Sustainability in dentistry and healthcare – 28 February 2022

Friday 28 February 2022, 7pm, live webinar

To register for this event, please visit:

This webinar will examine how we can promote sustainability in dentistry and healthcare, addressing issues such as disposable single use items and the efficacy of decontamination and reuse on site. The current disposal of items across healthcare is not sustainable and we need to change our practices to ensure that reuse and reduce are the principles to reduce waste. Yet, there are other considerations including infection control, the ongoing risk to patients as well procurement and transport to and from our places of work.

This webinar sets out to investigate the effect of healthcare on climate change and how nurses can adopt more sustainable nursing practices. We will examine how improving sustainability through reusable PPE can reduce the pressure and costs on the NHS and improve the planet, and we’ll consider how embedding sustainability within a dental practice can support and advocate change in dentistry.


  • John Prendergast, Senior Decontamination Engineer at NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership/Specialist Estates Services
  • Ian Mills FCGDent, former Dean FGDP(UK) and a Trustee of CGDent
  • Abhi Pal FCGDent, President of CGDent
  • Rose Gallagher MBE, Professional Lead Infection Prevention and Control at Royal College of Nursing
  • Alexis Percival, Environmental and Sustainability Manager, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Brett Duane, Associate Professor in Dental Public Health, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Dr Jimmy Walker, Independent Microbiological and Decontamination Consultant

This webinar is part of the partnership between the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) and ProDental CPD.

It will be free to view live for all members of the dental professions. CGDent members and ProDental subscribers can claim CPD hours for free and have access to the recording after the event.  A £20 fee will apply for non-members/non-subscribers who wish to claim CPD.

Membership of the College of General Dentistry is open to all registered dental professionals. Membership for dentists is available from £94, and for other registered dental professionals from £33. The full list of CGDent membership rates is at


Giving back: what you can gain from volunteering

London-based Dental Hygienist, Frances Robinson AssocFCGDent, has volunteered overseas for several years, providing oral health care in communities where it is much needed. Here she shares some of her experiences and offers advice for anyone interested in getting involved. 

It might not be everyone’s idea of “time off”, but I’ve never spoken to anyone who regretted the volunteering they’ve done, whether giving a talk on good oral hygiene in a school assembly or an extended trip abroad with an overseas charity.

As highly trained dental professionals, there are so many ways we can give back to both our local communities and the wider global community. We have a huge skill set that prepares us for volunteering, even without using our clinical skills. Communication, professionalism, working in a fast paced, ever-changing environment, are all key skills needed for working in outreach settings, with dental charities and in overseas communities. Furthermore, dental professionals are registered health professionals with moral standards to uphold and appropriate safeguarding certifications – all conducive to humanitarian work. 

Clinical skills are a recognisable asset for any volunteer within the health sector.  Dental professionals can offer their skills as part of an emergency relief campaign: in humanitarian crisis; in conflict zones; after natural disasters; or in refugee settings. Overseas volunteers are often needed to increase the capacity of local health facilities, as well as training and up-skilling local health workers.

I have volunteered with dental charities in the UK and abroad for several years and have gained much as a dental professional. I was newly graduated when I first volunteered which really threw me in at the deep end, but my experiences helped me become a more prepared, flexible and innovative clinician, as well as being a more culturally-aware team member.

I first volunteered for Dentaid in 2016 when I travelled with the charity to Nepal, and then later to Cambodia in 2017. Dentaid has worked in more than 70 countries providing safe dental treatment in poor and remote communities. They support dentists around the world by providing equipment, running oral health programmes and sending teams of volunteer dental professionals to help reach more patients and support local charities.  

Conducting fluoride applications in Cambodia with Dentaid

I had only been qualified a year when I took part in Dentaid’s inaugural trip to Nepal. In some areas we were able to help communities with much needed extractions for patients who were in pain and simple restorations and fluoride applications for those we could. We used very simple equipment, often with no reliable electricity, sometimes working outside.

An outreach clinic in a school in Cambodia

On one of our clinical days, we travelled by bus for three hours, then in a 4×4 for two hours and finally walked for one hour to set up a clinic in a remote school in the foothills of the Himalayas. I was shocked having travelled so far to see the children consuming excessive amounts of sugary drinks and sweets. The subsequent decay rates were astronomical. We set up preventative dental clinics in the rural schools on classroom chairs and tables. I came across a similar situation when I took the opportunity to travel with Dentaid to Cambodia. These transformative experiences became a catalyst for me to go on to study a Masters in Dental Public Health.

At the start of the pandemic, I began volunteering in fundraising and logistics for dental charity Dental Mavericks, who work in Lebanon, Morocco and Greece. In September 2021, I travelled to Greece as the first Dental Maverick to support a new partner charity to help support the dental clinic with dental volunteers in the Kara Tepe 2 refugee camp in Lesvos. I worked clinically, seeing my own patients and assisting other dental professionals. I also helped the charity’s founder and the clinical coordinators devise more effective data collection methods, restructuring their research to better attract funders, new clinicians and other support.

Treating a patient in a clinic in the Kara Tepe 2 refugee camp, Lesvos, with Dental Mavericks

Dental Mavericks focuses on promoting oral hygiene education and practice, making dental care accessible to vulnerable populations, including refugees. Their priority is to address the root causes of dental disease and take people out of dental pain. They provide emergency appointments, routine and preventative dentistry. They are hoping to help the Greek charity they support to expand the preventative aspect in the future. I am currently leading on a collaboration between Dental Mavericks and the British Society of Dental Nurses to support humanitarian workforce training.

Working abroad is an amazing way to see areas of the world that you wouldn’t otherwise visit. Interaction with patients that may have travelled many hours to see you is humbling in a way that is indescribable. But there are also many other ways that dental professionals can volunteer their time and skills. If you’re considering volunteering, it’s advisable to carefully consider how much time you are willing to give and what type of work you want to do, before committing to any voluntary opportunities.

Children and young people

Connecting with a local school to give assemblies and classes on toothbrushing and dietary advice may be a suitable option and can tie in with a preventative dentistry programme. Toothbrushing programmes in early years settings are recommended by NICE (1) and PHE (2); the effectiveness of these programmes for reducing tooth decay in early years settings and schools has been well established. There is scope for dental professionals to support their local settings with the set up and provision of these schemes. Designed to Smile in Wales and Child Smile in Scotland have been implemented with much success.

Care homes

A critical but often overlooked area of volunteering is supporting older people. Care home residents suffer a disproportionate amount of dental decay. Evidence shows significant differences between ‘institutionalised’ and community dwelling older people, with those in care having fewer teeth and significantly higher levels of dental decay (3), which has ramifications for an individual’s systemic health. Dental practices could consider collaborating with their local care home by helping to provide triaging advice for carers and oral hygiene advice for staff. 

Outreach clinics

There are many ways a dental professional can volunteer with an organised charity too. As well as providing dental care in remote communities abroad, the dental charity Dentaid runs clinics out of its mobile units all over England. They focus on vulnerable communities, for example the homeless, refugees living in the UK, residents in socially deprived areas and those unable to access care.

Another avenue for dental professionals seeking opportunities to volunteer is to reach out to non-dental-specific charities like homeless charities or charities for specific health conditions, and offer to help up-skill carers or other volunteers in dental health and hygiene.

Working overseas

There are many organised groups that offer voluntary opportunities overseas. It’s important to conduct thorough research into an organisation before committing to them. They should provide help that is culturally relevant, includes the local community, is empowering for its beneficiaries and looks to build a sustainable local workforce, where possible. 

As well as Dentaid and Dental Mavericks that I have already referred to, other organisations that provide dental support overseas include Mercy Ships and Médecins Sans Frontières.

Mercy ships is a faith-based international development organisation that deploys hospital ships to some of the poorest countries in the world, delivering vital, free healthcare to people in desperate need. They accept all members of the dental team and can focus on more complex treatments due to their on-board facilities.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. This well-known organisation welcomes clinicians from most healthcare areas but has larger focus on medical care and sanitation. 

If I could give any advice to dental professionals wanting to volunteer, it would be to do a little bit of research before you decide on what you want to do and where you want to go. Then throw yourself in!

“At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished…It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” Denzel Washington

  1. NICE public health guidance 55 (2014). Oral health: approaches for local authorities and their partners to improve the oral health of their communities.
  3. Steele, J. G., Sheiham, A., Marcenes, W., Fay, N. & Walls, A. W. Clinical and behavioural risk indicators for root caries in older people. Gerodontology 18, 95–101 (2001). 

Frances Robinson chairs the Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy Group on the College’s Career Pathways programme.

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Guidance notes for dental practitioners on the safe use of x-ray equipment – 17 February 2022

Thursday 17 February 2022, 7pm, live webinar

To register for this event, please visit:

This webinar is part of our ‘Talking Standards’ series which sets out to examine areas covered by our evidence-based standards and guidance. The webinar explores the content of the Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment – 2nd Edition (published October 2020) and will draw attention to areas where the guidance differs from that in the first edition, or where new guidance has been introduced.

The first edition of the Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-ray Equipment (the Dental GNs) was published in June 2001 following the establishment of a working party by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) and copies of the guidance were distributed to every dental practice in the UK by the Department of Health.

In the 20-plus years since then there have been significant changes requiring further guidance to be developed. These include:

  • a move from film-based dental radiography towards digital imaging techniques,
  • the appearance of dental cone-beam CT and hand-held dental X-ray equipment in general dental practice,
  • revised radiation protection legislation.

Good practice guidelines for the dental profession have also moved with the times, with, for instance, evidence-based selection criteria and national diagnostic reference levels now available for all imaging modalities. A substantial amount of experience has also been accrued by those organisations and individuals providing radiation protection advice and services to dental practices.

The webinar aims to refresh and update viewers on:

  • the means of restricting the exposure of staff and patients as far as is reasonably practicable,
  • the principal requirements of relevant legislation, namely –   The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017,  The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017and the associated guidance: Guidance Notes for Dental Practitioners on the Safe Use of X-Ray Equipment – 2nd Edition.
  • how to apply the basic principles of practical radiation protection in a dental practice.


  • Andrew Gulson, Specialist Radiation Protection Scientist and Certificated Radiation Protection Adviser

This webinar is part of the new partnership between the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) and ProDental CPD.

It will be free to view live for all members of the dental professions. CGDent members and ProDental subscribers can claim CPD hours for free and have access to the recording after the event.  A £20 fee will apply for non-members/non-subscribers who wish to claim CPD.

Membership of the College of General Dentistry is open to all registered dental professionals. Membership for dentists is available from £94, and for other registered dental professionals from £33. The full list of CGDent membership rates is at


Vaccination: your questions answered – 27 January 2022

Thursday 27 January 2022, 7pm, live webinar

To register for this event, please visit:—your-questions-answered-

With the forthcoming deadlines for mandatory vaccination of health and care workers in both clinical and non-clinical roles in England, this webinar will deliver a deeper understanding of the impact of vaccination, helping to retain a protected and thriving workforce and promote patient safety.

As much as we are able, we aim to allay and address the fears of those who are concerned about getting vaccinated, and set out to provide the information needed for an informed choice.


  • Prof Jason Leitch, Senior Clinical Advisor to the Scottish Government and a member of the Health and Social Care Management Board
  • Sarah Buxton, HR and Employment Solicitor, legal advisor for ADAM (Associate of Dental Administrators and Managers), the BDSHT (British Dental Society of Hygienists and Therapists) 
  • Further speakers to be confirmed

This webinar is part of the partnership between the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) and ProDental CPD.

It will be free to view live for all members of the dental professions. CGDent members and ProDental subscribers can claim CPD hours for free and have access to the recording after the event.  A £20 fee will apply for non-members/non-subscribers who wish to claim CPD.

Membership of the College of General Dentistry is open to all registered dental professionals. Membership for dentists is available from £94, and for other registered dental professionals from £33. The full list of CGDent membership rates is at


Developing a dental photography workflow with your practice team – 26 January 2022

Wednesday 26 January 2022, 7pm, live webinar

To register for this free webinar, please email your interest to:

Registration closes Monday 24 January 2022.

This informative, CPD webinar, open to all dental professionals, explores the many uses of dental clinical photography and sets out how the dental team can work together in a clinical setting, to produce effective dental photographs.

The presentation will include an introduction to the equipment required, and how to maintain it. We will discuss the importance of an efficient workflow between operator and assistant to ensure positive outcomes and explore how to critically appraise clinical photos effectively. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the talk.


Dr Frank Clough MCGDent

One CPD hour available.

GDC Development Outcomes: B and C

A recording of this webinar will not be available.

College membership for dental team members just £33

The College of General Dentistry is offering discounted membership fees to dental care professionals, all of whom are now eligible for Associate Membership.

Dental Hygienists, Dental Therapists, Dental Technicians and Clinical Dental Technicians pay only one-third fees for their first year’s membership, meaning those joining as Associate Members pay just £33.

In a pioneering move for a UK dental college, all registered dental professionals are able to apply for Full Membership (MCGDent) if they hold a relevant Postgraduate Certificate or an equivalent qualification, and Dental Hygienists, Dental Therapists, Dental Technicians and Clinical Dental Technicians doing so pay only £94 in their first year.

Those holding a relevant Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s degree or an equivalent qualification are eligible for Associate Fellowship (AssocFCGDent), a new ‘stepping stone’ to Fellowship, and dental team members joining at this grade will pay £117 initially.

The first year’s fee for dental care professionals joining as Fellows (FCGDent) – initially only those awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the College, or previously by the Faculty of General Dental Practice, a UK Royal College or equivalent – is £144.

Dental Nurses and Orthodontic Therapists receive the same two-thirds discounts, at all membership grades, on an ongoing basis.

Dental practice managers, and other non-clinical members of the dental team, can join the College as Affiliate Members for £50 per annum.

Further information is available at

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The PDJ Archive: a rich resource for members, with over 1,300 articles

The Primary Dental Journal Archive is now up and running, with access for CGDent members fully established.

The Primary Dental Journal (PDJ) is the College of General Dentistry’s quarterly peer-reviewed journal, and with its unique dedication to general dental practice, is widely recognised as a leading resource for all dental professionals working in primary care.

Three themed issues in each annual volume explore topics of interest and relevance to the primary care dental team, led by an invited Guest Editor who is a renowned expert in the field, with one ‘general issue’ per volume covering a wide range of topics.

Published by the Faculty of General Dental Practice until its transfer into the College earlier this year, PDJ was first issued in October 2012, and was preceded by Primary Dental Care.

As well as receiving quarterly printed copies of the latest issues of PDJ, College members now have exclusive online access not only to the full articles in the current issue, but to all past PDJ content and all Primary Dental Care content published this century, a rich resource of over 1,300 articles spanning 23 volumes and 88 issues.

Curated by our publishing partner, SAGE Publishing, the PDJ Archive is an invaluable research tool, offering a wide array of clinical papers of ongoing relevance to general dental care, as well as articles covering a range of professional topics which continue to be discussed and debated.

It offers members access to content which they may not have received in print at the point of publication, and for those who were longstanding members of the FGDP and may prefer to consult their library of print issues, the online search functionality will enable them to quickly identify where to find particular articles.

To access to the PDJ Archive, members should visit

Members may be interested to note that the College is now co-producing a series of webinars that examine topics covered in recent and imminent issues of PDJ. These are free to view live, with CGDent members also offered a free CPD certificate and free on-demand access to the recordings. Visit our events page for a list of upcoming live webinars and to access recent webinar recordings.

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Remember, remember, the aims of November

Abhi Pal, President of the College of General Dentistry, says action by dental teams to promote understanding of oral cancer, antimicrobial resistance and the perils of excess sugar consumption can help reduce the burden of disease and prevent premature death.

Of the many significant causes which our College of dental professionals supports, it so happens that three of those around which annual campaigns are organised fall in November.

Mouth Cancer Action Month, organised by the Oral Health Foundation, raises public awareness of oral cancer, highlights the risk factors, educates people on what to look for and how to self-check, and encourages those who see anything unusual to visit their dental practice as soon as possible.[i]

Despite this vital work, the incidence of oral cancer has risen by 97% in the UK over the last 20 years, driven by a variety of lifestyle factors such as tobacco use and alcohol consumption.[ii]

Another of the causes is a rise in infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes 5% of all cancers and is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers. Over two-thirds of oral cancer diagnoses are in men [iii], and those who were members of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) should feel proud to be have been part of the successful HPV Action campaign – backed in a poll by 97% of FGDP and BDA members – for boys to be offered vaccination against HPV (just as girls have been since 2008), which will offer protection to 400,000 young men each year once fully rolled out.[iv]

Public awareness of the major signs and symptoms of oral cancer is, however, as low as 23%, and diagnosis is often at a late stage, and the number of deaths is also rising.[v] But chances of survival are much improved if cancer is detected and treated early, and general dental practitioners are uniquely placed to highlight risky behaviours to patients, to check for signs of cancers of the head and neck during the routine examination, to make referrals where they suspect a patient may have cancer or a pre-cancerous lesion, and to reassure, support and encourage patients to attend their referral appointment.

Dental practices can also play an important preventative role by raising awareness and displaying information in waiting areas, and crucially help ensure speedy access to treatment if needed by knowing their local referral pathway in advance.

CGDent’s new oral cancer webpage highlights guidelines, recommendations, webinars, posters and other resources which can help general dental teams play their part in tempering the rise in oral cancer, and I encourage you to take a look and bring it to the attention of practice colleagues.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, instigated by the World Health Organisation, runs from 18-24 November each year, starting with European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18th.[vi] Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global problem that leads to antibiotics no longer being effective in treating even simple infections, and there are serious consequences for everyone, particularly those undergoing major surgery, chemotherapy, organ or stem cell transplants.

Public discussion on this subject can sometimes give the impression that this is an issue for future generations to worry about, perhaps even a hypothetical one, but the scale of the problem is already significant. More than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the US each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result.[vii] And every year 25,000 people across Europe, and 700,000 worldwide, die from antibiotic-resistant infections, and it has been estimated that the annual global toll could be as high as 10 million by 2050.[viii]

Dentists issue around 5-7% of all antibiotic prescriptions in the NHS, and dental teams have a vital role to play in keeping antibiotics working by prescribing them only when necessary, and by educating patients to take and dispose of them responsibly.

It is a requirement of all healthcare providers in England that “procedures should be in place to ensure prudent prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship. There should be an ongoing programme of audit, revision and update” [ix], and these are good principles to follow regardless of where you practise.

Three key resources which can help you to do so were co-developed by the FGDP, and are now published by the College via our Standards & Guidance homepage:

  • The Antimicrobial Prescribing Self-Audit Tool helps dental prescribers to complete a clinical audit of their antimicrobial prescribing and management of dental infections, and to compare audited practice against the guidance

For many years the Faculty, together with the Association of Clinical Oral Microbiologists (ACOM), co-ordinated a collaboration of organisations to promote stewardship of antimicrobials, and this year the College picked up the Faculty’s role, working with ACOM to bring together 11 organisations across medicine and dentistry to hammer home the message that ‘antibiotics don’t cure toothache’.

Last year, our AMR Lead, Dr Wendy Thompson, presented a webinar on this theme called Now the drugs won’t work – treating people with toothache. Tonight she also led a new webinar called Talking standards: Antimicrobial prescribing in dentistry, offering a refresher on the guidelines, exploring how dental teams can help keep patients safe from untreatable infections, considering why dental practitioners might overprescribe antibiotics, and discussing the impact of COVID-19 on prescribing rates. We also heard powerful testimony from Vanessa Carter, a survivor of a multi-drug-resistant strain of MRSA, and member of the WHO Strategic Technical Advisory Group on antimicrobial resistance, which really illustrated the importance of antimicrobial stewardship, and I would commend you to watch. Co-produced with our CPD partner, ProDental, both recordings are available to CGDent members free of charge using the links above.

Sugar Awareness Week, organised by Action on Sugar from 8-14 November, aims to raise public awareness of the poor health outcomes associated with excess sugar consumption, and to get people talking about the importance of sugar reduction.[x]

The College of General Dentistry’s support continues that previously given by the FGDP, and the two organisations were among those who successfully campaigned for a ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks, which since its introduction in 2016 has seen a 29% reduction in the sugar content of drinks subject to the tax, and a shift in purchasing towards lower sugar alternatives.[xi] We have also been pleased to see the further restrictions on the advertising and promotion of high sugar items which are starting to take place, and hope this will continue.

Action on Sugar’s analyses of the sugar content of individual food products and product categories frequently provide the substance behind extensive media coverage of this issue that you will have seen in recent years, and this year’s campaign focussed on the high sugar content often seen in snack foods marketed as healthy, and also called for the removal of misleading sugar claims on sweet baby and toddler snacks such as biscuits and rusks.

As a dental organisation, the College works with Action on Sugar to highlight the association between sugar consumption and poor oral health. As dental teams know all too well, tooth decay, despite being almost wholly preventable, affects around a quarter of 5-year-olds [xii], a third of 12-year-olds and almost half of 15-year-olds [xiii], and tooth extraction is the number one reason young children are admitted to hospital [xiv]. Reducing sugar intake also lowers our risk of a wide range of illnesses including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke – and indirectly of some cancers.

My sense is that public understanding of these links has been growing for some time, yet as a nation we consume three times the amount of sugar we should be [xv]. The scale of the challenge to produce a decisive shift in behaviour therefore remains daunting, but dental practices have long been at the forefront of promoting reduced sugar consumption. To complement the messages delivered during clinical appointments, I would encourage practices to browse the many resources available on Action on Sugar’s website ( and consider displaying its posters in their waiting area.

You may also be interested to watch the webinar recording Helping Our Patients to Kick Sugar, presented by London dentist and author of the ‘Kick Sugar’ cookbook, James Goolnik. As above, this is available free of charge to College members and comes with CPD hours.

As a member of the FGDP for almost a quarter of a century, I was extremely proud of its consistent work promoting action to tackle oral cancer, antimicrobial resistance and the overconsumption of sugar, and as President of the College of General Dentistry I am delighted to say that we are picking up where the Faculty left off.

Attracting and sustaining the public’s attention is very difficult. Raising awareness, changing perceptions, and advocating for change to the point that action is seen by decision makers as both necessary and likely to receive popular support, is often the work of decades. But it can and has been done in many areas, starting with a small army of committed advocates spreading the word at every opportunity, eventually leading to widespread understanding and support among the public, the media and politicians.

So while these three campaigns run each November, general dental practice teams can make a huge difference all year round, helping to promote a reduction in the burden of disease and premature death through their daily actions. These are issues which require our thought and conscientious action on a perennial basis – we must remember, remember.

[i] Mouth Cancer Action Month, Oral Health Foundation: (accessed November 2021)

[ii] The State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2020/21, Oral Health Foundation and Denplan (2021):

[iii] Head and Neck Cancer statistics, Cancer Research UK: (accessed November 2021)

[iv] ‘’Decision to finally offer boys HPV vaccine will save many lives’: Declares charity’, Oral Health Foundation (2018):

[v] The State of Mouth Cancer UK Report 2020/21, Oral Health Foundation and Denplan (2021):

[vi] World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, World Health Organisation: (accessed November 2021)

[vii] Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019):

[viii] Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations, The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (2016):

[ix] The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance, UK Department of Health (2015):

[x] See

[xi] Sugar reduction: Report on progress between 2015 and 2018, Public Health England (2019):

[xii] ‘Tooth decay in 5-year-olds now increasing in some parts of England’, Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (2018):

[xiii] Child Dental Health Survey 2013, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Health and Social Care Information Centre (2015):

[xiv] ‘Every 10 minutes a child in England has a rotten tooth removed’, Public Health England (2018):

[xv] National Diet and Nutrition Survey: results from years 7 and 8 (combined), Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency (2018):

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Dr Debbie Reed receives inaugural Janet Goodwin Award

Dr Debbie Reed AssocFCGDent has received the inaugural Janet Goodwin Award, which was conferred last night by Abhi Pal, President of the College of General Dentistry (CGDent), at a reception marking the 80th anniversary of the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN).

The new award was instituted to recognise achievement by dental care professionals (DCPs) in areas such as leadership, standards of professionalism and patient care, commitment to life-long learning, service to the profession and advocacy for the whole-team approach to general dental care.

A dental nurse, Associate Fellow of CGDent, and accomplished and passionate tutor, Dr Reed is Head of the Department for Digital and Lifelong Learning and the Centre for Professional Practice at the University of Kent, where she developed and runs the Masters in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (Applied Dental Professional Practice pathway). She received the award in recognition of her extraordinary commitment to her own education, as well as that of others throughout the whole dental team. She completed an educational doctorate in 2019, and has written and contributed to articles on topics such as mentoring, evidence-based practice in dental nursing, and the professional image of dental nurses. The award also recognises her ‘can do’ attitude, her inspiration of others to want to achieve their very best, and her advocacy for DCPs to have the same career opportunities and experiences as dentists. Last year she was awarded the BADN Outstanding Contribution to Dental Nursing Professional Practice Award in recognition for her work with dental nurses.

The award to Dr Reed was announced in April 2021 by the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP), which elected not to host a conferral ceremony at the time due to concern over potential coronavirus transmission.

The award honours the legacy of the late Janet Goodwin FFGDP(UK)(Hon.), who throughout her almost 50 years as a dental nurse was a staunch advocate for the advancement and recognition of DCPs.

In a wide-ranging career, Janet worked in general dental practice, community practice, secondary care and healthcare management. She was the first dental nurse to be a member of the General Dental Council, and held a number of other notable posts including Chair of the GDC Standards Review Group and President of the Oral Health Foundation, and was both an Examiner and Chair of the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses. She served the FGDP for many years as a representative for the interests of the wider dental team, and became an Affiliate Member of the Faculty when it opened its membership to DCPs in 2005. An elected member and Chair of the Faculty’s DCP Committee, she sat on the Board for over ten years as an Observer, contributed to many standing committees, provided input during the development of standards and guidance, and was awarded Honorary Fellowship in 2019. She passed away in September 2020 after a long battle with breast cancer.

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Dental and medical organisations join forces to say “Antibiotics do not cure toothache!”

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

The Association of Clinical Oral Microbiologists and College of General Dentistry, supported by the Association of Dental Hospitals, British Dental Association, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, British Association of Oral Surgery, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, British & Irish Society for Oral Medicine, Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, are reminding patients that “antibiotics do not cure toothache”, and encouraging the dental team to adhere to best practice and only prescribe antibiotics as an adjunct to definitive clinical management of the cause when indicated according to national guidelines.1-2

Prudent prescribing of antimicrobials can slow down the development of antimicrobial resistance, and all healthcare prescribers play a vital role. The dental profession has shown its commitment to addressing antimicrobial resistance by significantly reducing the use of antibiotics over the last decade, both in dental practice and a hospital setting. Dental hospitals in the UK and Ireland reduced antibiotic prescriptions by 22% and 30% for therapeutic and prophylactic indications respectively between 2018 and 2020 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).

It has been reported that COVID-19 had a negative effect on the profession’s endeavours in improving antibiotic prescribing patterns. The organisations therefore encourage dental teams in both general practice and hospital settings to re-start auditing3 their practice of antibiotic prescribing against the recently updated national guidelines1-2, as this will help to reduce the use of antimicrobials and improve patient outcomes.

The successful management of acute dental infections requires accurate diagnosis and definitive treatment, and patients who have prompt access to emergency dental services have a much-reduced risk of developing life-threatening sepsis. Dental teams are encouraged to use the following resources to update their knowledge on the latest national recommendations on the use of antimicrobial agents in dentistry, and to audit their practice:

  1. Guidelines for antimicrobial prescribing in dentistry are available at and
  2. Guidance for antimicrobials in dentistry in Scotland are available at and
  3. Antimicrobial prescribing audit tools are available at and
  4. Other resources, including the Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit, are available via and

In a recent blog for the College of General Dentistry, Dr Wendy Thompson, the College’s lead on Antimicrobial Resistance, says it’s time to reduce antibiotic prescribing in dentistry to pre-pandemic levels.

Wendy is also the guest speaker on our upcoming ‘Talking Standards’ webinar on Thursday 25 November, which will be looking at Antimicrobial Prescribing in Dentistry: Good Practice Guidelines. The event will be free to view live for all members of the dental professions, and CGDent members and ProDentalCPD subscribers can claim CPD hours for free and have access to the recording after the event. REGISTER HERE.

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