The Probe - Proudly serving the dental profession for over 60 years

SDI – SDF: Effective treatment for more than just hypersensitivity GDC Development Outcome C

Course Dates: 23rd October 2020 - 23rd October 2022
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: Anyone
Course Language: English
Price: FREE

About the Course

• The potential of dental caries and dentinal hypersensitivity to cause oral health issues in both adults and children.

• How SDF can provide a solution in relation to dentinal hypersensitivity and dental caries.

• How the addition of potassium oxide can solve the problem of staining when using SDF.

• The role of SDF in providing an effective, non AGP treatment in the era of COVID-19

Course Structure


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Freedom from dental decay: a human right of all UK children?

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

Children suffering from the blight of dental decay caused by processed foods over-laden with sugar need protecting says Professor Amandine Garde, the founding director of the Law & Non-Communicable Diseases Research Unit at the University of Liverpool.

 A leading expert on the role that the law can have on promoting better health, Professor Garde is a speaker in the first session of BSPD’s Conference on 5 October when she will explain why she advocates for a child rights-based approach to the prevention of non-communicable diseases.

Also on the panel dedicated to discussing policies for reducing sugar consumption are Dr Emma Boyland, an Experimental Psychologist, based at the University of Liverpool, and Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England. The session will be chaired by Dr Clare Ledingham who also Chairs the conference hosted this year by BSPD’s Merseyside branch.

Professor Garde will promote a rights-based approach supporting population-wide, preventive measures as the most likely to ensure that the UK government and others around the world comply with their obligation to protect the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and related children’s rights.

In particular, she will argue that governments are legally accountable for their failure to protect children from the damage that excessive sugar consumption causes and will reflect on the regulatory tools that public health campaigners have at their disposal to increase the pressure on the government to promote better health, and therefore reduce health inequities and improve compliance with children’s rights She will frame the discussion in a post-Brexit context, highlighting that trade negotiations should bear in mind the imperative for governments to protect public health.

Professor Graham McGregor, Chairman of Action on Sugar, who with Professor Garde was at the 2018 Sugar Summit organised by the BDA, said a legal or regulatory approach was probably one of the most effective ways to bring about change.

Just recently there had been a flurry of promising new policies for improving the British diet, he said, but unless targets for sugar reduction were enforced there would be little improvement.  “The food manufacturers are completely in charge of what goes into their products and will not change unless mandatory targets for sugar reduction are imposed.”

Other speakers lined up for the virtual 2021 conference by Scientific Chair Laura Gartshore include:

The two day conference on 5 and 6 October will be preceded by the BSPD Teachers Branch Study morning on 4 October.

BSPD 2021 Scientific Programme

GDC reforms must safeguard dentists with health concerns

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

John Makin, head of the DDU on why proposed regulatory reforms could penalise the most vulnerable dental professionals.

The extreme pressure placed on healthcare professionals by the pandemic has been well documented but is non the less shocking. A recent survey by charity the Laura Hyde foundation revealed the troubling findings that more than 300 healthcare professionals attempted to take their own lives during 2020 as they responded to the pandemic. The DDU’s own research has found that over three quarters of some 400 dental professionals surveyed feel stressed or anxious on a weekly basis.

As dental practitioners have worked so hard to deliver safe care to patients during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that they can place their faith in their regulator if facing a GDC investigation.

Long awaited proposals have now been published by the Department of Health and Social care on regulating professionals and protecting the public. There is much to applaud in the suggestions aimed at modernising and streamlining procedures. For example, the consultation sets out proposals for reforming fitness to practise to allow for the “safe and quick conclusion of many cases without the need for expensive and lengthy panel hearings”.

However, one proposal has caused us concern. Removing health as a category of impairment in fitness to practise cases, we believe would be a retrograde step. The government motive for this, which we support, are that such concerns should usually be dealt with outside a fitness to practise process. However, there will inevitably be some cases where health concerns lead to a formal process. Such cases would instead be dealt with under the banner of ‘lack of competence’. The terminology will surely add to the distress for any dental professional who is struggling with their physical or mental health under the strain of an investigation. 

In recent years, the GDC has established measures for sensitively managing these concerns, such as ensuring details about a clinician’s health are separated from other publicly available content about fitness to practise matters.

Removing the health category for fitness to practise cases risks undoing these advances. The practical effect of this will be to penalise the most vulnerable doctors. We believe it is essential to retain separate procedures for dealing with dental professionals with health problems.

Dental professionals have waited a long time to see the GDC reformed and the pandemic has highlighted the need for that reform to be delivered at pace. Frustratingly, the GDC is not included in the first priority group for reform. The DDU strongly believes dental professional regulation must not be put to the back of the line. It’s vital the GDC is provided with the powers its needs to be a stronger and more flexible regulator without further delay.

See more about the DDU’s views on healthcare regulation on our

Oral health in our coastal communities

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll:
Price: FREE

About the Course

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG, has responded to the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report on Health in our Coastal Communities published this week.

“The Coastal Communities report confirms that coastal towns face many healthcare challenges, but it is important to remember that this includes dental public health. Our members have been telling us that the hardest parts of the country for recruiting dentists include many coastal communities such as Scarborough, Hull, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.”

We welcome the report recommendation that “The current mismatch between health and social care worker deployment and disease prevalence in coastal areas needs to be addressed. This requires action by HEE and NHSE/I”, however this must include the dental workforce and consider incentives for training and working in coastal areas struggling with access to NHS dentistry.”

Dr Sandra White, ADG Clinical Director, added: “There are persistent inequalities in oral health across England1. In 2019 five-year-old children in half of the ten case study areas mentioned in the report had a higher number of decayed, filled and missing teeth than the English average2. Oral health must not be left behind in levelling up population health across the country.

“Dental decay is largely preventable. It is worth noting that two of the coastal areas used as case studies in the report benefit from fluoridated water supplies, with 5-year-old children in these areas having a lower than the national average experience of tooth decay. (Hartlepool and parts of Lincolnshire)”.