The College of General Dentistry has announced the appointments of Dr Ian Mills, Marie Parker and Dr Pouya Zohrabpour as ambassadors.

New CGDent Ambassadors (l-r) Dr Pouya Zohrabpour, Marie Parker, Dr Ian Mills

Drawn from a variety of backgrounds, College Ambassadors have a remit to advocate for the college’s mission and vision, and the new appointments further expand the range of expertise and scope of influence among its team of ambassadors, and increase its size to fifteen.

Dr Ian Mills FCGDent is a Founder and former Trustee of the College of General Dentistry, a partner in an eight-surgery mixed NHS-and-private practice in North Devon, and Associate Professor in Primary Care Dentistry at Peninsula Dental School. A past Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) and former Trustee of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, he has represented the profession on a range of local and national committees including Devon LDC, the BDA General Dental Practice Committee and NHS England’s Dental Systems Reform Advisory Board, and in 2020 was a member of the CGDent-FGDP COVID-19 guideline development group and SDCEP’s AGP Rapid Review group. He is a Fellow of CGDent, the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the International College of Dentistry and the Higher Education Academy, and a past Fellow of FGDP, and in 2018 he was awarded a PhD from Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry for his research on person-centred care in dentistry. Involved in undergraduate and postgraduate education, and actively engaged in practice-based research, his other research interests include patient-reported outcome measures and environmental sustainability in dentistry.

Marie Parker is the Deputy Programme Director of Hygiene and Therapy at University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust London and an Associate Member of CGDent.  Since qualifying as a dental nurse, Marie has worked in various areas of dentistry and completed a number of leadership and management qualifications, as well as a Master’s in Education. An advocate and promoter of dental nursing careers, and of improving the accessibility of education and training for all registered dental care professionals, she has been involved in the training and education of dental nurses and other members of the dental team throughout most of her career.  Currently co-chair of the Dental Trailblazers group, she is a past Chair and Trustee of the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses.

Dr Pouya Zohrabpour graduated BDS from the University of Bristol in 2020 and is an Associate Member of CGDent. He completed his Foundation Training in north-west London, where he continues to work as an associate dentist in both a mixed and a private practice, and earlier this year he received the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK’s Foundation Dentist of the Year award in recognition of his professionalism, dedication, and development of training initiatives for young dentists. He pursues his passion for teaching through his Two Dentists YouTube channel and Instagram account, and collaborates with the My Dental Care app to create oral health videos aimed at educating the public.

Commenting on the new appointments, Dr Abhi Pal FCGDent, President of the College, said:

“A strong, dynamic, diverse team of ambassadors is important to the College in working towards eligibility for the award of a Royal Charter and realising its considerable potential for the profession and our patients. Ian, Marie and Pouya bring with them a range of experience and professional interests which will help the College fulfil its aspirations. Marie and Pouya reflect the diverse dental professional backgrounds which the College has a mission to support, from established members of the dental team to those who are beginning their careers in dentistry, and as a past Dean of the FGDP, Ian was instrumental in CGDent’s formation, and brings considerable experience. I am delighted to welcome them as College Ambassadors and look forward to working with them.”

Ian Mills said:

“I am honoured to be invited to be a College Ambassador. I believe the establishment of the new college was a historic moment for dentistry, building on the fantastic achievements of the FGDP(UK). Dentistry is facing a number of huge challenges at the present time, and there is no doubt that CGDent will play a vital role in leading and supporting the dental profession in the years and decades ahead. The COVID pandemic has demonstrated the importance of collaboration, cooperation and inclusiveness. It is hugely encouraging to see that CGDent has these values at its core as the collegiate home for all members of the dental team.”    

Marie Parker said:

“I’m delighted to be appointed an ambassador for the College of General Dentistry.  The college has, from the start of its journey, ensured that dental nurses, together with all other dental care professionals, have been included in its development.  Now more than ever it is important that the professions come together to overcome current challenges and realise the potential of the dental team. I look forward to working with the college to promote, champion and celebrate the role and importance of dental nurses.”       

Pouya Zohrabpour said:

“The College of General Dentistry will positively influence the careers of many dental professionals, and aid us all in our development. I am excited to have a role in this journey as a College Ambassador, and look forward to helping the college in achieving its goals and visions.”

Previously appointed College Ambassadors include:

  • Dr Louise Belfield, Associate Professor of Biomedical and Oral Health Sciences, Peninsula Dental School
  • Professor Jonathan Cowpe, Director of Postgraduate Dental Education in Wales
  • Dr Shelagh Farrell, Founder Member of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK
  • Dr Marina Harris, Senior Lecturer and Periodontology Lead, University of Portsmouth Dental Academy
  • Professor Jacky Hayden CBE, President, Academy of Medical Educators
  • Professor Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet
  • Dame Parveen Kumar DBE, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Education, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
  • Professor Jason Leitch CBE, National Clinical Director, Scottish Government
  • Dr Govin Murugachandran, Founder, Flynotes
  • Dr Yewande Oduwole, Associate Dentist
  • Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning, Member of Parliament
  • Dr Wendy Thompson, Lecturer in Primary Dental Care, University of Manchester