP(UK)’s Janet Goodwin Award

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, is delighted that long-standing member Dr Debbie Reed is the first recipient of the FGDP(UK)’s Janet Goodwin Award, awarded to the Dental Care Professional (DCP) who has advanced the role of and empowered DCPs in order to educate and improve oral healthcare. 

The Award, which honours the late dental nurse Janet Goodwin, is focused on the all-round performance and skills required to become a passionate and committed advocate for DCPs, reflecting the Janet’s legacy. The Award highlights the qualities of leading by example, a commitment to lifelong learning that goes beyond statutory requirement, and a wider commitment to the dental profession.

Dr Debbie Reed is Head of the Department for Digital and Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent where she established, and remains the course director of, the Master’s degree in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare. Debbie has also been leading the development of degree and higher apprenticeships for the University, building links with employers across the UK and various industries. Academically, she has researched, written and contributed on topics such as professionalisation of occupations, credentialing and qualifications, and pedagogised careers.

Debbie has been BADN member for more than 20 years, and is a former BADN Executive Committee Chair.  In 2020 she was awarded the BADN Outstanding Contribution to Professional Practice Award.

“I am reassured that my work as an educator and my research has practical application and has provided transformational opportunities to those employed across the whole of the dental sector,” said Dr Reed. “I had the honour to know Janet Goodwin as a colleague; she also contributed to my research, which makes receiving a prize in her name so meaningful and such a poignant privilege.”

Janet Goodwin

“We are delighted that Debbie is the first recipient of this Award, which is in memory of Janet Goodwin, who was a BADN Fellow and member for more than 25 years until her untimely death from breast cancer last year,” said BADN President Jacqui Elsden. “Janet was an inspiration to dental nurses throughout the UK, and abroad and worked tirelessly to educate and empower DCPs.  It is entirely fitting that Debbie, who has done so much also to support, advance and encourage DCPs, has received this Award.”

BADN – together with the  Oral Health Foundation, of which Janet was a Past President – have set up a Memorial Fund in Janet’s name, which will support the future of dental nursing by providing students and professionals with bursaries for the development of their careers.  Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Memorial Fund may do so online at

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.”

Nick Palmer and Ken Eaton awarded Faculty Medals

Nick Palmer and Ken Eaton have each been awarded the Faculty Medal, which recognises the most exceptional contributions to the general dental profession through the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP), and is the highest honour bestowed by the organisation.

Dr Nikolaus Palmer FFGDP(UK) graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1976 before practising as a General Dental Practitioner in Crosby for over 30 years, providing predominantly NHS treatment with a special interest in orthodontics. A founding member of the Faculty, he achieved the MFGDP(UK) and later Fellowship, and has been a committed servant of the Faculty for almost three decades, serving over 18 years on the Board, chairing the Research and Publications Committees, and serving as a Vice Dean and member of the Executive Committee.

Dr Nick Palmer

With a strong commitment to dental education, for 25 years he has been a clinical lecturer, later honorary clinical lecturer, at Liverpool Dental School, teaching and supervising undergraduate students of dentistry and dental therapy. A clinical advisor to Health Education England North West, he was a long serving dental foundation trainer, has mentored a number of overseas dentists working in the UK, and developed the dental practice in which he was a partner as a training practice. He also served the Faculty nationally as Vice Chair of the Education Committee and Chair of the Examinations Committee, a role in which he led the development of the MJDF and the FGDP(UK) Diploma in Primary Care Orthodontics, and the re-development of FGDP(UK) Fellowship.

Beyond this considerable service, perhaps his most significant contribution has been in the development of three editions of guidance on the use of antimicrobials in dentistry – a subject on which he is a renowned authority, and which was the basis of his PhD, awarded by the University Liverpool in 2001. The first edition of the guidance, published in 2000, covered prescribing to adults in general dental practice, and in 2012 he expanded the scope, with the publication of the second edition, to cover prescribing to child patients. The third edition, published in December 2020, was expanded again to cover specialist as well as general dental care, and represents the culmination of over two decades of work which has contributed to a marked reduction in the number of inappropriate prescriptions in dentistry, and helped ensure that dental patients across the UK and elsewhere are prescribed the right antimicrobial, in the right dosage and for the right duration. The guidance is widely cited, has been consulted over half a million times in the last five years alone since it was made available online, and its relevance will only increase as the global problem of antimicrobial resistance becomes ever more acute.

Professor Kenneth Eaton FFGDP(UK) has worked in general dental practice, specialist practice and academic dentistry, edited several dental journals, and has lectured, taught and advised in over 30 countries worldwide. A registered specialist in both periodontics and dental public health, he is currently a Visiting Professor at University College London and Honorary Professor at the University of Kent, and serves as Chair of the British Dental Editors and Writers Forum, Trust Dental Tutor for East Kent, and as a committee member of the European Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity Free Future.

Professor Ken Eaton

Joining the Faculty in 1993, he was editor of Primary Dental Care from 2003 to 2013, of Team in Practice from 2008 to 2013, and of the first (2007) edition of Standards in Dentistry. He was also co-editor of the second (2004) and current (2013) editions of Selection Criteria for Dental Radiography, and of An introduction to Research for Primary Dental Care Clinicians (2010), which he is currently involved in updating. He is Associate Editor of the journals Community Dental Health and Clinical Experimental Dental Research, has published over 350 scientific works, and is a past editor of Oral Health and Dental Management and co-editor of the book Practical Periodontics.

After graduating BDS from the University of London, where he later completed an MSc with distinction and PhD, he practised dentistry in the armed forces, becoming Director of the Royal Air Force School of Dental Hygiene. Later Vice-President of the then British Dental Hygienists Association, from 1998 to 2003 he was the Director of the National Centre for the Continuing Professional Education of Dentists, and he is a past President of the Education Research and Practice-Based Research Groups of the International Association for Dental Research and of the European Association of Dental Public Health.

Adviser to the Council of European Chief Dental Officers for over twenty years, he has also advised the World Health Organisation and the health departments of several European countries, and was the first Chair of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe.  In 2008 he was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Ovidius University of Romania, and appointed as a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Health Select Committee’s inquiry into dental services in England, and he was Scientific Adviser to the 2009 World Dental Hygienist Conference in Glasgow.

He is a Fellow of FGDP, as well as of the International College of Dentists, the Faculty of Public Health and the Higher Education Academy. He also holds the Membership in General Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and is a Full Member of the National Conference of University Professors.

The latest awards of the Faculty Medal, conferred by the FGDP(UK) Board, were the final ones to be made by FGDP as it prepares to transfer into the College of General Dentistry next month. Previous winners include Shelagh Farrell and Mike Mulcahy.

FGDP(UK) Dean, Ian Mills FFGDP(UK), said: “Nick and Ken are exceptional general dental practitioners who have made extraordinary contributions to the Faculty and to the dental profession, and who are ambassadors for our profession among other health professions and beyond. Their work has helped raise the standard of care experienced by countless dental patients, and their tirelessness and unsurpassed dedication set an example to us all. On behalf of the FGDP(UK) Board, it is my great pleasure and privilege as Dean to award them both the Faculty Medal in recognition of their many admirable and significant achievements.”

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.”

FGDP(UK) Fellowship Awards 2020-21

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP(UK)) has awarded Fellowship to almost 40 individuals in recognition of their professional achievements.

Five have received Honorary Fellowship, which is bestowed on those who have made an exceptional contribution to the profession, and are entitled to use the post-nominal designation ‘FFGDP(UK)(Hon)’.

Thirty-four have been awarded the Diploma of Fellowship, which recognises the diversity of an individual’s expertise and their achievements in delivering excellence in primary dental care. Of these, eight have successfully completed the assessment for Fellowship, and ten have been elected to the Fellowship in recognition of their exceptional career records and active support of the Faculty and its mission. Sixteen have been awarded Fellowship ad eundum in recognition of their existing Fellowship either of another UK Royal College, or of a recognised overseas body with an award equivalent to that of Fellowship by Assessment of the Faculty. They may all use the post-nominal designation ‘Dip. FFGDP(UK)’, and from 1 July 2021 will be able to join the College of General Dentistry as Fellows.

The awards have been granted over the last fifteen months, and the related post-nominals may be used in perpetuity. These are the final Fellows to be appointed by the Faculty prior to its transfer into the College of General Dentistry, and an opportunity for formal presentation will be arranged in due course. 

Honorary Fellowship

  • Michael Colin Armstrong
  • Maria D Clark
  • Jason Andrew Leitch
  • Amit Patel
  • Derek Richards

Diploma of Fellowship of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK)

By election

  • Hilary Michael Attenborough
  • Sukhwinder Singh Atthi
  • Gillian McGregor Lennox
  • Dominic Brenden O’Hooley
  • Kulwant Shoker
  • Robert McNeill Thomson
  • Chetan Trivedy
  • Andrew Charles Toy
  • Brian Westbury
  • Jason Weng Leong Wong 

By assessment

  • Nick Barker
  • Adrian Bennett
  • Ntekim Ette
  • Stephen Robert Burrows
  • Ruben Garcia
  • Haidar Hassan
  • Alexander Holden
  • Christopher Roberts

Ad eundum

  • Ziad Al-Dwairi
  • Senathirajah Ariyaratnam
  • Yee Chuen Chan
  • Stephen Michael Dunne
  • Robert Dyas
  • Andrew Howard Eric Eder
  • Ryan Keir Hughes
  • Eldo Koshy
  • David Charles John Langham
  • Prabhu Manickam Natarajan
  • Barry Francis Arthur Quinn
  • Fraser Campbell Sneddon
  • Gerald Sui
  • Adrian Thorp
  • Christopher Jeremy Tredwin
  • Man Cheong Dennis Wong

FGDP(UK) and FDS welcome new national powers for water fluoridation

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK and Faculty of Dental Surgery have welcomed proposals in the Government’s new Health and Care White Paper which will give the Health Secretary new powers around water fluoridation.

Responding to the proposals, Mr Matthew Garrett, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England said: “We welcome today’s announcement as an important step forward in our efforts to improve children’s oral health. Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the UK, tooth decay was the leading cause of hospital admissions for five to nine year olds by some distance, despite being entirely preventable. The events of the last 12 months, which have reduced access to dental services for many, will only have made this crisis worse. Water fluoridation has been found by Public Heath England to be an effective and safe measure for preventing dental decay. These proposals will make it easier for fluoridation schemes to be implemented more widely, so that more children can benefit.”

Ian Mills, Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK, added: “Tooth decay is the most prevalent disease in England, and the provision of water which is either naturally or artificially fluoridated to 1 part per million is effective in reducing its incidence and severity. There is also clear evidence that it is a cost-effective approach which reduces the number of children admitted to hospital for tooth extractions, and that it offers the greatest benefit in more deprived areas which suffer from poorer oral health and wider health inequalities.  However only one in ten households in England currently receive tap water containing the recommended level of fluoride, and we support the proposals announced today, which would help reduce the barriers to offering fluoridated water to other communities which could benefit”.

The Government’s Health and Care White Paper (p.61) proposes giving the “Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the power to directly introduce, vary or terminate water fluoridation schemes. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care already has the existing power to decide on whether proposals for water fluoridation should be approved and responsibility for the administration of schemes. This removes the burden from local authorities and will allow the Department of Health and Social Care to streamline processes and take responsibility for proposing any new fluoridation schemes, which will continue to be subject to public consultation. Central government will also become responsible for the associated work, such as the cost of consultations, feasibility studies, and the capital and revenue costs associated with any new and existing schemes.”

‘Safety, not activity targets, must be the priority’ – FGDP, College of General Dentistry (CGDent) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP), College of General Dentistry (CGDent) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England have issued a joint message that safety must take clear priority over dental activity levels during the latest national Coronavirus lockdown. 
The leading dental organisations have also highlighted the continued applicability of their guidance, and reiterated the need to consider the prevalence of COVID-19, and local rates of infection, when carrying out risk assessments.
Ian Mills, Dean of the FGDP, said, “Many patients have been unable to access dental care for over a year, with their dental problems getting steadily worse, and oral health inequalities exacerbated by coronavirus restrictions. The dental profession is acutely aware of the present backlog of unmet dental need, which requires treatment as soon as possible. However, the recent imposition of UDA (Units of Dental Activity)-based targets in England to remedy this, just as the pandemic becomes worse than it has ever been, is at odds with the Government’s message to ‘stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives’. The dental profession has worked assiduously to create a safe environment for dental treatment to be delivered, but there are justifiable concerns that significant increases in patient throughput, in order to meet UDA targets, could potentially compromise staff and patient safety.  The UDA was an ineffective measure of activity before the COVID pandemic, and we consider it even less appropriate now. Circumstances will vary by practice and by patient, but the priority should be on safety, the treatment of those with acute needs, and essential maintenance of oral health.”

Matthew Garrett, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of RCS England, added: “Positive tests for COVID-19 and COVID-related deaths are at record levels, emergency departments and intensive care units are under severe pressure, and hospital staff are stretched like never before. Dental teams have robust infection prevention and control protocols in place, which can reduce the risk of transmission if rigorously applied, but we cannot eliminate it altogether, not least given the risks inherent in patients travelling to appointments. Encouraging greater throughput at the present time may not be in the best interests of patients with routine oral health needs, nor does it support the NHS and the national coronavirus response. However, the public should be reassured that dental practices are safe places to visit if they need to access urgent care.”
Mick Horton, Trustee of the CGDent, was the college’s lead representative on the group which developed the FGDP-CGDent guidance, Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice.

He commented: “The risk-based approach we set out in our guidance is adaptable to each national alert level, aiding the revision of practice protocols to ensure they remain appropriate over time. Though dental practices remain open in the latest national lockdown and patients are permitted to attend, the high prevalence and transmission rates of coronavirus at present, which underpin the rule to avoid non-essential travel, are important factors to consider in risk assessment. Practices which conclude that the responsible course of action at present is to postpone certain appointments should not be penalised for serving the greater good.”

FGDP and CGDent publish BPS psychological advice for dental teams

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) and College of General Dentistry (CGDent) have published Dentistry during COVID-19: Psychological advice for dental teams, policy makers, and communicators.

Developed by psychologists from the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Health Psychology, it offers straightforward suggestions to address common challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in dental practices, and lists resources and organisations which can support dental professionals’ mental wellbeing.

It has been published as an adjunct to Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice, the CGDent-FGDP guidance on dentistry during the pandemic, which recommends that dental practices appoint a wellbeing lead and are able to signpost to mental wellbeing services.

The new advice was written by Dr Koula Asimakopoulou of King’s College London, and Dr Heather Buchanan of the University of Nottingham, and was supported by the BPS COVID-19 Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce. It is available at

Dr Asimakopoulou said: “Recent research has identified that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for dental teams in terms of how they work, how they think and feel about work, and how they relate to patients.  These have led to considerable anxiety and stress for many members of the dental profession and their patients, but psychology can offer support and guidance.”

Dr Buchanan continued: “We have developed our evidence-based recommendations as practical responses to the concerns of dental professionals, offering new ways of working informed by psychological science, and supporting patient adherence to safety measures and dental advice during the pandemic. We hope dental teams find them a useful resource.”

Onkar Dhanoya, Vice Dean of FGDP(UK) and Chair of the FGDP-CGDent COVID-19 guidance development group, said: “The present crisis has created significant stress on the wellbeing of members of the dental profession, and our new psychological advice, developed by Health Psychologists, will help practices identify and meet the needs of their teams. I’d like to thank all those who helped develop it, in particular Drs Asimakopoulou and Buchanan.”

FGDP appoints new DCP Representative

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) has appointed Mrs Sarah Hill BSc RDH FHEA as its new Dental Care Professional Representative.

Sarah qualified as a dental hygienist from the University of Bristol, with distinction, in 2012, and also holds a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Southampton as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education from the University of Plymouth.

Working as a hygienist in a mixed orthodontic practice in Halesowen, where one of her passions is making sure that her patients are at ease during treatment, she also delivers presentations to dental hygiene and therapy students on behalf of TePe. She has previously been a lecturer in Community-Based Dentistry at Peninsula Dental School – a role which included clinical supervision, assessing practical and written examinations, and working with students on community projects – and a sales representative for GlaxoSmithKline.

Sarah has been an Affiliate Member of FGDP since 2013, and was recently co-opted onto the board of the Faculty’s West Midlands division as its DCP representative. An assessor for the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, she is also an active member of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, and was Chair of its South West and South Wales group for three years.

FGDP is the only professional membership body in the UK specifically for general dental practice, and reflects and represents individuals across the whole dental team, welcoming all GDC-registered dental therapists, dental hygienists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists.

Succeeding the late Janet Goodwin as the Faculty’s DCP Representative, Sarah will represent the interests of the wider dental team at meetings of the National Faculty Board, and in the FGDP’s work.

Speaking on her appointment, she said: “I’m absolutely delighted, and look forward to representing the interests of my colleagues on the Board, and helping the Faculty in its mission to raise standards of dental care for patients.”

Ian Mills, Dean of FGDP, added: “Many congratulations to Sarah on her appointment. I am delighted to welcome her as the new DCP Representative on the FGDP(UK) Board and I’m sure she will make a significant contribution in the months and years ahead. This is an extremely important time for the Faculty as we prepare to separate from RCS England and look toward the future as part of the new College of General Dentistry. Dental Care Professionals will be an integral part of the new College and it will be fantastic to have someone of Sarah’s experience on the FGDP(UK) Board.”