What have we achieved one year on?

As we approach the College’s first-year anniversary, CGDent President Dr Abhi Pal looks back at all that we have achieved and considers our exciting plans for the future.

On 1st July 2022 the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) will mark its first full year of operation since its formal launch, and I mark the conclusion of my first year as President. The transition from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng) was five years in the planning and brought with it the hopes and aspirations for a whole profession. The transition period posed a number of challenges and I commend the hard work of the College staff and give thanks to the support of the College Council, our Trustee Board and our many members for helping to achieve a successful first year.

The first task for the College was the transfer of staff and the membership from the RCS, and automatic recognition of Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) membership, fellowship and all FGDP qualifications for the purposes of our own College membership and fellowship. I am pleased to say we have achieved this successfully, despite significant technological challenges.

In line with our inclusive approach to membership, the College now welcomes all members of the dental team with relevant postgraduate qualifications as members. The category of Associate Fellow has been created, designed to be a stepping-stone to Fellowship. We have also launched our criteria for Fellowship by Experience, designed to give recognition to individuals with experience who have demonstrated achievement in a wide range of areas. Membership has also been opened up to non-registrants with relevant qualifications, such as dental academics.

Membership of the College speaks to the professional development of individuals through post-nominals: Full Members (MCGDent), Associate Fellows (AssocFCGDent), and Fellows (FCGDent). In addition, we have expanded our package of membership benefits for all members. These include a discount arrangement with the UK’s largest indemnity provider, Dental Protection, which recognises the high level of commitment to professional development of College members and fellows. College membership also gives access to the wide range of online educational content provided by ProDental CPD. Indeed, the College has now hosted 20 live webinars so far on everything from leadership and professionalism to managing traumatic dental injuries, and from sustainable dentistry to how to get the best from your career. They’re all available for members to view free of charge via ProDental, which will also issue you with an electronic CPD certificate and keep a record of your learning.

The College continues to be the publisher of authoritative guidance and standards documents, originally published by the FGDP(UK), covering areas such as Clinical Examination and Record-keeping, Dental Radiography, Standards in Dentistry, Research in Primary Dental Care, and Training in Implant Dentistry. The College continues to publish Implications of COVID-19 for the safe management of general dental practice, which was developed with the FGDP, and has just released its first sole-published guideline, Mentoring in Implant Dentistry, which was developed with the Association of Dental Implantology and has been endorsed by the British Association of Oral Surgeons, Association of British Academic Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the UK and Ireland Section of the International Team for Implantology.

We continue to deliver high quality postgraduate training through our Postgraduate Diploma in Restorative and Aesthetic Dentistry, Postgraduate Certificate in Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics and our recently launched Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Care Orthodontics which is delivered through IAS Academy.

The College has secured representation on over 25 committees and working groups across the UK developing national dental and oral health policy. Our College Council is now formed of 25 members from across the UK, as well as internationally. Most importantly we have representation on Council from not only dentists, but also dental nursing, dental hygiene, dental therapy, and dental technology.

The national makeup of the College is reflected in the work that is carried on by our regional groups. We have had very successful Study Days in Birmingham, Glasgow and Gateshead during our first year. The College Council will no longer meet exclusively in London but also in other UK cities from time to time, in order for the Council to engage with our local members.

At the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show in May, I was delighted to meet many members and prospective members of the College. The plans for our Career Pathway was met with great enthusiasm and we also obtained some very useful feedback. The College also provided Core CPD seminars from some of our notable speakers.

Over the past few months I have been invited to speak to groups of final year undergraduates from various UK dental schools about Transition to Practice. It was a wonderful opportunity to engage with our colleagues who will be the future of the profession to discuss career planning and the College’s role.

Earlier this month, we held the College’s first Fellows’ Reception at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in London where we unveiled our Professional Framework which will underpin the College’s Career Pathways.

Proud as I am of everything we’ve achieved so far, we can look forward with even more enthusiasm and anticipation to the next 12 months, during which many other projects and initiatives will come to fruition. These include the launch of the College’s Career Pathways and Certified Membership Scheme, designed to provide a long-needed pathway for professional development in primary dental care for all members of the dental team. We will be launching Phase One of the scheme in the autumn of 2022.

Publication of the second edition of our guidance on research for primary dental care professionals, and of our new Standards for Dental Photography, is anticipated in the forthcoming year. PDJ issues on oral surgery, digital dentistry, aesthetic dentistry, and dental trauma will be published. Upcoming live webinars include social inequalities and dental school applications, periodontal-systemic links, LGBTQ+ inclusion in dentistry, and many more.

Finally, I hope you will be able to join in some of our planned conferences over the next year. These include CGDent Study Days in Birmingham on 1 July and Glasgow on 2 December, 2022. We also have the first CGDent—Quintessence Publishing International Conference in London on 24–25 March, 2023.

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New members elected to College Council

The College of General Dentistry (CGDent) has announced the results of recent elections to its Council, with two new members elected, and five re-elected.

(l-r, top row first) New CGDent Council Members-Elect Subir Banerji and Sagi Shavit, and re-elected Council Members Helen Kaney, Eldo Koshy, Patricia Thomson, Yann Maidment and Sami Stagnell

Subir Banerji FCGDent has been elected to the Central London seat, succeeding Reena Wadia, who served as a member of the National Board of the former Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP) from 2016-21.

Dr Banerji 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. Also involved in dental research, he has published articles in numerous international peer-reviewed journals, and is the co-author of books including Practical Procedures in the Management of Tooth Wear and Practical Procedures in Aesthetic Dentistry.

He has both an MClinDent (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 an Associate Professor in Prosthodontics at Melbourne Dental School, 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.

Sagi Shavit MCGDent has been elected to the Yorkshire and Northern seat previously held by Onkar Dhanoya FCGDent – Chair of the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Board and its Professional Affairs Committee, and a former Senior Vice Dean of the FGDP – who has stepped down after eight years’ service as an elected representative of the two organisations.

Dr Shavit 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. He soon developed a special interest in endodontics, and after moving to the UK undertook a number of training courses, including microsurgical endodontics, 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. He also developed a technique to apply hydraulic cements into perforations and wide canals using his patented Shavit Pellet Former, a push-through mechanism that creates pellets of endodontic cement of predetermined diameters and lengths.

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.

Helen Kaney FCGDent, Eldo Koshy FCGDent, Patricia Thomson AssocFCGDent, Yann Maidment MCGDent and Sami Stagnell AssocFCGDent have been re-elected to represent, respectively, the National, Overseas, West & North Scotland, East of Scotland and Wessex & Oxford seats.

Dr Kaney is Head of Dental Services in Scotland for Dental Protection, a dually qualified dentist and solicitor, and Vice-Chair of the College’s Professional Affairs Committee. As well as practising general dentistry for many years, she has worked as a clinical assistant in restorative dentistry, a Senior Dento-Legal Adviser and a solicitor acting for dentists and doctors. A Fellow of both the College of General Dentistry and of the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians, she holds an MBA and is a founding member of the Dental Law and Ethics Forum.

Dr Koshy is a prosthodontist and implant dentist in Kerala, India. 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.

Dr Thomson has worked in general dental practice since 1983, became a principal in 1985, sold her practice in 2017, and now works as a part-time associate. She has provided mixed NHS and private care, and has an interest in orthodontics. She has tutored colleagues for entry exams for the Royal Colleges, presented teaching sessions on orthodontics to vocational trainees, and delivers postgraduate lectures at RCPS Glasgow. She served on the FGDP(UK) National Board from 2016-2021, and is currently Chair of the College of General Dentistry’s Regional Funding Panel. She has also served as President of the West of Scotland branch of the BDA, and is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists.

Dr Maidment qualified from Edinburgh in 1984, becoming a partner in his dental practice in the city 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 the use of acupuncture in dentistry. He is a past President of the Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland, and has represented the East of Scotland on the FGDP(UK) National Board, and now the College Council, since 2016. He is the College’s Research Lead and a member of its Professional Affairs Committee.

Dr Stagnell graduated in 2009 and is now a specialist oral surgeon, running a referrals practice in Bournemouth supporting both NHS and private patients. In 2015 he was awarded a merit in his MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry at King’s College London, in 2018 he achieved an MSc in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine at the University of Manchester, and he is completing an MSc in implantology with the University of Madrid. Chair of the College of General Dentistry’s Membership Affairs Committee, he is active in the BDA and Royal Society of Medicine, and was one of Health Education England’s first Clinical Leadership and Management Fellows. He is also an ITI Implant Scholar and a member of the working group which developed the College’s recently-published Mentoring in Implant Dentistry: Good Practice Guidelines.

The College is the independent professional body into which the FGDP transferred last year. The UK’s only medical college run by and for oral health professionals, it is unique in welcoming all dental and oral health professionals with relevant postgraduate qualifications into full membership.

The Council is the voice of the College’s members, overseeing its role as a professional body and guiding its development to fulfil its mission. Elections are held annually on a rotational basis, with the seats representing Wales, Northern Ireland, and the South East & South West Thames and North East & North West Thames regions due for election in 2023, and South West England, Trent & East Anglia, Mersey & the North West and the West Midlands due in 2024.

Elected Council members serve three-year terms, and are then be able to stand for re-election – subject to a lifetime limit of nine years’ service on the Council, including any past service on the FGDP(UK) National Board. Those elected this year will be inaugurated at the next Council meeting, which takes place in Cardiff on Friday 24 June 2022.

Abhi Pal FCGDent, President of the College, said:

“Many congratulations to Subir and Sagi on their election to the Council, and to Helen, Eldo, Patricia, Yann and Sami on their re-election. I look forward to drawing on their vast and varied experience, knowledge and expertise as the College continues to fulfil its historic mission.

I would also like to thank Onkar and Reena for their dedication and service to the College and Faculty, and for their collegiality and advice during my Presidency of the College and Deanship of the Faculty.”

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Two dentists, one award and 6,000 subscribers

Award-winning early-career dentist, Pouya Zohrabpour, features in the College’s new film and tells us about the innovative educational work he has been doing to support dental students and young dentists.

I remember the day I was studying with my friends for our final exams of dental school and we received an email saying that all our in-person exams have been cancelled because of the Covid-19 lockdown. This was right at the start of Covid. Being one of the Covid year graduates was a very odd experience and I never thought the start of my career would pan out the way it has. I am now a first-year associate dentist and have been lucky enough to start and work on many additional projects related to my dental work.

With my friend Dr Ali Gowie, I run a dental YouTube channel and Instagram account called Two Dentists. This was something we started during the lockdown as we both got bored of watching long one-hour webinars and wanted to create highly educational videos which were professional, concise and easy to understand. So much of dentistry can be complicated but we felt that if we did enough research, we could script videos and break down difficult concepts into bite-sized videos for young dentists and dental students.

Our first few videos, which have been some of the most popular on our channel, focused on the new patient examination. We have made videos on seeing your first patient as a dental student, best way to take a dental history, dental examination, essential diagnoses, radiology and treatment planning.

We have since expanded and released a variety of other videos such as our series on dental photography and Loupes, which have been very popular. After launching and committing to releasing one video every week, which we maintained for a full year, we have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from everyone. My proudest moment of our YouTube journey was when a friend of mine sent a photo of a lecturer at the University of Bristol (where I graduated) showing my radiology video to a group of final year students.

The Youtube channel has allowed us to collaborate with many dentists and be in a continual state of learning. We have been lucky to be able to collaborate with Dr Shivam Divani who is the creator of the My Dental Care App. The app aims to educate the general public on the importance of good oral hygiene and to show you how to protect your teeth and prevent dental issues. With Dr Divani we created a six-part video series which accompanies the text and images in the app. These videos have also been released publicly on our YouTube Channel.

My progress on the YouTube channel was one of the factors that led to me winning the FGDP Foundation Dentist of the Year last year – which I am extremely grateful for. I am now extremely proud to also be an Ambassador for the College and to fulfil my role in spreading awareness of the new Career Pathways to support young dentists like myself.

In my foundation training year, I had to decide if I wanted to do Dental Core Training or not. This decision was based on speaking to my friends and colleagues but I found it difficult to make a decision as everyone had different opinions and I was unsure of the pathway I wanted to go down. I am sure many others have been in this position and this is where I believe the new Careers Pathways programme can come in. As a young dentist, having a career pathway which has been mapped by a professional body and shows clear steps in progression gives me security in knowing that I am on the right path for me to expand my knowledge and become a better dentist. Whilst doing so, it’s great to know that my progression will be recognised by the College and I can work my way up to becoming an ‘accomplished practitioner’. I believe the Career Pathway will be a must-use programme for every young dentist who is currently in general practice looking for a structured pathway for continual professional development, enabling you to move forward and enhance your career with confidence.

We plan to launch the College’s Career Pathways in dentistry, underpinned by the Professional Framework, in June 2022. Look out for details in the June issue of our monthly newsletter – sign up to receive it.

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Vote now for your College Council representatives

Voting is now open for seats on the Council of the College of General Dentistry, and all eligible members are encouraged to cast their vote.

The Council is the voice of our members, overseeing our role as a professional body and guiding the development of the College to fulfil its mission. Council members serve three-year terms and elections are held annually on a rotational basis. Seven seats are being elected this year, with elected candidates due to serve from June 2022- June 2025.

 A ballot of eligible members is required for three of these seats:

  • National representative
  • Wessex & Oxford representative
  • Overseas representative

All Full Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows of the College are eligible to vote, and have until 2359 on Friday 27 May 2022 to do so.

Members who have registered a UK address with CGDent are entitled to vote in the election of the national representative, and those within the College’s Wessex & Oxford region are also invited to elect their regional representative. Those whose College address is outside of the UK are entitled to vote for the overseas representative.

All eligible members as of 14 March 2022 were sent an email on Wednesday 27 April 2022 by the College’s election services provider, Mi-Voice, to the email address which the member has registered with the College. This email confirms the election(s) for which the member is eligible to vote, and contains a unique link through which they can complete and submit their vote(s) online.

Please ensure that your membership of CGDent is up to date before you vote, otherwise your vote might not count. The CGDent member register displays a list of all current full members. Alternatively, you can contact us at [email protected] to confirm your membership status. If you do need to renew your membership, you can do this easily online at https://cgdent.uk/renew/

New members joining during the voting period will also be eligible to vote, but should note that it will take around a week for their unique voting details to be issued to them, and late votes will not be counted.

The candidates are listed below with their election statements.

Following the election, the results will be announced on Wednesday 1 June 2022.

If you are an eligible member but cannot find the email from Mi-Voice inviting you to vote in your inbox, please check your junk or spam folder, and if necessary double-check the email account you have registered with the College by logging in at https://cgdent.uk/my-account.

If you experience any technical difficulties submitting your vote(s), please contact Mi-Voice at [email protected] or on 02380 763987.

Please note, if a candidate standing for both a national and regional seat were to receive the most votes in both elections, they would be deemed to be elected to the regional seat, and their name withdrawn from the contest for the national seat.

Candidates for the National seat

Kashif Hafeez

I want to play my part in delivering education for the college, establishing courses for GDPs.  I want to initiate a mentoring platform for the College, so the GDPs are looking towards the college in the times when they need help and support.

Candidate statements

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your professional and personal interests.

I am a practising implant dentist and most of my working week is spent treating my patients and mentoring young dentists for MOS procedures & Dental Implantology. I teach on different courses  and help young dentists to improve their skills. In addition to being the fellow of this institution I am also a fellow of Royal college of Surgeons Edinburgh and Ireland and also examine for these colleges. I have completed my post graduate certificate in mentoring, coaching and leadership, I often help dentists in difficulty during the stressful times in their career. I am involved in teaching and training as an honorary clinical teaching fellow for UCL, Eastman Dental Institute and visiting lecturer for Kings College London. I am also performing my duties as Dental Ambassador, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh for the South West region. I am also a fellow of the faculty of dental trainers, RCSEd.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I feel that I can bring my experience and exposure with different organisations to the college and play a part in establishing and strengthening the college’s ambition of training and helping the dentists to grow. I am one of the few dentists in UK who have a formal post graduate qualification, a certificate from Chartered management Institute in mentoring, coaching and leadership, a post graduate certificate in medical & dental education from Oxford Brookes University. I want to strengthen the education platforms offered by the college and initiate the concept of supporting the general dentists through the college platform. I think continuous support and mentoring is an aspect most of the other colleges lack and our college can actually take the lead and establish as a college which support the members with mentoring & coaching. As an international lecturer, I can represent college at International platforms and deliver the college message internationally.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

I want to play an active part in the delivery of education through the college platform, develop and establish delivery of continuous support for the members and fellows of the college. We as dental professionals have a high level of stress in our professional life, I have experience of dealing and helping dentists in difficulty. I want to initiate a platform in the college which will help the general dentists if they are undergoing difficult circumstances, this platform can truly make this college the representative of the general dentist and an organisation they can look towards. 

I also think there is a huge gap in the delivery of education, as this responsibility is taken up by the course run by different academies and  individuals, which are useful. However, this college as an institution can play its part in delivering quality educational courses for all of the dental profession. 

Give some examples from your professional or personal life that show you have the right skill set to make a contribution to the work of the Council.

I have been involved in teaching and training for many years, I am the founding course tutor for the MOS for GDPs course at Londec, Kings College. We established this course 8 years back and this course has been running successfully since then. I have been running MOS for GDPs courses for HEE for many years and have been running them in London and in Thames valley region. We have just initiated a new MOS for GDPs course with NIMDTA Belfast from last year and have been very successful. 

Two days of my working week is helping other dentists, mentoring them for MOS and Dental Implantology, during this time the dentists have the chance to improve and recognise their shortcomings.

I with other mentors as a group ran a successful mentoring  program for dentists in difficulty in Thames Valley and helped dentists during the stressful times.

Helen Kaney

I am knowledgable, hard working and committed to CGDent and would be very grateful and honoured to receive your vote. I believe that I can use my knowledge, skills and experience for the benefit of CGDent, and the whole profession, and I will work tirelessly, with other colleagues, if re-elected.

Candidate statements

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your professional and personal interests.

I am a Glasgow University graduate, qualifying in 1987, and spent many years in general dental practice. As a student and young dentist I always had an interest in law and ethics and later studied law before training and working as a solicitor for several years, acting for dentists (and occasionally doctors) on the instructions of their indemnity provider/defence organisation. I have also worked as a clinical assistant at Guy’s Hospital and at Glasgow Dental Hospital in restorative dentistry, teaching and supervising students. 

I am now involved at senior level at MPS/Dental Protection, leading a team of dentolegal consultants who help members in the UK, Ireland and other countries. My professional interests primarily involve the interpretation of the law as it relates to dentistry and the effective defence and representation of dentists who are facing claims and regulatory hearings. Personal interests include travel and looking after young nephews. 

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I have now been a FGDP (UK) Board/CGDent Council member for 3 years and I have worked hard in the interests of members with other FGDP (UK)/CGDent Council colleagues, especially during the challenges of exiting from RCS England in 2021, together with the challenges of the pandemic. 

I and am very keen to continue this involvement in the profession, on the Council of CGDent, and to continue to work in the interests of dentists and the dental team in as many ways as I can. I would be honoured to be re-elected to CGDent and to help the organisation build on the success that has already been achieved. I believe that there are exciting times ahead, as we work together with the dental profession as a whole, and key stakeholders, in evolving and developing a modern, progressive College that will benefit the whole dental team for the future.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

The possibilities for CGDent are endless and extremely exciting and I would encourage all members of the dental team to become involved. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the dental profession to develop a College that has the interests of general dental practice, and all team members, as its main reason d’etre and to become involved and to shape what the future looks like in terms of the career pathways and future guidance documents which are to be updated and developed. There is the opportunity for the dental profession to become involved as individuals from the beginning, to enable a whole team approach to career development, and to assist the evolution of a modern progressive College for a modern progressive dental profession. We have never had this opportunity before and we must work together to ensure that CGDent becomes the voice of the profession for the future.

Give some examples from your professional or personal life that show you have the right skill set to make a contribution to the work of the Council.

I have had a varied and very interesting career to date, combining my professional loves of dentistry and law in a way that has allowed me to help members of the dental profession when they have been in difficulty, as a dually qualified dentist and solicitor, and it has been my absolute privilege to do so. 

I have to date been involved in various CGDent committees, particularly the Professional Affairs Committee, which is tasked with overseeing the development of the professional guidance documents that were produced by FGDP (UK), the responsibility for which has been assumed by CGDent. I believe that my legal knowledge and training and my experience of working with Dental Protection will enable me to continue to contribute effectively to the work of both the Professional Affairs Committee, and the Council in general, as we move into the future as a College for the whole dental team.

Fiona Sandom

I am passionate about career development for the whole dental team, and would bring that energy and commitment to encouraging the whole dental team to join the college, to develop themselves and their careers to benefit patient care and the motivation to contribute fully to the aims of the College.

Candidate statements

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your professional and personal interests.

I began in dentistry as a trainee dental nurse in 1990. I moved on to Manchester to train as a dental hygienist, on qualification from Manchester Dental Hospital in 1993, I returned to Anglesey and worked as a hygienist until I  qualified as a dental therapist in 1999. In 2013, I gained my MSc in Medical Education from Cardiff University. I currently work part-time in general dental practice, for HEIW as PLVE Chair and Dental Professional Support Unit Lead and as North Wales Regional Lead Dental Educator. I hold a post at Bangor University, in the AWFDCP. I am also an Education Associate with the GDC, an Examiner for the RCS Edinburgh an External Examiner for Diploma in Dental Nursing Programme Trinity College Dublin and a Past President of the British Association of Dental Therapists.

In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, cycling and running and compete in triathlons.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

Starting my career as a dental nurse and have been fortunate expand my career by skills escalators, I would like to join the council to use my experience within dentistry and education to meet the vision of College of General Dentistry. 

I was proud to have been invited to be a member of the College of General Dentistry Reference Group for the career pathway work and excited by the vision and thoroughly enjoyed contributing. 

I am passionate about patient access to care and believe that enhancing educational opportunities, promoting interprofessional care for the dental team is one way that we are able to contribute to achieving this.

In order to address the dental manpower issues, we are facing, it is also important that we are able to retain all members of the dental team and by providing career pathways and cultivating a passion for learning.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

I would like the organisation to be the first thought when dental professionals think of education and training for their careers in dentistry and as the point of reference for standards within dentistry.

I would like the college to do this by providing a professional home for all members of the dental team to enhance their careers, from undergraduate and trainee to experienced dental professionals and those who have had career breaks or returning to the profession. As well as supporting dental professionals coming to work in the UK for  the first time, to develop professional socialisation and understanding of the dental systems in the UK. In turn the aspiration would be to enhance the quality of dental provision through education and standards, personal and career development and retention.

In addition the development of research in Primary care, ensure research is relevant and pragmatic for use in primary care.

Give some examples from your professional or personal life that show you have the right skill set to make a contribution to the work of the Council.

I am used to attending and contributing to committee and council meetings as well being a chair. I have a background in education and as Education Associate for the General Dental Council. I am currently at Bangor University, carrying out Health Service Research evaluation at Bangor University for my PhD and could use my learning and experience to feed into Council and it’s aim of driving the college forward with education and training, and professional development as well as supporting the development of standards.

As Past President of the British Association of Dental Therapists I have experience of working on a National level and understand the differences in the four Nations of the United Kingdom, this has been particularly relevant working on the proposal for the use of exemptions in medicines legislation by dental hygienists and dental therapists across the United Kingdom with NHS England. 

Candidates for the Wessex & Oxford seat

Kashif Hafeez

I want to play my part in delivering education for the college, establishing courses for GDPs.  I want to initiate a mentoring platform for the College, so the GDPs are looking towards the college in the times when they need help and support.

Candidate statements

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your professional and personal interests.

I am a practising implant dentist and most of my working week is spent treating my patients and mentoring young dentists for MOS procedures & Dental Implantology. I teach on different courses  and help young dentists to improve their skills. In addition to being the fellow of this institution I am also a fellow of Royal college of Surgeons Edinburgh and Ireland and also examine for these colleges. I have completed my post graduate certificate in mentoring, coaching and leadership, I often help dentists in difficulty during the stressful times in their career. I am involved in teaching and training as an honorary clinical teaching fellow for UCL, Eastman Dental Institute and visiting lecturer for Kings College London. I am also performing my duties as Dental Ambassador, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh for the South West region. I am also a fellow of the faculty of dental trainers, RCSEd.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I feel that I can bring my experience and exposure with different organisations to the college and play a part in establishing and strengthening the college’s ambition of training and helping the dentists to grow. I am one of the few dentists in UK who have a formal post graduate qualification, a certificate from Chartered management Institute in mentoring, coaching and leadership, a post graduate certificate in medical & dental education from Oxford Brookes University. I want to strengthen the education platforms offered by the college and initiate the concept of supporting the general dentists through the college platform. I think continuous support and mentoring is an aspect most of the other colleges lack and our college can actually take the lead and establish as a college which support the members with mentoring & coaching. As an international lecturer, I can represent college at International platforms and deliver the college message internationally.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

I want to play an active part in the delivery of education through the college platform, develop and establish delivery of continuous support for the members and fellows of the college. We as dental professionals have a high level of stress in our professional life, I have experience of dealing and helping dentists in difficulty. I want to initiate a platform in the college which will help the general dentists if they are undergoing difficult circumstances, this platform can truly make this college the representative of the general dentist and an organisation they can look towards. 

I also think there is a huge gap in the delivery of education, as this responsibility is taken up by the course run by different academies and  individuals, which are useful. However, this college as an institution can play its part in delivering quality educational courses for all of the dental profession. 

Give some examples from your professional or personal life that show you have the right skill set to make a contribution to the work of the Council.

I have been involved in teaching and training for many years, I am the founding course tutor for the MOS for GDPs course at Londec, Kings College. We established this course 8 years back and this course has been running successfully since then. I have been running MOS for GDPs courses for HEE for many years and have been running them in London and in Thames valley region. We have just initiated a new MOS for GDPs course with NIMDTA Belfast from last year and have been very successful. 

Two days of my working week is helping other dentists, mentoring them for MOS and Dental Implantology, during this time the dentists have the chance to improve and recognise their shortcomings.

I with other mentors as a group ran a successful mentoring  program for dentists in difficulty in Thames Valley and helped dentists during the stressful times.

Sami Stagnell

Dentistry is capable of being bigger and better than it ever has been. My drive and ambition to realise this is matched by my passion for our profession and fuelled by the experiences I’ve gained over the last decade. Realising a real home for dentistry is my priority.

Candidate statements

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your professional and personal interests.

Following graduation I was fortunate to gain a broad experience between primary and secondary care settings. I recognised early on that dentistry required a pragmatic and expansive skillset and so threw myself into gaining as much experience as possible, This lead me to holding posts in general practice (NHS and private) and also hospital where I eventually specialised in oral surgery. Amongst my clinical practice I have trained extensively across subspecialties such as facial aesthetics and Implantology and now lecture to postgraduates too. Since specialising I have continued to work mostly in primary care but maintain intermediate and secondary care posts which has given me a good grasp of what clinicians in all areas face as well as the demands placed on those across the whole profession.

In my spare time you’ll find me in the South Downs cycling or on the coast kitesurfing.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

There are multiple societies that exist for the profession, but none whose purpose has an opportunity to polarise general dentistry like this one. Here I stand for re-election; I was fortunate to be involved with the college during its transition from FGDP through to the CGD and I see my mission as still ongoing. We are in an infant stage of the new college and to be able to continue supporting work on the exciting projects at this fundamental time is important to me.

There is an incredible opportunity for the college to be a true home to general dentistry, incorporating the whole team. Never has such a chance existed – the energy that exists in the council and the faculty as a whole is driving incredible change and it feels right to continue to fuel this momentum whilst it exists in the way that it does.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

In its new state, the chance to be a driving force for general dentistry has never been so important. The pandemic realised much anxiety around the profession and identified more than ever that all members of the team feel regularly isolated. By driving a collective mentality forward and a sounding board that recognises and validates the contribution of other societies and faculties too, we can encourage generalists to realise inspiring and empowering careers.

Using the incoming career frameworks and the new fellowship model, we can blow old ideals and false values out of the profession and foster stronger and robust relationships between peers and within the whole team. 

Dentistry has to reconsider its image publicly and with other medical specialties too: here we have a chance to evolve our reputation so others can see the value generalists bring to the table.

Give some examples from your professional or personal life that show you have the right skill set to make a contribution to the work of the Council.

I am fortunate that over the last decade I have held posts throughout different political groups and these include – 

  • BDA Young Dentists and Central Committee for Hospital Dental Services
  • Honorary Secretary to the Odontology section at the Royal Society of Medicine
  • National Trainee representative for British Association of Oral Surgery
  • One of the first Clinical Leadership Fellows with Health Education England
  • Young ITI ambassador
  • Met Branch president BDA
  • LDN observer
  • member of 3 MCN groups

I also hold postgraduate teaching roles privately and also with the University of Manchester and previously with KCL.

Furthermore I am a practice owner and recognise the very real, daily struggles that many have to deal with.

Candidates for the Overseas seat

Eldo Koshy

“Become the bridge between the College, dentists and institutions outside the UK. To promote and establish the objectives of the College. To uphold the position of the College among the dental community outside the UK thus uplifting the standard of the profession.”

Candidate statements

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your professional and personal interests.

I obtained BDS degree in 1995 and Masters in Prosthodontics in 2000. I practice in Cochin,Kerala,India.

I practice general dentistry along with Prosthodontics and Implantology.

I am a Fellow of the College of General Dentistry, Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) and an ITI member.

I have been teaching as a faculty in Prosthodontics for undergraduate and postgraduate students in various dental colleges in India for thirteen years and was the Head of the department of Prosthodontics and Implantology for several years. Currently I train dentists in Prosthodontics and Implantology in my academy.

I am keen in upgrading my professional knowledge and skills at the same time building healthy relationships with colleagues that I meet. This has helped me personally and also resulted in benefitting my peers personally and professionally.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

Dentistry is practiced differently in different parts of the world. CGDent provides opportunities for dentists like me practicing outside the UK to attain high professional standards and top quality postgraduate education in dentistry. CGDent has set gold standards for clinical and non clinical aspects for practicing dentistry. CGDent also offers a range of career pathways to dental professionals and a facility to obtain knowledge and skills at any stage of their career. This method for lifelong learning is unique. By becoming a board member I could effectively disseminate this information to those practicing outside the UK through my association with dentists and dental organisations.

 As a board member I will be able to

  • Help to initiate and develop dental programmes internationally
  • Help the members practicing outside the UK to become Certified Members / Fellows of CGDent
  • Help to find acceptance for international courses
  • Help international dentists to obtain recognition 

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

CGDent is about supporting careers and setting standards. My ambition is to support the professional development of dentists and provide recognition for their achievements irrespective of where they practice.  

I envision to cultivate and nurture a strong dental community that strives for continuous improvement in every aspect of patient care through effective education and training extending throughout their career. Lifelong learning with the support of CGDent for personal growth and skill development of international dentists is also my goal.

This would help to establish a professional standing for the dental practitioners and develop excellence in the treatments delivered.

Give some examples from your professional or personal life that show you have the right skill set to make a contribution to the work of the Council.

As an Associate member I had organised two cohorts of hands-on courses for dentists living outside the UK. During my tenure as a Board member though Covid restrictions prevented the commencement of the third batch, I organised an online CPD programme for international dentists on ‘Safe returning to practice’ by eminent speakers in the UK.

My submission before the board regarding the reduction of membership fee for international dentists was well considered. The present discounted membership fee for dentists practicing outside the UK testifies it.

My experience as Review Board Member of the Journal of the Indian Prosthodontic Society and Editorial advisor of the Kerala Dental Journal could be utilised by the board.

I regularly conduct CPD programmes for the Indian Dental Association and have conducted hands on dental training in Sri Lanka and the UAE. I can contribute this experience to organise such training by the board outside UK.

Pankaj Patel

I have a zeal for promoting oral care and education, both internally and abroad, as recognised by my posts with a string of International Organisations. Hopefully, my involvement will be beneficial to the progression of the college as I am dedicated to the aims and objectives of CGDent.

Candidate statements

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your professional and personal interests.

I am a diplomat and was a Board Member (First Overseas Representative) of the FGDP (UK), a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International, a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, and a Fellow of the American College of Dentists.

I was awarded the National Honor – The Order of Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) by his Excellency, the President of Kenya in recognition of outstanding and distinguished services rendered to the nation in Dentistry. 

I am a Specialist in General Dental Practice, have a busy private practice and have contributed a vast amount of my time and expertise to actively aid in the development of dentistry in Kenya as well as admirably participating and shaping continuing education in the profession. I was a lecturer and examiner in Restorative Dentistry at Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi for over 15 years.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I was elected the first Overseas Board Member of FGDP(UK) in May 2016.

I am one of the five nominated Founder Trustees of the College of Dental Surgeons of Eastern Africa ( a virtual college, with the principal objective of promoting the advancement of Dentistry in Kenya and the Region through post-graduate training in various Dental Specialities) which is in the final stages of formation. 

Kenya has adopted Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as one of the big four priority agenda with the aspiration that all persons in Kenya will be able to use the essential services they need for their health and well being through a simple unified benefit package.

Oral health is a key determinant of overall health and socio-economic development as outlined in the Kenya Oral Health Survey Report of 2015. 

Affiliations with CGDent and RCS will be beneficial.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

I have carried out regular  and extensive postgraduate studies in the UK, Europe and the USA to enable me to continue providing very comprehensive oral care at both primary and secondary care levels at the highest standards in Kenya. I have also had a life-long involvement in the building up of health care facilities in Kenya.

I have been a lecturer and examiner at the University of Nairobi Dental School and also been involved with the training of nurses.

I have a zeal for promoting oral care and education, internally and abroad as proved by my posts with a string of international organizations. 

I initiated early links with FGDP RCS Eng and set up the first MFGDP study group in Nairobi. I continued my close involvement and support resulting in being elected the first ever overseas member of the FGDP(UK) board.

I hope similar links with FCGDent.

Give some examples from your professional or personal life that show you have the right skill set to make a contribution to the work of the Council.

FGDP(UK) Board Member 2016-2019

Academy of Dentistry International – Regent for Africa and Middle East

Vice President International Affairs
Chaired various committees.

Pierre Fauchard Academy –     International Section Chairperson

Trustee Region 11-Africa
International Vice President 2021-2022
President-elect 2022-2023
President 2023-2024
Chaired various committees.

International College of Dentists-     Regent, East Africa

International Councillor- Africa
Chaired various committees.

Conducted ICD Convocation/Induction Ceremonies in – Cape Town, South Africa
Alexandria, Egypt
Mombasa, Kenya (twice)

University of Nairobi Dental School-     Lecturer for over 15 years

Internal Examiner for BDS

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dental Council- Registered as the only Specialist in General Dental Practice.

Upper Hill Medical Centre (a purpose-built building completed in 2001 is wholly owned by 30 prominent doctors)- Founder Board Member

Jalaram Medical Services ,an ultra-modern charity medical facility- oversee the Dental Department. 

College of Dental Surgeons of Eastern Africa (final stages of formation)-
One of the five Founder Trustees

REMINDER: VOTES SHOULD BE CAST THROUGH THE UNIQUE LINK SENT TO ELIGIBLE MEMBERS BY MI-VOICE BY EMAIL, AND VOTING CLOSES AT 23:59 ON FRIDAY 27 MAY 2022

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President discusses dental careers at No.10

On 29 March 2022, College President Dr Abhi Pal visited No.10 Downing Street to attend a roundtable breakfast meeting on access to careers and progression in dentistry hosted by the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on healthcare policy.

Dr Pal commented:

“It is great to see recognition at the top of government that widening access to dental training, followed by career progression based on merit and not hindered by inequalities, are vital in order to recruit and retain a workforce reflective of the population it serves and able to meet the UK’s oral health needs.

For its part, the College of General Dentistry is committed to breaking down unnecessarily prescriptive and exclusionary professional barriers, and is developing a Professional Framework with accompanying Career Pathways that will offer all general dental professionals staged recognition of their knowledge and skills, and a range of routes to planning a fulfilling career in dentistry.”

The College will shortly be hosting a related live webinar:

Social inequalities when applying to study dentistry
Monday 4 July 2022, 7pm
This will discuss social inequalities and how they may affect students when applying to study dentistry. It will be free to view for all dental professionals on the day, and the recording will be available thereafter to CGDent members. Approx. 1.5 CPD hours. CPD e-certificates are free for CGDent members. REGISTER HERE

Related webinar recordings already available to College members in the CPD library include:

Why colour is the elephant in the room
A first-hand exploration of racial inequality and prejudice, with real life experiences from colleagues working in all areas of dentistry, and highlighting ways in which we can tackle inequalities and systemic racism. “This webinar was so, so important and impactful”
Approx. 2 hours’ CPD.

How to get the best from your career in dentistry
This webinar looks at career and development planning no matter your career stage, and for the whole dental team, exploring next steps and what courses and opportunities are available. It also provides information on CGDent’s development of Career Pathways to give your dental career a boost. 2 hours 15 minutes’ CPD.



President’s Commendations & Fellowship awards 2022

The College of General Dentistry has announced the recipients of its inaugural award of President’s Commendations, and has awarded fellowships to four dental professionals in recognition of their exceptional professional achievements. 

Top row, l-r: Mark Richardson FCGDent, Paul Friel MCGDent, Jonathan Hiscocks MCGDent, Mutahir Rahman MCGDent, Charles Ormond Dip.FFGDP(UK). Bottom row, l-r: John Craig Dip.FFGDP(UK), Maggie Jackson FCGDent(Hon.), Kathryn Marshall FCGDent(Hon.), William Parry FCGDent(Hon.), Allan Pirie FCGDent

Six individuals have received the President’s Commendation, which recognises significant service to the dental profession through the College or former Faculty of General Dental Practice, at local or national level, by Associate Members, Full Members, Associate Fellows or Fellows of the College, and is conferred by the President on the recommendation of the elected College Council.

Three individuals have been made Honorary Fellows of the College, and one has been awarded Fellowship by Election.

College Fellowship marks out a dental professional’s ongoing commitment to professional development and reflective practice, diligence in upholding the highest standards of clinical care, and distinction across clinical and professional domains. While the main routes to fellowship are Fellowship by Experience and Fellowship by Equivalence, the Council makes annual awards of Fellowship by Election and Honorary Fellowship to a small number of individuals deemed to meet the required standard.

President’s Commendations

Mark Richardson FCGDent is commended in particular for his significant contribution to the Faculty’s education provision. He became an examiner for the MFGDP in 2007 and a Core Group MJDF examiner in 2013, later serving as a Facilitator for the FGDP(UK) Fellowship and as a key member of the Faculty’s Academic Board. He also represented the Wessex and Oxford region on the National Faculty Board from 2016 to 2021, chairing its Education & Qualifications and Finance committees, and serving on the Dean’s Executive Committee and as a Vice Dean from 2018-19.

Since 1989, Group Captain Richardson has served as an RAF dental officer in the UK, Europe, the Far East and Afghanistan. Now Assistant Head of Clinical Operations (Dental) and Chief Dental Officer (RAF and Defence), he was previously the Armed Forces’ Principal Dental Officer for the Wessex Region, and Armed Forces’ Clinical Adviser on Paedodontic Dentistry. In 2018 he was appointed Her Majesty The Queen’s Honorary Dental Surgeon.

Paul Friel MCGDent, a general dental practitioner in East Kilbride,is recognised for his service as Lead Tutor of the FGDP West of Scotland division’s MJDF Study Group, in particular his adaptation in response to coronavirus restrictions of the division’s highly interactive face-to-face study evenings into content-rich, virtual group meetings which have provided excellent support to candidates.

Jonathan Hiscocks MCGDent has been commended for his service to the Faculty in Scotland. A former director of its East of Scotland division, for many years he acted as a mock examiner in the preparation of MJDF examination candidates across the country, and was the Faculty’s representative on NHS Education for Scotland’s Dental Committee. Originally from County Down, he is a partner and dentist in a mixed NHS-and-private dental practice in Edinburgh.

Mutahir Rahman MCGDent has been awarded the President’s Commendation for his service to the Faculty and College in the West Midlands. A member of the FGDP since 2010, he has been active in its West Midlands division since 2012, soon being elected Treasurer. He was Divisional Director from 2016 until the Faculty’s transfer into the College of General Dentistry last year, energetically leading the delivery of many successful educational events and helping to support local colleagues, and is now a Director of CGDent Midlands. He works in the Community Dental Service in Worcestershire, and as Specialty Dentist in the Periodontology Department at Birmingham Dental Hospital, and is also a DCT1 Educational Supervisor in the West Midlands.

Charles Ormond Dip.FFGDP(UK) is honoured for his remarkable commitment to the Faculty, which he joined at its inception in 1992. He served its West of Scotland division for a quarter of a century in a variety of capacities, including Treasurer, Director, committee member, Candidates’ Counsellor for the DGDP and MFGDP, and throughout as a mock examiner for its Study Club. He also represented the region on the National Faculty Board for nine years, chairing its Education, Research and External Affairs committees, serving as Vice Dean from 2009- 2011, and representing it on the Scottish Dental Training Committee and the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme’s Oral Health Assessment Group. In addition, he was a member of the working group which developed the Faculty’s definitive Clinical Examination and Record-Keeping guidance, now published by the College.

Recently retired from dental practice, during his career he also served as President of both the Stirling and Clackmannan and the West of Scotland branches of the BDA, Chair of the Vocational Training Selection Committee and of NHS Education for Scotland’s Dental Education Committee, President of the Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland, and as a Board Member of Dental Protection.

The late John Craig Dip.FFGDP(UK) has been conferred the award posthumously in special recognition of his wide-ranging contributions to advancing the profession, and in particular his instrumental role in laying down the foundations of the FGDP in Scotland. Further information on this award is available at cgdent.uk/news.

Fellowship by Election

Allan Pirie FCGDent has been a dental implant surgeon for 25 years of a 40-year career, and receives referrals for complex implant treatment from all over Scotland to his practice in Glasgow. He was awarded the Diploma in General Dental Practice from the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1995, and an MSc in Implant Dentistry from the University of Warwick in 2006, has served as an examiner for the Diploma of Implant Dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh since 2007, and has tutored at the University of Warwick and the University of Glasgow Dental School. Generous with his time and greatly admired for the assistance that he gives freely, he teaches the restorative side of implant dentistry via local study groups, and mentors local practitioners to introduce implant dentistry into their own practices.

Honorary Fellowship

Maggie Jackson FCGDent(Hon.) has been a trailblazer at the forefront of the Dental Hygiene profession throughout her 60-year career. With unsurpassed skills as a communicator and dental hygienist, her patience, humour and clarity helped highly perio-compromised patients change their habits and gain a chance of keeping their teeth for longer, gaining her a reputation as an inspirational colleague and mentor. For 30 years she worked with specialists who believed in curing periodontal breakdown by empowering patients, without surgery where possible, before opening her own ‘Direct Access’ hygiene practice in Manchester, receiving referrals for the more difficult, non-surgical periodontal treatments from other dental practices. She lectures throughout the UK, and overseas, has had numerous articles published in international journals and books, and is the first and only hygienist to have been awarded an MPhil in Periodontology.

Kathryn Marshall FCGDent(Hon.) is a dental nurse of over 40 years’ experience, and is currently a Dental Educator in quality improvement and Professional Support Tutor at Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW). She co-founded a general and specialist dental practice in Surrey, where she took the opportunity to support student dental nurses though their GDC-registrable qualifications, and was the DCP Tutor for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) Deanery from 2000 until 2007, and the Training Programme Director for the KSS Dip CDT from 2013 until 2019.

A past examiner for the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses, she was a member of the GDC Fitness to Practice Panel for five years, and the only DCP appointed to the GDC’s e-CPD Advisory Board. She holds a Diploma in Dental Health Education, a Diploma in Leadership and Management, an MSc in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare, and was the External Examiner for the University of Central Lancashire’s Advanced Certificate in Facilitated Learning in Healthcare Practice, and Advanced Certificate in Mentoring and Coaching.

William John Parry FCGDent(Hon.) has been a Consultant Orthodontist at Gwynedd General Hospital in Bangor since 1984, and has particular expertise in managing complex and cleft lip and palate cases. Throughout his tenure, he has devoted considerable time to mentoring and training general dental practitioners to support the delivery of orthodontic care in general dental practice, helping ensure that the highest standards of care are available in remote and rural communities. This support is exemplified by the significant number of GDPs who since 1988 have worked with him as clinical assistants, many achieving accreditation to provide orthodontic care.

He has been Chair of the BDA hospitals group for Wales, President of the BDA hospitals and speciality services UK group, and regional adviser for postgraduate training for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, of which he is a Fellow. He is currently President of Y Gymdeithas Ddeintyddol (The Dental Society of Wales), which he co-founded in 1991. The society offers postgraduate training and development in Welsh, has delivered 30 unbroken years of annual study days as well as evening lectures for its members, and supports student education through its dental dictionary.

Posthumous honour for John Craig

The College of General Dentistry has recognised the late John Craig Dip.FFGDP(UK) with the posthumous award of a President’s Commendation.

John Craig Dip.FFGDP(UK), 1943-2021

Born in Rutherglen in 1943, John graduated BDS from Glasgow University in 1966 and remained a general dental practitioner until he retired from practice in 2002. He spent over 30 years of his practising life as a partner in his own practice in Falkirk, where he earned a reputation for the highest standards of clinical excellence, strong mentorship of colleagues, and empathy for staff and patients.

Not content with confining his activities and boundless abilities and energies to his surgery, he was extremely active in almost every aspect of general dental practice through his involvement in many dental organisations.

John possessed excellent skills of diplomacy and organisation, and was active in the British Dental Association from the outset of his career, joining as a student in 1965. He later served as Secretary of the Stirling and Clackmannanshire Section and then the West of Scotland Branch, eventually becoming President of the West of Scotland Branch in the 1990s. He chaired the Scottish Annual Conference of Local Dental Committees, and was often a delegate at the LDC National Conference. He was elected to the BDA’s Representative Board in 1991 and was a member of the Executive Board for nine years, including three as Deputy Chairman. He was elected BDA National President in 2005, and to mark this distinguished accolade, the West of Scotland Branch commissioned a bagpipe tune called ‘John Craig of Rutherglen’, composed by Angus Lawrie, former Pipe Major of the Oban Pipe Band.

A Vocational Trainer from 1986, he was chair of the Scottish Dental Vocational Training Committee for seven years, and was a member of numerous postgraduate committees including the General Dental Council’s General Professional Training (GPT) Committee from 1997-98.

He was also involved in a number of dental practice research-based groups, and was a member of the development group for the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guidelines on management of unerupted and impacted third molars in 1999, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Oral Health Seminars Group from 1996-99, engaging in postgraduate lectures on practice management. In 2014, he joined forces with Martin Kelleher to write a paper on the damaging effect of the overpreparation and unjustified loss of tooth tissue in the attempt to gain aesthetic improvement of the anterior teeth, and he railed against dentistry being relegated to just another arm of the beauty and cosmetic industry.

Instrumental in laying down the foundations of what is now the College of General Dentistry, in 1992 he chaired the steering group which set up the Faculty of General Dental Practice in Scotland. Achieving the Diploma in General Dental Practice in 1992, he was a member of the FGDP’s national Finance Committee in 1993-1994 and the first Director of the Faculty’s West of Scotland Division from 1993-1996. In 2004, the Faculty awarded him Fellowship by Election, and he was also awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for his work in postgraduate education.

His other areas of activity saw him as a Regional Dental Advisor to BUPA Dental Cover, a founder member of Forth Valley Independent Dentists Group, Chair of Glasgow Dental Educational Trust, Trustee of the BDA Benevolent Fund, occasional expert advisor to various legal firms and insurance companies, and a member of the Denplan Advisory Board, MDDUS Dental Advisory Panel, and Edinburgh Postgraduate Dental Institute’s management committee.

His talents were not limited to the dental profession; he was also a sportsman, whose first love was climbing, undertaking expeditions throughout Scotland and in the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Himalayas. He was a skier, golfer, and also an accomplished musician, being a folk singer, guitarist and jazz band banjo player.

He also had a deep interest and knowledge of literature, opera, art, politics, languages, history and astronomy, and was a past President of the Astronomical Society of Glasgow, and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 2003, he was made captain of the BDA team which represented the nation’s dentists on BBC2’s University Challenge: The Professionals. Answering most of the questions himself, the team knocked out the General Practitioners in the first round before going out in the quarter finals to the Inland Revenue.

Unfortunately, John suffered a devastating stroke two and a half years ago, and was nursed at home by his wife Irene until he died in September 2021. His funeral drew hundreds, including many colleagues of all ages from all over Scotland, demonstrating the high regard in which John was held by so many generations in the profession.

Dr Abhi Pal, President of the College of General Dentistry, said:

“John was a visionary, a pioneer in the establishment of the Faculty of General Dental Practice in the West of Scotland, and a tireless moderniser who endeavoured to keep our profession at the forefront of healthcare. He was also an inspirational colleague, whose principles, high standards and excellence earned the deep respect of all who encountered him, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to honour his illustrious career.”

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College Council elections – call for candidates

Elections are due to be held for a number of seats on the Council of the College of General Dentistry, and all eligible members are invited to consider standing.

These are exciting times in the development of the College, and this is a fantastic opportunity to get involved and contribute at a national level. 

The Council is the voice of our members.  It oversees our role as a professional body and guides the Trustee Board on the development of the College to fulfil its mission.

As a Council member, you would provide leadership, strategic input and direction in all the professional affairs of the College.  You would be helping to shape key moments in the College’s growth and could get also involved in specific initiatives on areas such as careers, policy and standards.

Elections are taking place this year for the following seats: 

  • Yorkshire & Northern
  • Central London
  • Wessex & Oxford
  • East of Scotland
  • West & North of Scotland
  • Overseas representative
  • National representative 

Time commitment

If successfully elected, you would serve a three-year term, from June 2022 – June 2025, during which you would attend three face-to-face Council meetings each year (typically on a Friday morning) as well as other regular online meetings and committees (normally outside of business hours).

Your first Council meeting would be on Friday 24 June in Cardiff. 

You would also be able to vote, and eligible to stand, in the annual election of two Vice Presidents, and the triennial election of a College President.

You would be able to stand for re-election in 2025, and individuals may serve up to three elected terms (i.e. nine years) on the Council.

Eligibility

All Full Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows of the College, regardless of their team role, are eligible to nominate themselves for election providing they meet the criteria for the relevant seat(s):

  • Candidates for regional seats must live or work within that region, and be registered with that region with CGDent
  • Candidates for the national seat must live or work in the UK, and have a registered UK address with CGDent
  • Candidates for the overseas seat must practice dentistry wholly outside the UK, and have a registered overseas address with CGDent 

If you are a UK member, you may apply for both the national seat and a regional seat. If you were the only candidate for one of the seats, you would be deemed to be elected or re-elected to that seat, and your name withdrawn from the election to the other seat. If there was a ballot for both seats, and you received the most votes in each, you would be deemed to be elected to the regional seat first, and your name withdrawn from the national seat.  (Exceptions to this may apply, for example if one or more candidates for the national seat withdrew from the process).  

If you are an Associate Member considering upgrading your membership in order to stand for election or to vote, or a non-member considering joining, you will need to allow at least two weeks ahead of the relevant date(s) below for this process to complete.

Interested? 

All eligible members as of 14 March 2022 have been emailed a link to the nominations website by the College’s election services provider, Mi-Voice.

If you are interested in standing for election, please complete the nomination process via that link, where you will be asked for further information, and to submit an election statement.

You will also be required to provide the names of two supporters of your application who themselves must be Full Members, Associate Fellows or Fellows of the College. If you are unsure of the membership status of potential supporters, please consult our Member Register

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS 23:59 ON TUESDAY 19 APRIL 2022 

Key Dates 

Tuesday 19 April 2022 23:59       Nominations close

Thursday 21 April 2022 12:00     Deadline for receipt of referee support

w/c 25 April 2022                        Voting opens

Friday 27 May 2022 23:59           Voting closes

Wednesday 1 June 2022             Results announced

Useful Documents 

Council Member Role Description 

Further Information 

If you think you might like to put yourself forward as a candidate and wanted further information, we would be pleased to have a confidential discussion and answer any questions about the role and the process. Please get in touch via [email protected]

A map showing the regions covered by the regional seats of the College can be downloaded here. If you are unsure which CGDent region you are in, contact us via [email protected] 

The role is voluntary, but we do cover essential expenses. 

Technical problems 

If you experience technical difficulties submitting your nomination, please contact Mi-Voice by emailing [email protected] or calling 02380 763987. 

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Notice of forthcoming College Council elections

Elections will soon be held for seven seats on the Council of the College of General Dentistry, and eligible members are encouraged to consider standing.

The Council is elected by College members to provide leadership and support for the dental professions, and to guide the College Trustees in fulfilling the College’s mission.

It includes representation based both on geographical region and professional role.

Members of the Council serve three-year terms, and elections will shortly take place for the following seats:

  • Yorkshire and Northern
  • Central London
  • Wessex & Oxford
  • East of Scotland
  • West & North of Scotland
  • Overseas representative
  • National representative

Those elected would be expected to serve from June 2022 – June 2025, and would then be able to stand for re-election. Further seats will be due for election in 2023 and 2024.

Council members are expected to attend three face-to-face meetings each year, which normally take place on a Friday morning in June, October and February, as well as regular online meetings outside of business hours. Those elected this year will be formally inducted at the Council meeting on Friday 24 June in Cardiff.

Members of the Council may serve up to three elected terms (i.e. nine years), and are eligible to stand in the annual election of two Vice Presidents, and the triennial election of a College President.

All Full Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows of the College, regardless of their dental team role, are eligible to nominate themselves as candidates for election to Council.

Candidates for regional seats must live or work within that region, and be registered with that region with CGDent.

Candidates for the National seat must live or work in the UK, and have a registered UK address with CGDent.

Candidates for the Overseas seat must practice dentistry wholly outside the UK, and have a registered overseas address with CGDent.

Associate Members wishing to nominate themselves for election will need to have successfully completed an upgrade to Full Membership before submitting an application.

An online application process, accompanied by a full description of the role, will be published no later than Friday 18 March 2022, and the deadline for submission of applications will be no earlier than Friday 15 April.

A full election timetable will be published in due course; please return to this page over the coming weeks for updates.

The CGDent UK regions map (above) can be downloaded here. Prospective candidates unsure of their CGDent region should contact us here.

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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). 

Ian Mills FCGDent

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 of 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. 

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