College Council

The Council of the College of General Dentistry is elected by members and guides the Trustees on the development of the College to serve patients and the dental professions across general dentistry.

The Council was first formed in 2021 through the transfer of members of the board of the Faculty of General Dental Practice. These members then served out the remainder of their elected terms of office as members of College Council, with the last of these mandates due to end in June 2024.

Fourteen seats on Council are elected from within geographic constituencies, thirteen of these representing regions of the UK and one representing our overseas members. Three additional seats to expand representation across the dental team, which have been appointed since 2021, will be replaced in June 2024 by four elected seats representing each of our role-based faculties of membership.

The elected Council may also appoint additional individuals to serve it in non-voting capacities for renewable one-year terms. Current appointees, ex officio, are the College’s Patient Representative and the Editor-in-Chief of the Primary Dental Journal.

Seats on Council are elected on a rotational basis, with Council members serving three-year terms. Subject to re-election, Council members may serve up to three terms of office (i.e. nine years) in total. Two Vice Presidents are elected annually from within the Council, and Council members may serve up to two terms (i.e. two years in total) as a Vice President.

The President of the College is elected by and from within Council – from June 2024, appointed from with the Membership – for a three-year, non-renewable term.

College Council

Abhijit Pal President
Patricia ThomsonVice President West & North Scotland
Matthew CollinsVice President National Representative
Subir Banerji Central London
Prof Igor Blum Non-voting Representative
Maria Clark Non-voting Representative
Jonathan Farmer Trent & East Anglia
Victor Gehani North East & North West Thames
Helen Kaney National Representative
Roshni Karia South East & South West Thames region
Eldo Koshy Overseas Member Representative
Dalip Kumar Wales
Yann Maidment East of Scotland
Ewen McColl South West
Susan Nelson Northern Ireland
Andrew Parashchak North West
Kanwar Ratra West Midlands
Debbie Reed Dental Nursing & Orthodontic Therapy Representative
Frances Robinson Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy Representative
Bill Sharpling Dental Technology & Clinical Dental Technology Representative
Sagi Shavit Yorkshire & Northern region
Sami Stagnell Wessex & Oxford region

Abhi Pal 

Abhi Pal FCGDent is the first elected President of the College of General Dentistry, and was the eleventh and final Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK). Dr Pal qualified in 1987 with honours and distinction from Guy’s Hospital, London, and has worked in general dental practice ever since, joining The University Dental and Implant Centre, a mixed NHS and private practice in Edgbaston of which he is Principal, in 1991. Editor of FGDP’s Training Standards in Implant Dentistry and Co-Editor of CGDent’s Mentoring in Implant Dentistry: Good Practice Guidelines, he was elected to represent the West Midlands region on the National Faculty Board in 2014, and re-elected in 2017 and 2020. In 2019 he was Guest Editor of the themed issue of the Primary Dental Journal on dento-legal matters.

Patricia Thomson 

Patricia Thomson FCGDent is a general dental practitioner with an interest in orthodontics. She was Principal of a mixed NHS-and-private practice for over thirty years and is now a part-time associate dentist. She graduated from Glasgow Dental School in 1983, and is now also a part time Clinical Teaching Fellow there, teaching undergraduates in the restorative department. She was awarded an MSc in Primary Dental Care with distinction from the University of Glasgow in 2013, the Diploma of Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (MJDF) in 2014, and the Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (MFDS) in 2015. Heavily involved in the highly active West of Scotland division of the FGDP for many years, she has tutored colleagues for entry exams for the Royal Colleges and presented teaching sessions on orthodontics to vocational trainees, and in 2021 she led the establishment of CGDent Scotland. Elected in 2016 to represent the West and North of Scotland on the national FGDP Board, she was re-elected in 2019, transferred to the College Council in 2021 and chairs the College’s Regional Funding Panel. She served as Vice President of the College in 2022-23 and was re-elected to a second term in the role for 2023-24. She is also a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and a Past President of the West of Scotland branch of the British Dental Association.

Matthew Collins 

Matthew Collins FCGDent is a general dental practitioner in Batley with a particular clinical interest in dental rehabilitations for patients with worn and missing teeth. He graduated from Leeds University in 1998 and has undertaken extensive postgraduate training in composite techniques, aesthetic dentistry and dental implantology, holding 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. He joined the former Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) in 2001, achieved Fellowship in 2010, and was later a Facilitator for the Faculty’s ‘Preparing for Fellowship’ programme and a member of the Faculty Academy. He was elected to the FGDP Board as a National Representative in 2020, transferred to the College Council in 2021, is a member of the College’s Membership Admissions Panel and Regional Funding Panel and was elected Vice President for 2023-24. He is also Chair of Calderdale and Kirklees Local Dental Committee and a member of the Association of Dental Implantology.

Subir Banerji

Subir Banerji FCGDent works as a general dental practitioner in the same private dental practice in Ealing which he joined after graduating from Newcastle Dental School in 1987. He is particularly interested in restorative, aesthetic, prosthodontic and implant dentistry, and has over 20 years’ experience of teaching undergraduate and postgraduate dentists both nationally and internationally. He has completed both a Master’s in Clinical Dentistry in Prosthodontics and a PhD from King’s College London, where he is the Programme Director of the highly regarded MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry as well as a PhD supervisor. He is also an Associate Professor in Prosthodontics at Melbourne Dental School, and the co-author of books including Practical Procedures in the Management of Tooth Wear and Practical Procedures in Aesthetic Dentistry. A Fellow of the International College of Dentists, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics, College of General Dentistry and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, he is an advisor to the General Dental Council, on the editorial board of the Academy of Dental Excellence, director of his own postgraduate educational academy, and Head of Continuing Medical Education at i2i Telesolutions Pvt Ltd. In 2022 he was elected to the CGDent Council to represent members in Central London.

Professor Igor Blum

Professor Igor Blum FCGDent is Editor-in-Chief of the Primary Dental Journal. Following several years in general dental practice, he became a lecturer at Bristol Dental School, and is currently Clinical Lead and Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at King’s College Hospital and Professor in Primary Care Dentistry and Advanced General Dental Practice at King’s College London. He qualified DDS in 1995, holds an MSc in Oral Surgery, a Doctor of Medical Dentistry degree, a PhD in Restorative Dentistry, a PGCHE, MA (Educ.) and LLM, and is a GDC-registered specialist in prosthodontics, periodontics, endodontics and restorative dentistry. He has authored over 80 peer-reviewed journal papers, lectures nationally and internationally, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the International College Dentists and the Higher Education Academy. Igor is a non-voting member of the Council.

Maria Clark

Maria Clark FFGDP(UK)(Hon.) is the College’s Patient Representative, and was previously a member of the FGDP(UK) Lay and Patient Panel. Her interest in health services began in 2006 when going through genetic counselling for a rare condition, and as a solicitor she spent 10 years supporting people disabled as a result of the negligence of clinicians, employers and others. She is currently a Patient Safety Partner at NHS England, Vice-Chair of the British Medical Association’s Patient Liaison Group, Patient Champion at her local GP practice, external research ethics reviewer for the University of Sheffield and a lay examiner for the part 3 membership exam of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Maria is a non-voting member of the Council.

Jonathan Farmer 

Jonathan Farmer FCGDent represents Trent & East Anglia, and is Chair of the CGDent’s Membership Admissions Panel. Working mainly in general dental practice since 1988, he currently practises in Lincoln, has a special interest in endodontics, and has worked for the salaried dental service. He is a Programme Director for Dental Foundation Training at Health Education England (East Midlands), Dental Practice Advisor for the Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire/North Midlands Area Team, and has previously been a clinical supervisor at Leeds and Sheffield Dental Schools.

Victor Gehani 

Victor Gehani FCGDent is a general dental practitioner and implant dentist in Hertfordshire, Associate Professor in Advanced General Dental Practice at the College of Medicine and Dentistry and Ulster University, and Associate Dental Dean for London Dental Education and Training. After graduating BDS in 2000, he spent a year at the Eastman Dental Institute, and successfully completed the MFDS in 2003 and the MFGDP(UK) in 2004. He was awarded the Diploma in Postgraduate Dental Studies from Bristol University in 2007, and also holds a PgCert in Medical and Dental Education, a PgCert in Restorative Dental Practice from University College London and an MSc in Implant Dentistry from the University of Warwick. He is a past MJDF Examiner and MFDS tutor, has 14 years’ experience as an Educational Supervisor, has mentored numerous dentists to complete restorative and implant cases, and has been awarded Fellowship of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the Higher Education Academy, the International Congress in Oral Implantology and the International Academy of Dento-Facial Esthetics. He was appointed in 2023 to represent North East and North West Thames until an election is held in 2024.

Helen Kaney 

Helen Kaney FCGDent, Dental Advisor with the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, is a dually qualified dentist and solicitor, and was elected to one of two national seats. She qualified BDS from Glasgow University in 1987 and spent many years in general dental practice as well as working as a clinical assistant in conservative dentistry and prosthodontics at Glasgow Dental Hospital and at Guy’s Hospital in London. She developed an interest in law and ethics early in her career and studied law, obtaining an LLB, and then trained and worked as a solicitor for several years, acting for doctors and dentists in clinical negligence claims, regulatory matters and Fatal Accident Inquiries (Coroner’s Inquests) on the instructions of UK indemnity providers. She has significant experience in advising and assisting dentists in the UK and Ireland and in several international jurisdictions, and spent 14 years at Dental Protection as a Dentolegal and Senior Dentolegal Adviser and latterly as Medico and Dentolegal Services Team Lead and Head of Dental Services, Scotland. She completed an MBA at Strathclyde Business School and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.

Roshni Karia 

Roshni Karia MCGDent qualified from King’s College London in 2010 and works in London 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 College London. She joined the FGDP in 2012, was appointed to its national board as an early careers observer in 2015, was elected to represent her region in 2017, and after re-election in 2020 transferred to the College Council in 2021. She was re-elected to the College Council for 2023-26. She chaired the Faculty’s Education and Qualifications and Membership Affairs committees, was elected its youngest ever Vice Dean in 2019 and in 2020 was a contributor to the joint FGDP-CGDent guidance Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice. She has been the College’s representative in national policy fora on children’s oral health improvement and on periodontics, has served on its Careers and Training Committee and Career Pathways Programme Board, is involved in the rollout of the Certified Membership scheme and served as Vice President from 2021-22. 

Eldo Koshy 

A prosthodontist and implant dentist in Kerala, India, Eldo Koshy FCGDent was elected to represent the College’s many overseas members, succeeding Pankaj Patel. Previously Vice-Principal and Head of the Department of Prosthodontics and Implantology at KMCT Dental College, Kozhikode, he has lectured and delivered training across India, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Dalip Kumar 

Dalip Kumar Assoc.FCGDent is Principal of a mixed NHS-and-private general dental practice in Swansea. After completing his BDS in India in 1994, he practised in Delhi for seven years before moving to Riyadh, where he spent eight years as a general dentist and dental surgeon in both private and public hospitals. In 2008 he was awarded the Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (MFDS), and from 2009-12 he worked on dental implant research and assisted in dental implant placement for Saudi Arabia’s government-funded health system. After completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Dentistry at Cardiff University, he undertook a clinical attachment in oral and maxillofacial surgery at East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, and after passing the Overseas Registration Exam in 2017 became a dental core trainee at Mid Essex Hospital. He then spent eighteen months practising in Stornoway, a year working for Bupa in Cardiff and two years for Roderick’s Dental in Aberdare and Neath before buying his current practice in 2021. He completed an MSc in Dental Implantology at the University of Salford in 2022 and has also undertaken training on Invisalign Go and in the administration of Botox and dermal fillers. In 2023 he was appointed to represent Wales until an election is held in 2024, and he is a Facilitator for the College’s Certified Membership Scheme.

Yann Maidment 

Yann Maidment MCGDent qualified from Edinburgh Dental School in 1984, becoming a partner in his Edinburgh-based dental practice – alongside his wife – in 1987, and then associate in 2019. In 2002, he was awarded a DDS for his research comparing the effectiveness of different modes of CPD. He has held research assistant posts at the University of Edinburgh, served on BDA committees for 11 years and lectured on Acupuncture in Dentistry. He was President of the Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland between 2015 and 2016, the year he was first elected to represent the East of Scotland on the FGDP board. Now a CGDent Council Member, he is the College lead on Research and a Member of the Professional Affairs Committee.

Ewen McColl 

Director of Clinical Dentistry at Plymouth University’s Peninsula Dental School and Co-Editor of Standards in Dentistry, Ewen McColl FCGDent currently represents the South West of England and is a Member of the College’s Careers and Training Committee. After qualifying from the University of Edinburgh in 1993, Ewen worked in maxillofacial surgery posts before spending 17 years as a general dental practitioner in the British Army. With postgraduate diplomas in conscious sedation (King’s College London) and in medical education (University of Dundee), he holds the FDS(Rest. Dent.) of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and 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.

Susan Nelson 

Susan Nelson MCGDent is lead dentist and implant dentist in private practice in Holywood, County Down, and is also the Regional Clinical Lead for Portman Healthcare. Graduating with Honours in 1993 from the University of Edinburgh, where she won the McGregor Gold Medal for the most distinguished dental graduate, she completed Vocational Training in Fife before joining the practice as an associate in 1994. She joined the FGDP in 1998, examined and sat on the core group for the MFGDP(UK) and MJDF qualifications for 16 years, served as Director of the Faculty’s Northern Ireland division, sat on the College’s Advisory Strategy Group and was instrumental in the recent establishment of CGDent Northern Ireland. She was first elected to represent the region on the national FGDP board in 2017, was re-elected in 2020 and transferred to the College Council in 2021. She was re-elected to the Council in 2023 and her current term runs to Jun 2026. She chaired the FGDP Education and Qualifications Committee, served as Vice Dean of the Faculty from 2020-21 and Vice-Chair of the College’s Careers and Training Committee from 2021-22, and is a member of the College’s Regional Funding Panel. She was a member of the working group which developed the College’s Mentoring in Implant Dentistry: Good Practice Guidelines, and a contributor to the joint FGDP-CGDent guidance Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice. She is a member and former Deputy Chair of the Northern Ireland Dental Practice Committee, and former Northern Ireland Representative of the Association of Dental Implantology.

Andrew Parashchak 

Andrew Parashchak MCGDent completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and an MSc in Immunology and Immunogenetics before studying for his BDS at Peninsula Dental School, from where he graduated in 2012. After working as a general dental practitioner within the NHS, he moved into private practice in 2014, and recently bought his own practice in Rochdale, while working part-time as an associate in Wigan. He completed the FGDP(UK) Diploma in Restorative Dentistry in 2017 with a view to progressing to an MSc. As a Council member for CGDent, he is Vice-Chair of the Membership Affairs Committee.

Kanwar Ratra 

Kanwar Singh Ratra MCGDent, 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 joined FGDP(UK) as a full member in 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.

Debbie Reed 

Dr Debbie Reed FCGDent a Reader and Director of Advanced and Specialist Healthcare in Global and Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent. A dental nurse for almost forty years, she is a past Executive Chair of the British Association of Dental Nurses. She was Head of the University of Kent’s Centre for Professional Practice for eight years, Head of Digital and Lifelong Learning for nine, developed and runs its MSc in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare, and previously had a 23-year career in the Royal Navy. An Affiliate Member of the FGDP from 2008 until its transfer into the College, she was Chair of the Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy Working Group for the Career Pathways Programme which developed the College’s Professional Framework for Career Pathways in Dentistry, and was Vice Chair, now Chair, of the inaugural board of the College’s Faculty of Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy. She is a peer reviewer for the British Dental Journal and the Annual Clinical Journal For Dental Health, is on the Editorial Board of the Advanced Journal of Professional Practice, and was a contributor to An introduction to clinical research for health and social care professionals. Her qualifications include a Doctorate in Education, an MSc in Human Resources Management, the FGDP(UK) Certificate in Dental Practice Appraisal, and a BA in Post Compulsory Education, and she is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Honorary Vice President of the British Society for Dental Hygiene and Therapy. In 2020 she received the BADN Outstanding Contribution to Dental Nursing Award, and in 2021 she received the inaugural FGDP(UK) Janet Goodwin Award. In 2023 she was appointed to the Council to represent the dental nursing and orthodontic therapy professions.

Frances Robinson 

Frances Robinson Assoc.FCGDent is a dental hygienist working in private practice in London and an oral health practitioner in NHS community outreach. She completed a Diploma of Higher Education in dental hygiene from Cardiff University in 2015, a Master’s degree in Dental Public Health from University College London in 2017, and is an Associate of the Faculty of Public Health. In 2022 she was a Health Education England Oral Health Clinical Transformation Fellow, the first dental hygienist or dental therapist to undertake an HEE fellowship. She was a member, later Chair, of the Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy Working Group for the Career Pathways Programme which developed the College’s Professional Framework for Career Pathways in Dentistry, and was Vice Chair, now Chair, of the inaugural board of the College’s Faculty of Dental Hygiene and Therapy. She is an active member of a dental hygienists’ study club in London, lectures for HEE and NHS England, and sits on the British Society of Dental Hygienists and Therapists’ Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Board. She has volunteered for a number of dental and medical charities in Nepal, India, Cambodia, Panama and Greece, and is a volunteer officer for Dental Mavericks, for whom she has written a field guide for oral care in humanitarian situations as well as helping them with grant writing and fundraising. Earlier this year she co-hosted a College webinar on how to get involved in dental volunteering. In 2023 she was appointed to the Council to represent the dental hygiene and dental therapy professions.

Bill Sharpling 

Bill Sharpling FCGDent is Associate Dean (CPD) and Director of the London Dental Education Centre (LonDEC) at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London. Previously, he was Head of Dental Technology at Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospitals. He is the External Examiner for the BSc(Hons) Clinical Dental Technology programme at the University of Central Lancashire and Honorary Professor at RAK College of Dental Sciences in the United Arab Emirates. After qualifying in 1986, Bill spent the next 10 years working as a Dental Technician, gaining advanced qualifications in fixed and removable prosthodontics. Bill has worked in commercial dental laboratories, the Armed Forces and as the Chief Instructor in Conservative Dental Technology at Guy’s Hospital Dental School. He is a Member of the CGDent’s Careers and Training Committee.

Sagi Shavit

Sagi Shavit MCGDent was born in Israel and was a Captain in the Israel Defense Forces before studying to be a dentist, graduating DMD in Romania in 2009 and gaining an MSc in Endodontics from the University of Chester in 2015. Working in a mixed NHS-and-private practice in Darlington, since 2016 he has limited his practice to endodontics, accepting difficult endodontic referrals. In 2017 he was awarded the MFGDP(UK), and the following year he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Dental Implantology at the City of London Dental School, where he is now a tutor in endodontics. He is also a visiting lecturer at Tipton Training, runs day courses on endodontics in the North East, and has completed an accredited sedation course and begun providing treatment to anxious patients under intravenous sedation.

Sami Stagnell 

Specialist oral surgeon, Sami Stagnell AssocFCGDent graduated from King’s College London Dental Institute in 2009 and currently runs a specialist referrals practice in Bournemouth supporting both NHS and private patients. Following specialty training he was awarded one of the first UK posts as a Fellow in Clinical Leadership and Management with Health Education England. In 2015 he was awarded a merit in his MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry (KCL) and in 2018 he achieved an MSc in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine (University of Manchester). He is completing an MSc in implantology with the University of Madrid. He is an active member of many societies and represents the profession with the BDA, CGDent and the Royal Society of Medicine. Sami is Chair of CGDent’s Membership Affairs Committee.

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