Voting open for College Council elections

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(s).

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. Twelve regional and role-based seats are being elected this year, with elected candidates due to serve from June 2024 – June 2027.

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

  • Faculty of Dentists
  • Faculty of Dental Nursing & Orthodontic Therapy
  • Central London
  • Mersey and North West
  • Trent and East Anglia
  • Wales
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire and Northern

Associate Members, Full Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows of the College who are dentists, dental nurses or orthodontic therapists are eligible to vote for their respective role-based (Faculty) representative. (For electoral purposes, all members have been automatically assigned to one of the College’s four faculties based on the team role in which they have registered their College membership.)

Full Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows of the College whose registered address with the College is within one of the regions in which a ballot is being held are eligible to vote in that regional election.

College Council elections employ the Alternative Vote (AV) system, under which eligible members rank candidates in order of preference. A candidate receiving over 50 per cent of first preference votes is elected. Otherwise the candidate with the fewest first preference votes is eliminated and their second preference votes are reallocated to the remaining candidates until one candidate has more votes than the other remaining candidates put together.

All eligible members were sent an email on Wednesday 24 April 2024 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. The deadline to cast votes is 10am on Friday 24 May 2024.

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 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 here

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 in late May or early June.

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.

CANDIDATES

Faculty of Dentists

Rita Bagga FCGDent

Standing for election at the College of General Dental Practice presents a significant opportunity to actively contribute to the advancement of dental practice. With my extensive experience and dedication to the field, I could offer invaluable insights and perspectives, enriching the discourse within the CGDP community.

Click here for candidate statements

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

I am a dedicated dental professional with extensive experience and a passion for education and clinical practice. Holding a BDS with distinction, along with postgraduate qualifications including MJDF, MSc and MA, and presently studying for a Ph.D. supports my commitment to professional growth and development. I have served as a Senior Clinical Teacher in Restorative Dentistry at Guy’s Dental for over a decade, where I coordinate modules, mentor students, and contribute to curriculum design. Alongside my academic role, I actively engage in General Dental practice since my qualification, ensuring a holistic approach to patient care. My commitment extends beyond clinical and educational realms, as evidenced by my involvement with the General Dental Council as Clinical Advisor and Education Associate and Royal College of Surgeons as a Quality Assurance Advisor for ORE. Furthermore, I am passionate about reducing inequalities as shown through my work with the Local Dental Committee.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

Standing for election at the College of General Dental Practice presents a significant opportunity to actively contribute to the advancement of dental practice. With my extensive experience and dedication to the field, I could offer invaluable insights and perspectives, enriching the discourse within the CGDP community. By participating, I not only have the chance to represent the interests and concerns of my peers but also to influence the direction of policies and initiatives that shape the future of general dental practice. I will endeavour to foster collaboration, innovation, and positive change within the profession, ultimately contributing to the improvement of patient care and the elevation of standards in dental healthcare. Embracing this opportunity aligns with my commitment to excellence and desire to make a lasting impact in the field of dentistry.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

My ambitions for the organisation would revolve around fostering a collaborative and innovative environment that prioritises the advancement of dental practice and patient care. Therefore, I aim to promote initiatives that enhance professional development opportunities for members, ensuring access to knowledge and training resources. Additionally, I aspire to strengthen partnerships with relevant stakeholders to address key challenges facing the dental profession, such as oral health inequalities and workforce development. Through effective communication and engagement, I intend to cultivate a sense of unity and shared purpose among members, empowering them to actively join and contribute to the organisation’s mission. Furthermore, I am committed to advocating for policies and initiatives that promote a welcoming and supportive environment for all dental professionals to be part of locally and nationally.

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.

Throughout my professional journey, I have consistently demonstrated the skill set necessary to contribute meaningfully to the work of the Council. As a Senior Clinical Teacher, I have honed my communication and leadership abilities, guiding and mentoring students while coordinating complex modules and workshops. My roles at the General Dental Council have equipped me with a deep understanding of regulatory processes and the importance of upholding professional standards. Additionally, serving as a Director for the Harrow Local Dental Committee has provided me with invaluable experience in stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, and advocacy for local healthcare needs. On a personal level, I am deeply committed to continuous learning and self-improvement, as evidenced by my pursuit of postgraduate degrees and involvement in research endeavours. These experiences collectively illustrate my capacity to contribute effectively to the Council’s work, leveraging my skills, knowledge, and passion for excellence in dental practice.

Matthew Collins FCGDent

“I have been on the board in a national seat for the last three years, with the last year as Vice President. I have found the experience stimulating and interesting and have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure so far. I am very keen to continue on the board to help forge our way towards a Royal Charter.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

I am a GDP and practice owner in Yorkshire and have further training in prosthodontics and implants. Our 10 surgery practice has been involved in the FD scheme for over 20 years.

I have been involved in the Faculty since gaining membership in 2001. I am passionate about educational progression and mentoring, so following on from attaining my fellowship in 2010 I became a facilitator for the award. In 2021 I was elected to the board for one of the national seats. I have embraced being part of the transition from FGDP into CGDent and endeavoured to add value wherever possible. Last year I was elected as Vice President and have supported the President to steer the college in the direction set by the trustees.

I have 2 teenage boys and an orthodontist wife. Together as a family we enjoy most sports, especially rugby, skiing and the gym.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I have been on the board in a national seat for the last three years, with the last year as Vice President.

I have found the experience stimulating and interesting and have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure so far.

I am very keen to continue on the board to help forge our way towards a Royal Charter. I feel I have the skill set and the energy to add value to the organisation and represent our region.

My involvement with the college since 2001 demonstrates my commitment to it and what is stands for.

Your vote would be gratefully appreciated and to allow me to continue in a role within the College.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

As a College we need to continue to define our career pathway so the whole team has a clear vision of what we represent and how we can support them as members throughout their career.

Progressing the College towards a Royal Charter is an important next step. We strive to raise standards for the whole team, enabling all team members to be the best professional version of themselves.

Increasing awareness of the College is paramount, so all dentists and their team members are inspired to become members.

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 a practice owner and LDC Chair for many years and also Vice Chair of the Yorkshire Forum of LDCs. I am well experienced in chairing meetings and being able to keep meetings on track. This allows robust discussions on relevant topics and the direction required to reach decisions. All the above roles involve working as part of a larger team, requiring constructive intervention to progress ideas. I am organised, considered, tactical and prudent, which are all necessary attributes to work successfully with a wider team.

Javed Ikram FCGDent

My decision to stand for election stems from a deep-seated commitment to advancing the field of general dentistry and serving our professional community. Having been a member of the Strategic Advisory Group, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact that strategic leadership can have on our profession.

Click here for candidate statements

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

Qualifying from Liverpool in 1991, opting for then voluntary VT. I embarked on a career path from three years as a SHO in OMFS across Truro, Portsmouth, and Bristol to over a decade of teaching at the University of Manchester in Oral Maxillofacial surgery, and Staff Implantologist at UCLan, my professional trajectory has been dynamic and enriching.

I am currently the principal for two mixed practices in Lancashire, where I merge my passion for dentistry with a deep commitment to patient care. My love for the field is evident in my pursuit of multiple dental courses and qualifications and my role as a Tier 2 Minor Oral Surgery provider along with handling referrals from various disciplines like endodontics, implants, and orthodontics.

Beyond dentistry, I find solace in traveling, indulging in sports like badminton and squash, and occasionally delving into a good book when time permits!

Why did you decide to stand for election?

My decision to stand for election stems from a deep-seated commitment to advancing the field of general dentistry and serving our professional community. Having been a member of the Strategic Advisory Group under the esteemed founding president, Prof. Nairn Wilson, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact that strategic leadership can have on our profession.

I am a staunch advocate for the establishment of an independent college for general dentistry, believing it to be a crucial step towards elevating our field and providing a dedicated platform for professional development and collaboration.

With over three decades of experience, predominantly in general practice, I am driven by a desire to give back to our profession and leverage my expertise to serve the college and its members effectively.

As a general practitioner, I represent the voice of over 30,000 registered dental practitioners, advocating for their needs and aspirations within the college.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

Central to my ambitions, to attain Royal Charter status, a testament to our commitment to excellence and professionalism. Additionally, I envision positioning the dentist as a trusted consultant in general dental practice, further solidifying our role as integral contributors to the healthcare ecosystem.

My ambitions are centred around elevating our profession to new heights of excellence and impact. My vision is to cultivate a robust community, characterised by a diverse and dedicated team united in our pursuit of excellence. I am committed to fostering an environment that encourages lifelong learning, career progression, and professional development through educational examinations, courses, and research tailored to the nuances of primary care within various healthcare settings.

With your support, I am poised to realise these ambitions and propel our profession towards greater recognition and impact. Together, let us chart a course towards a brighter future for CGDent and the dental profession as a whole.

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.

My 33 year professional journey has been marked by a diverse array of experiences that underscore my ability to contribute effectively to the work of the Council. Serving as a member of the Local Dental Committee for the past five years, BDA local chairman, has honed my skills in collaborative decision-making and advocacy within the dental community. As a mentor to ADI, NW deanery Dental Appraiser and through my tenure at Manchester Dental Hospital and UCLan, I’ve gained a deep understanding of communication requirements and the intricacies of interdisciplinary teamwork.

Leading two dental practices underscores my management and ability to navigate complex operational challenges. I’ve lectured nationally demonstrating my expertise and commitment to knowledge dissemination. Additionally, my collaborative research efforts highlight my dedication to advancing our profession through evidence-based practice. These experiences and skill set are needed to make meaningful contributions to the work of the Council.

Faculty of Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy

Vandana Atul Kanda

I’m standing for election driven by a deep commitment to address the challenges faced by dental nurses. Through my experiences as a locum, I’ve witnessed firsthand the frustrations of colleagues feeling overlooked and stagnant in their careers – unable to advance despite their contributions.

Click here for candidate statements

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

I began my career as a trainee dental nurse in 2014, and after qualifying in 2017, I pursued additional certifications in specialised areas like sedation nursing (SAAD), impression taking, fluoride application, and ILM in decontamination and cross-infection control lead.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work across various dental specialties, including Orthodontics, Minor oral surgery, Implants, and Endodontics. This diverse experience has allowed me to develop a comprehensive skillset and in-depth understanding of dentistry.

Beyond clinical practice, I’ve taken on leadership roles, contributing to the professional development of trainee nurses and managing operations within dental practices. Currently, I’m the proprietor of a respected locum agency, where I help dental practices meet their staffing and compliance needs.

Committed to continual growth, I consistently seek out educational opportunities to advance my expertise in dentistry. In my personal time, I enjoy spending time with my family and reading.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I’m standing for election driven by a deep commitment to address the challenges faced by dental nurses. Through my experiences as a locum, I’ve witnessed firsthand the frustrations of colleagues feeling overlooked and stagnant in their careers – unable to advance despite their contributions.

As your representative, I will be a steadfast advocate, ensuring the voices of dental nurses are heard and their efforts recognised. My goal is to create clear pathways for professional growth and advancement, fostering a supportive environment where every nurse can thrive.

By standing for election, I seek to enact meaningful change that empowers dental nurses to reach their full potential and elevates the profession as a whole. With my diverse expertise and drive for continuous improvement, I’m prepared to be a tireless champion for my colleagues, driving progress and elevating the vital role we play in delivering exceptional dental care.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

As your representative, my ambition is to foster a deeply supportive and empowering environment for dental nurses. I envision spearheading initiatives focused on expanding access to continuous education and training opportunities, enhancing collaboration and networking among professionals, and advocating for policies that prioritize the well-being and advancement of our members.

Crucially, I also aspire to strengthen the visibility and recognition of dental nursing within the broader healthcare community. Through proactive engagement and strategic partnerships, I aim to elevate the status of our profession, emphasising our vital role in delivering exceptional patient care.

Ultimately, I see this organisation as a dynamic hub – one that inspires, educates and advocates, driving positive change that empowers dental nurses to thrive in their careers. By amplifying our voices and celebrating excellence, we can elevate dental nursing and ensure it remains at the forefront of innovation.

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.

Alongside my professional work, I regularly volunteer at a charity dental practice, providing hands-on nursing assistance and overseeing compliance protocols. This community engagement underscores my unwavering dedication to the field and showcases my ability to effectively manage clinical responsibilities while ensuring adherence to regulatory standards.

Through my active participation twice monthly, I demonstrate a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and commitment to delivering high-quality care aligned with industry best practices. This hands-on involvement enhances my skills and cultivates a deep understanding of the challenges facing dental practitioners and the importance of effective governance.

I believe these diverse experiences have equipped me with the requisite skill set to make a meaningful contribution as your representative. Additionally, I offer dental nurses free advice and am readily available to provide guidance whenever they reach out through group chats or other channels.

Jane Dalgarno AssocFCGDent

“Teamworking has been an essential feature throughout my career. This is best illustrated through my support and contribution already made to the dental nursing profession. Beyond Community Dentistry, I continue to represent dental nurses nationally in my BADN role.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

Over the course of my career, i have been dedicated to the advancement of the dental nursing profession.

I started my career in General Dental Practice in 1986, qualifying in 1993.Since 1995, I have primarily been employed in Community Dentistry, where i have progressed in both clinical and educational roles. Currently, as Clinical Workforce Development Lead, I lead on the design and delivery of clinical training projects, and upskilling of the workforce. As an educator, i have a deep understanding of the dental team and specifically, the needs and career aspirations of dental nursing professionals.

I work collaboratively with stakeholders, to deliver innovative approaches to education.

I am past President of the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) and currently hold the position of Deputy Chair of the Education Committee. I have a particular interest in mentoring and the wider use of skill mix within the dental team.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

Teamworking has been an essential feature throughout my career. This is best illustrated through my support and contribution already made to the dental nursing profession. Beyond Community Dentistry, i continue to represent dental nurses nationally in my BADN role. My decision to stand for election has been multifactorial, further influenced by the exemplarily support shown by my peers. I have contributed to CG Dent during my time on the Career pathway Dental Nursing (DN) & Orthodontic Therapy (OT) Working Group and currently in my role on the DN & OT Faculty Board. Representation on CG Dent Council is a progressive step, to enable me to influence further the development of dental nurses and orthodontic therapists. As a member of the inaugural DNOT faculty team, i have contributed to effective working relationships, collaborating on plans relating to membership engagement and recruitment and fundamentally dedicated to progressing the DNOT faculty.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

To nurture mutual respect amongst the dental team. To develop the work already established through the career pathways, to build upon life-long career structures that provide purpose and direction for all dental professionals across the oral health team. To raise the professional standing of the DN & OT Faculty within the college by fostering parity of esteem for all registered occupations, thus highlighting the importance of team working.

Develop a deeper understanding of the professional roles with the dental team and how these roles can best be supported through accessible and meaningful education, embracing the diversity within the workforce.

Promote the role of CG Dent in Primary Dental Care, by raising an awareness of their routes to recognition within the dental sector, for all those who contribute to the progression of oral health.

To influence decisions made, to ensure the college evolves and remains fit for purpose in 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 worked collaboratively with a wide number of organizations during the course of my career. In respect to influencing the development of dental nurses, i have developed and delivered courses from Primary to Foundation Degree level, working with organizations such as Health Education England, Skills For Health, the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN), Universities and several Independent training providers. Beyond my CG Dent role on the Faculty Board, i am an examiner and Subject Matter Expert for the NEBDN and continue my work with the BADN. In addition to my Presidential term, i was chair of BADN’s Executive Committee.

I can clearly demonstrate the importance of Life Long Learning, gaining several post registrable qualifications, an undergraduate degree in Primary Dental Care and a post graduate degree in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (Applied Dental Professional Practice).

I am a team worker, quick to embrace the opinions of others.

Central London

Fazeela Khan-Osborne FCGDent

“I am currently at the end of my presidency for the London Dental fellowship, and am a board member of British Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry. I enjoy and value contribution with my colleagues to organisations that uplift and promote good practice amongst our peers.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

I am a GDP , qualified 30 years who has spent some time in hospital , practice and the community service . I am the founding clinician of a general practice in Central London and i have a special interest in Implant surgical and restorative treatment .

I split my clinical time in practice and also teaching post-graduate implant dentistry both in the Uk and abroad at Diploma and Masters Level.

I spend much of my spare time enjoying the cultural arts and sports with my grown children ; and also volunteering for charitable work with Childline and other overseas projects.

I enjoy the culinary arts ; film and fine dining but am also really interested in where our food comes from and how it gets to our table.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I am currently at the end of my presidency for the London Dental fellowship, and am a board member of British Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry. I enjoy and value contribution with my colleagues to organisations that uplift and promote good practice amongst our peers.

The opportunity to give back to my profession especially within the CGD would be a privilege for me especially as there are exciting developments in the pipeline which would encourage GDPs to be more involved in pathways that recognise their contribution /experience giving them pathways within their remit to progress throughout their career.

It allows me to develop leadership skills and to work within a strategic team of colleagues helping and participating in matters that will ultimately shape some of the pathways that impact on general practice .

I also feel that as i am connected to many younger colleagues that i could understand their career aspirations.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

I would aspire to all members of the team becoming part of the CGD family, with them relating to and feeling that their aspirations are being heard and represented in a manner that is progressive and balanced.

The college needs to connect with our younger colleagues to ensure that future developments and standards will be revised and maintained by GDPs moving forward . I would like the college to be involved in all aspects of mentoring and guidance which would be valid and cogent for all aspects of practice .

The career pathways are of paramount importance and this supported by educational standards being set will go some way to providing a framework which recognises and accredits colleagues who have vast experience and significant training.

I hope to be able to contribute to some of the above.

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 a background in general practice and teaching both at university and private accredited Diploma and Masters Level courses. The groups range from 10-100 delegates .I feel that i can work in a team and also have worked at Board level both at the FGDP , BAAD and ADI.

I have held treasurer , secretary and president roles in the past and have some experience of working in large teams as well as leading and supporting roles both in education and service organisations.

Personally, i believe that coming from a large family and working in a team enables me to develops skills which are vital such as listening and understanding the viewpoint of others. I think as a GDP i can empathise with colleagues of all backgrounds and provide support and encouragement across the board.

Anthony Laurie FCGDent

“I have a lifelong passion for dentistry. I am a maverick but my views are widely accepted and appreciated. I would like to share my ethos and wealth of knowledge with a larger and new generation audience. Dentistry is a brilliant profession but it seems to have lost direction due to being overwhelmed by administrative dictates and the evolution into new technology.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

Lecture internationally. Author of numerous publications including the Technical Appendix to Failure in the Restored Dentition – Management and Treatment, by Dr Michael Wise with whom I worked for twenty years. .

Managing Director of ‘Dental Excellence (Technologies) Ltd.’ and Principal of ‘Dental Education Nurtured Through Science’. Trained at the Eastman. A Fellow of the City and Guilds, a Fellow of the College of General Dentistry. Past President of BAAD, former Director of Education for the DLA.UK Technician of the Year 2003. 2013 received a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to Dentistry. My training facility, offers education and training to clinicians and technicians, I mentor students for a career in dentistry.

Married, four children, nine grandchildren. Squash player, skier and runner. Lover of classical music, enjoy most music, ballet, opera. Devoted to my wife, dog, family, friends, colleagues and students. A lover of life and the joy it brings.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I have a lifelong passion for dentistry.

I am a maverick but my views are widely accepted and appreciated. I would like to share my ethos and wealth of knowledge with a larger and new generation audience.

Dentistry is a brilliant profession but it seems to have lost direction due to being overwhelmed by administrative dictates and the evolution into new technology.

A steadying influence is much needed and I believe the college is the perfect vehicle to lead the way, nurture and support our profession.

Knowledge and understanding are the keys to our success and I would be delighted to share what I have to offer, while I still can.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

To see it recognised as the driver and lead source of excellence for our profession. For our aspirations to be honourable in nurturing oral health for the people we serve through public education on the merits of oral health.

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 a determined, organised, passionate and fastidious individual.

Life has it’s ups and downs but I always remain positive a believe there are solutions to everything.

I have faced numerous professional challenges, which I have overcome through knowledge and kindness, care and empathy for others.

I trained myself to be good at what I do. Excellence is an aspiration, trying to achieve it is what matters. It always results in an acceptable outcome.

Living in a world that aspires to mediocrity results in an unacceptable lack of achievement.

I am a successful educator, trainer, mentor and author. I have nurtured many individuals to great success in our profession.

My business is state of the art in the heart of the City of London.

I’m up for change a progress but never throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I have a devoted successful family. I’ve got something right.

Mersey & North West

Amr Noseir AssocFCGDent

“Having dedicated over a decade to practicing dentistry in the vibrant northwest region, alongside my tenure as Clinical Director overseeing a cohort of over 120 dental professionals, I am propelled by a profound sense of duty to effect tangible change within my community.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

With a distinguished academic background originating from Egypt’s Alazhar University in 2001, I transitioned to the United Kingdom in 2003, embarking on a journey marked by professional growth and significant achievements. Having successfully completed my ORE examinations, I furthered my expertise with a Post Graduate Diploma in Endodontics from Chester University.

My professional trajectory ascended as I assumed the role of Group Clinical Director within a prominent healthcare consortium spanning the regions of north-west England, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. A testament to my commitment to the advancement of dentistry, I fervently devote myself to nurturing the talents of young dentists and international dental graduates navigating their inaugural experiences within the UK’s dynamic healthcare landscape.

Motivated by an unwavering dedication to surpassing challenges and effecting positive change, I am resolutely driven towards realizing ambitious objectives and leaving a lasting impact within my field.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

Having dedicated over a decade to practicing dentistry in the vibrant northwest region, alongside my tenure as Clinical Director overseeing a cohort of over 120 dental professionals, I am propelled by a profound sense of duty to effect tangible change within my community. My stewardship as CEO of Tipton Training Academy underscores my commitment to fostering career advancement and professional excellence amongst dentists.

Standing for election is a natural extension of my mission to empower and guide fellow practitioners towards fulfilling career trajectories. With an established reputation for supporting international dental graduates in navigating the complexities of UK dentistry, I am impassioned to extend my advocacy to a broader scope, ensuring equitable opportunities for all within our profession.

Driven by a fervent desire to enhance the professional landscape, I am compelled to offer my expertise and leadership to propel our collective aspirations towards realization.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

My aspirations for the College of Dentistry are firmly rooted in fostering global collaboration and expanding professional pathways for dentists worldwide. Leveraging my extensive networks within Middle Eastern, African, and Indian academic institutions, syndicates, and governmental bodies, I aim to internationalize CGDent’s programs, facilitating a seamless transition for international dentists entering the UK workforce.

Central to my vision is the establishment of clear and comprehensive career pathways, ensuring the first five years of practice in the UK are navigable and enriching for all practitioners. Additionally, I am committed to bolstering regional support structures, facilitating the formation of study groups to enhance professional and personal development.

By cultivating a vibrant community of CGDent members within these regions, we can collectively elevate standards of dental practice and foster a culture of continuous learning and collaboration.

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.

My professional journey is punctuated by demonstrable examples of my ability to contribute meaningfully to the work of the Council of the College of Dentistry. Having mentored numerous young dentists through their formative years, witnessing their progression to practice ownership, academia, and specialization underscores my efficacy in nurturing talent and fostering professional growth.

My adept organizational skills, honed through years of corporate leadership and as CEO of a renowned private dental education academy, equip me to spearhead initiatives aligned with the College’s overarching vision. Collaborating closely with Health Education England (HEE), I played a pivotal role in devising and implementing medium-term courses aimed at enhancing dental practitioners’ proficiency and ensuring safe practice in the northwest.

Drawing upon this rich tapestry of experiences, I am poised to contribute proactively to the Council’s endeavours, championing innovation, excellence, and inclusivity within the realm of dental education and practice.

Janine Yazdi-Doughty FCGDent

“I decided to stand for election because I believe that I will bring a unique and valuable set of skills to the role of CGDent representative for the North West. Particularly the fusion of clinical practice, teaching, academia and business partnership. I understand dentistry in primary, secondary and tertiary care.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

My clinical background includes working with adults and children with anxieties and/or special educational needs in primary, secondary and tertiary care. Presently, I am practice partner alongside my husband at Crown Bank Dental, an award winning referral practice in the heart of Cheshire. I lead the practice “kids team”, sedation services, patient advisory group, marketing and CPD events. In addition, I’m a clinical lecturer at University of Liverpool and deliver sedation in CDS.

Since graduating in 2010, I’ve pursued my passion to be at the forefront of improving patients’ whole health. I have a masters and PhD in dental public health. I’ve published 30+ peer reviewed articles, received multiple clinical and academic awards, and am an associate Editor for Community Dental Health journal.

I’m mother to two girls aged 2&4. I enjoy taking part in triathlons and recently took up acting, performing my first monologue on stage.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I decided to stand for election because I believe that I will bring a unique and valuable set of skills to the role of CGDent representative for the North West. Particularly the fusion of clinical practice, teaching, academia and business partnership.

I understand dentistry in primary, secondary and tertiary care and I understand the importance of translating research from institutions into evidence-based primary care dental practice.

I have unique insights through my role as primary care dentistry research champion for the North West Clinical Research Network, through introducing national research projects into our own practice and my involvement with the British Dental Association Dental Academic Staff Committee. I want to share these insights with the profession and encourage more general dental practitioners to become involved in research.

I want to support the CGDent in developing policy, research and standards, and creating high quality educational resources.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

My ambitions for the organisation are to contribute to national level policy, research and standards. Particularly advocating for the involvement of primary care dentists in research and academia as well as promoting primary dental care research. I believe that research in primary care is crucial to understanding and meeting the needs of primary care dentists and their patients.

The focus of my current research is oral health stigma. In 2023, along with colleagues, I published a comprehensive description of oral health stigma. I would like to bring a wider understanding to the dental profession of the negative impacts of oral health stigma for patient mental health and wellbeing, life chances and to consider our role as dental professionals in addressing oral health stigma.

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 described above, I am ambitious and determined. I thrive in a range of different dental environments and have excelled in academia and research. Further, my research has been impactful gaining publication in the national news and multiple other newspapers around the globe.

I understand the unique challenges and opportunities of operating a mixed NHS/private dental practice. I am confident in public speaking with experience of international presenting, chairing and organising symposia. I have created novel educational material for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and CPD events. For several years I volunteered with Crisis at Christmas homeless dental service and in special care worked with vulnerable people, therefore I understand the importance of professional awareness of inclusion oral health.

I am tenacious to a fault and believe I would make an excellent CGDent representative.

Trent & East Anglia

Stuart Ellis FCGDent

“I would love to have the honour of representing Trent & East Anglia for CGDent. These are exciting times for the College and, if I am given the opportunity of representing the Members and Fellows in my region, I will do my utmost to serve you as best as I can.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

I am a general dentist with a 5 surgery practice in Cambridge. I was previously an examiner for the FGDP(UK) membership examination. I have taught implant dentistry for many years and I am Director of the Cambridge Academy of Dental Implantology. I am also the Clinical Course Lead for the MSc in Advanced Dental Implantology and the MSc in General Dental Practice at Aston University. I am passionate about the improvement of postgraduate education in general dental practice. I am now coming towards the end of a Masters Degree in Medical Education at The University of Cambridge, where I also occasionally teach in this subject.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I would love to have the honour of representing Trent & East Anglia for CGDent. These are exciting times for the College and, if I am given the opportunity of representing the Members and Fellows in my region, I will do my utmost to serve you as best as I can.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

Although a relatively new organisation, the College of General Dental Practice is an important body for the national promotion of quality and standards in general dental practice. As GDPs, we are the predominant provider of dental care for the population. A high profile and respected College is an essential body to lead the dental profession into the future of dentistry.

I would like to see CGDent gain Royal College status and for the College to continue in its drive for improved career pathways in general dental practice by getting more involved in quality controlling and accrediting postgraduate qualifications which are relevant for all members of the general dental practice team. The surgical Royal Colleges are best placed for postgraduate qualifications in the specialised areas of dentistry but there remains a need for better access and quality control for general dental practice qualifications.

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 experienced clinician and educator, I feel that I have a good understanding of how the members of our profession wish to move forwards into what should be an exciting future for dentistry. Committed dentists and dental team members need a professional body with a solid strategic plan to help us develop our careers and improve the care that we provide to our patients in general dental practice. My experience in leading postgraduate programmes should enable me to help the College continue in its goals of improving the standards of postgraduate education in general dentistry and facilitating structured career pathways for its members.

Shaun Sellars AssocFCGDent

As a dental professional deeply invested in the well-being of patients and fellow practitioners, I am excited to submit my nomination. Having been a GDP for over 20 years, I understand the challenges and difficulties that dental professionals face daily, and I am committed to finding ways to support and uplift the community.

Click here for candidate statements

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

I qualified from Guys’ Hospital in London in 2002. I currently split my clinical week between mixed practice in Bury St. Edmunds and private practice in Nottingham.

In 2021, I completed a Masters’ degree in Dental Law and Ethics from the University of Bedfordshire, gaining a distinction. Following this, I have published multiple papers on subjects including evidence-based dentistry and consent. I also write a regular column on ethics for the BDJ. I am an Associate Fellow of the College of General Dentistry and a member of the BDA’s private practice subcommittee of the GDPC.

I am also a non-executive director for CDS, a social enterprise providing community dentistry for most of the East of England.

Aside from dentistry, I am a keen musician and enjoy life at home in the Suffolk countryside with my wife and Golden Retriever, Monty.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

As a dental professional deeply invested in the well-being of patients and fellow practitioners, I am excited to submit my nomination. Having been a GDP for over 20 years, I understand the challenges and difficulties that dental professionals face daily, and I am committed to finding ways to support and uplift the community.

I believe that serving on the council would be an excellent opportunity for me to use my experience and knowledge to help improve the lives of dental professionals and their patients alike. I am passionate about fostering better communication and collaboration between practitioners and promoting a more compassionate and empathetic approach to patient care.

As a council member, I would work to ensure that dental professionals’ needs and concerns are heard and addressed. I believe that working together can create a brighter future for our profession.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

I believe that the College can and should be a leading light in the profession in terms of standard setting and professional development.

I am passionate about developing career pathways for all members of the dental profession, including nurses, technicians, and therapists, so that newly qualified and experienced clinicians can have a structured future that will lead to greater career stability and success.

Similarly, many clinicians are unsure of what standards are expected of them. Updating current guidelines and developing new ones should be at the forefront of the College’s efforts. Equally, the College should ensure these guidelines are just that and not weaponised to judge us.

And finally, the College should aim to become the Royal College of General Dentistry, indicating the profession’s status in the greater realm of healthcare.

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.

Having qualified over twenty years ago, I understand how the dental profession has developed in its recent history. My work as a non-executive director has built on the leadership skills I developed during my Master’s degree. These skills have led me to work on a therapist training pathway and lead a GDP expansion of a specialist practice.

My collaborative approach, ability to identify key stakeholders, and build consensus around important issues will enable the Council to achieve its objectives promptly and effectively. Additionally, through my writing and lectures on ethics, I have developed the ability to communicate complex ideas to a diverse audience. I can help the Council reach a larger audience and influence policy decisions by breaking down complicated concepts into easy-to-understand terms.

I believe that these combined leadership and communication skills would make me a valuable member of the Council.

Wales

Dalip Kumar AssocFCGDent

“The College of General Dentistry sets standards which are fundamentals to the practice of dentistry in the UK. I have been practicing dentistry in Wales for many years, so I am aware about challenges faced by dental professionals in Wales related to recruitment, workforce retention and career progression.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

My name is Dalip Kumar – a founding member and Associate Fellow of the College of General Dentistry – and I am running for the election of the Wales regional seat.

I obtained MFDS of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow in 2008, and BDS from India in 1994. Moreover, in 2014, I completed P G certificate in Clinical Dentistry from Cardiff University, and MSc in implant dentistry from University of Salford in 2021. I have experience of working in both clinical and research fields of dentistry. Presently, I am the principal dentist of a three-surgery NHS dental practice in Swansea, Wales.

As a current College certified facilitator of the certified membership and having acted as a council member last year, I have been an active member of the college council.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

The College of General Dentistry sets standards which are fundamentals to the practice of dentistry in the UK. I have been practicing dentistry in Wales for many years, so I am aware about challenges faced by dental professionals in Wales related to recruitment, workforce retention and career progression. I decide to stand for election so that I can put forward views and opinion of Welsh members effectively and the college can play its role advocating policies that deliver better oral health in Wales and ensure career progression of Welsh DCPs.

According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Wales has one of the lowest dentist-to-population ratios in the developed world, at just 0.4 dentists per 1,000 people. I will advocate for implementation of policies which benefits Welsh members and retention of dental workforce in Wales which will improve Welsh public oral health.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

My ambitions are to increase number of members of the College throughout the world so that maximum dental professionals can take advantage of structured career pathway which the college offer through certified membership scheme. Also, the college participation in the National policies making process for better oral health and be at front to address the issues faced by dental professionals and the public for their oral health. In addition, regular updates on standards relevant to concurrent practice, and collaborations with like-minded institutions for career progression of DCPs and better oral health of the public.

As a representative of Wales in the College, I intend to use the College as a platform to benefit the public in Wales, and work for the good of our profession which will also include study days for further learning.

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 had organised a focus group meeting in Wales for the preventive dentistry Haleon research project , and inspired and motivated others for driving their progress as a facilitator and a mentor.

I am committed to serving the community and had worked at a charity dental clinic and delivered oral hygiene education at community gatherings.This dedication motivates me to work and advocate for the best interests of members and the Public

Further, my approach will be relevant to the dental team and the range of roles that individuals perform, embracing diversity within our professional constituencies.

Tristan Roberts MCGDent

I would love to be able to be part of something bigger and have a wider impact on the provision of dentistry. I want to help improve the standard of dentistry in Wales and provide an ear to Welsh dentists and support them to improve the standard of care they provide, whilst keeping them interested and motivated to learn.

Click here for candidate statements

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

I am a dentist originally from North Wales and studied in Cardiff University, where I graduated in 2013. I carried out my foundation training in North Wales and have worked in practices primarily in North and South Wales during my professional life. I was an Educational Supervisor for the past 3 years in Cardiff until I started a new role in London and am now split between Cardiff and London and work exclusively as a private dental practitioner in general practice as I wanted to develop my skills with the ‘gold standard’ approach to dentistry. I have also worked as a DCT in Cambridge, Newport and Cardiff Hospitals so I have had a taste of secondary care dentistry, and spent a year working as a dentist in New Zealand.

My personal non-dental interests include health and wellbeing, socialising, sports, philosophy, physics and I sing in a choir

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I would love to be able to be part of something bigger and have a wider impact on the provision of dentistry. I want to help improve the standard of dentistry in Wales and provide an ear to Welsh dentists and support them to improve the standard of care they provide, whilst keeping them interested and motivated to learn.

I believe this would provide an excellent opportunity for me to learn about so many aspects of dentistry that I do not currently have access to, be able to meet and discuss important issues with like minded individuals, as well as providing a sense of fulfilment that I am doing something of importance to the people around me

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

I want to make the college a valuable and attractive asset for dentists to be a part of and work together with other dental organisations and the government improve the standard of care of dentistry in the country.

I want to improve what we can offer and create a culture of growth and support.

I love the continual improvement aspect of the college and want to help provide up to date gold standard practice guidelines in a simple way that dentists can take on board effectively.

I want to use my problem solving skills to deal with the bigger issues facing dentistry

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 a board member of the Welsh Dental Society, where I enjoy working with like minded dentists to tackle the problems we are facing together and contribute towards creating something better for the community

I am confident in providing a voice for the public, where I have spoken on behalf of the BDA for TV and radio coverages of NHS impacts on dentistry in Wales

I am very much a people person and am always open to hearing different opinions. I am keen to improve the team aspect of the college and involvement with both NHS and private dental boards

I spend the majority of my money on courses, so I value the importance of high quality teaching and the benefits of support and mentoring on our dental journeys, I want to ensure the quality of teaching is also excellent and accessible to those who need it

West Midlands

Kaushik Paul FCGDent

“My journey in dentistry has been marked by an unwavering commitment to providing high quality of care to my patients, the pursuit of continuous learning and a drive to carve out a unique career as a General Dental Practitioner. These are synonymous with the Values that the College is striving to promote within the profession.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

I am an overseas qualified dentist who started in NHS practice in the Midlands in 2005 as an associate dentist. I have been an Educational Supervisor in Foundation Training for 7 Years. I am an accredited Tier 2 Oral Surgery provider and sedation trainer. I have experience in Primary Dental Care, the Community Services, the Salaried Hospital Service, and Universities.

Currently I work as a Clinical Director for a large corporate, overseeing 150 practices in the Northwest Region. As well in helping to shape the delivery of local dental services, my role involves working collaboratively with several LATs and being a representative on several MCNs and LPNs.

Additionally I work at the Birmingham Dental Hospital as Speciality Dentist in Oral Surgery and Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Oral Surgery at the School of Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham since 2008. on a personal front I like traveling, good food and music.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

My journey in dentistry has been marked by an unwavering commitment to providing high quality of care to my patients, the pursuit of continuous learning and a drive to carve out a unique career as a General Dental Practitioner.

These are synonymous with the Values that the College is striving to promote within the profession and uniquely placed today to be the broad church that unites all strands of the dental community representing not only Dentists but colleagues from all other dental professional roles.

It would therefore be with great pride that I would join the council of CGDent to serve and progress these causes.

I have had a long association with the College staring with my roles as the Divisional MJDF tutor for the West Midland division of FGDP(UK) and more recently delivering CPD sessions on behalf of the College at the BDA dentistry shows.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

1) Amplify the College’s voice : To advocate through the College ,the needs and concerns of dental professionals across dentistry

2) Inclusivity : To seek to ensure representation from diverse backgrounds from within the wider dental team and work with colleagues on Council to inform and shape our polices and guidelines.

3) Career Pathways and Lifelong learning : to promote and develop the College’s career pathways of the modern dental team and validate high quality education for the profession

4) Collaboration with Stakeholders; To ensure college works collaboratively with Government ,Regulators, industry partners and international colleagues, and widen the sphere of influence of the college.

5) Drive up standards of Care and ensure Patient -centred care: To work towards ensuring that the college continues to set the high standards of care in oral health care and encourage the profession to deliver high quality effective patient centred 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.

1) As a Clinical Director I have to be responsive, proactive and demonstrate leadership and management skills with the ability to be accessible, innovative and problem solve .

2) I have worked in several committee such the Advisory Board for Foundation training , Working Party for NHS Commissioning Guides, and in LDN’s which has allowed me to understand how committees operate and make decisions

3) As a practicing clinician within NHS practice and hospitals , I understand the challenges facing the NHS and the workforce. This will support Council in making policy positions for NHS dentistry.

4) My background in teaching ,mentoring and educational assessment will support the College’s development of Career Pathways and the Certified Membership Scheme.

5) My experience of working with international colleagues will support the college’s ambition to provide a support network for the overseas trained workforce in the UK and work with international organisations

Kanwar Ratra MCGDent

I was elected and served on the board of CGDent for the last three years holding the seat for the West Midlands representative. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last few years seeing the college incepted and also grow in membership and strength as well as recognition n the profession and amongst other professional bodies.

Click here for candidate statements

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

Having qualified in 1999 from Liverpool Dental School I completed my MFGDP (London UK) and a PGCME from Birmingham University. 5 years post VT I opened a practice in 2005.

I acquired my second practice in 2015. A large multi-disciplinary practice in Bromsgrove and opened another new practice after converting it from an old sweet shop to The Sweet Smile on a high street in 2023. I am a partner in a fourth practice in Manchester

I have been an FD trainer from 2006-2019 and a part-time clinical lecturer at Birmingham Dental School from 2003 to 2013. I run training courses in dentistry also

I have held a position on the BDA Central Counties Branch for over a decade and served as president for two years in this time.

A love for travelling and sport and support my three children in their journey with Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I was elected and served on the board of CGDent for the last three years holding the seat for the West Midlands representative. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last few years seeing the college incepted and also grow in membership and strength as well as recognition n the profession and amongst other professional bodies

Continuing this work with, and for its members and also supporting colleagues across all disciplines in dentistry is something I have been an advocate for for many years. General Practice should be able to stand up and be counted with a voice that should be heard.

Working with like minded people over the last three years has allowed the college to grow and, from here its needs to flourish further with the correct leadership and support from its board. I believe I have and will continue to add value to this very credible organisation for dentistry

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

To see the College of General Dentistry continually growing in membership, in its recognition amongst other professional organisations and see it receive its Royal Charter

Empowering primary dental care and seeing and hearing a voice for GDPs as well as Dental Therapists, Technicians, DCP etc. Seeing this voice grow to enable CGDent to contribute and turn the wheels of change politically, and professionally.

I would like to see CGDent engage with the government to drive change in the NHS and also create a fair and transparent system of regulation with GDC and see CGDent standing along side other colleges and be equal in stature, ability, importance and recognition.

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.

Owning and managing practices and understanding the challenges to dental professionals and the team I feel is invaluable to contributing and shaping the college.

I believe i have the right skill sets to interact with its members in turn allowing me to assist in taking forward suggestions and concerns to regulatory bodies such as the CQC or GDC and also trade unions like the BDA as well as government to continually drive change for the better

Being able to bring such matters as an example to the CGDent board opens a voice of the profession to deliver better learning, policy ad harmony in the profession. This is something I have decades of experience with sitting as an elected member on various panels.

I am passionate about education in the profession and supporting its younger or less experienced members is a definite focus.

Anoup Nandra FCGDent

I decided to stand for election because I am deeply committed to advancing the field of dentistry and supporting the dental community. I believe in the college and its values and feel that serving in this role provides an opportunity to contribute to the development of dental standards, education, and professional practice.

Click here for candidate statements

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

Born and raised in Birmingham, following graduation from the University of Birmingham in 2002, I undertook postgraduate training at the Eastman. Now practicing in two locations in the West Midlands, I focus on general dentistry with an interest in surgical dentistry and implantology.

I take great pride in my dental practices and the dedicated team I work with. Our commitment to excellence has driven us to continuously refine our approach, ensuring the highest standard of care for our patients.

Beyond clinical work, I’m currently pursuing a Master’s in Law to expand my knowledge and enhance my professional capabilities.

I’ve served as a clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham and a Foundation Dental Trainer, promoting postgraduate education. Additionally, I’m a committee member of the Birmingham LDC.

Outside of dentistry, I cherish time with family and friends, along with playing cricket at the weekends, despite my modest skills on the field.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I decided to stand for election as a Council Member at the College of General Dentistry because I am deeply committed to advancing the field of dentistry and supporting the dental community. I believe in the college and its values and feel that serving in this role provides an opportunity to contribute to the development of dental standards, education, and professional practice.

The college and its previous versions have given me so much, and this is my opportunity to give back.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

My ambitions for the college involve promoting its culture of excellence, innovation, and inclusivity within the dental community.

I would like to be given an opportunity to collaborate with fellow members and stakeholders to elevate the standards of dental care, promote continuous professional development, and advance patient outcomes. By fostering collaboration and communication among members, I hope to help create a supportive environment that empowers dentists to thrive in their careers and deliver the highest quality care to patients.

Ultimately, my goal is to contribute to the College’s mission of advancing the art and science of dentistry for the betterment of our wonderful 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.

Over the years, I have cultivated a skill set that I believe will contribute meaningfully to the work of the Council.

As a clinical lecturer, mentor and Foundation Dental Trainer, I’ve honed leadership abilities by guiding the next generation of professionals. Effective communication, essential for collaboration, has been central in my roles interacting with patients and colleagues. I’ve developed strong problem-solving skills through analysing complex clinical cases. My commitment to continuous learning, ensures I stay updated on the latest developments and techniques in and around dentistry.

I have experience of working with a large membership as I am one of the administrators of an online group with 20,000 members and I can bring insight from what I have learnt from this role. Lastly, my collaborative approach, fostered through teamwork in clinical and non-clinical settings, enables me to work harmoniously with fellow Council members towards shared objectives.

Yorkshire & Northern

Matthew Collins FCGDent

“I have been on the board in a national seat for the last three years, with the last year as Vice President. I have found the experience stimulating and interesting and have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure so far. I am very keen to continue on the board to help forge our way towards a Royal Charter.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

I am a GDP and practice owner in Yorkshire and have further training in prosthodontics and implants. Our 10 surgery practice has been involved in the FD scheme for over 20 years.

I have been involved in the Faculty since gaining membership in 2001. I am passionate about educational progression and mentoring, so following on from attaining my fellowship in 2010 I became a facilitator for the award. In 2021 I was elected to the board for one of the national seats. I have embraced being part of the transition from FGDP into CGDent and endeavoured to add value wherever possible. Last year I was elected as Vice President and have supported the President to steer the college in the direction set by the trustees.

I have 2 teenage boys and an orthodontist wife. Together as a family we enjoy most sports, especially rugby, skiing and the gym.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I have been on the board in a national seat for the last three years, with the last year as Vice President.

I have found the experience stimulating and interesting and have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure so far.

I am very keen to continue on the board to help forge our way towards a Royal Charter. I feel I have the skill set and the energy to add value to the organisation and represent our region.

My involvement with the college since 2001 demonstrates my commitment to it and what is stands for.

Your vote would be gratefully appreciated and to allow me to continue in a role within the College.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

As a College we need to continue to define our career pathway so the whole team has a clear vision of what we represent and how we can support them as members throughout their career.

Progressing the College towards a Royal Charter is an important next step. We strive to raise standards for the whole team, enabling all team members to be the best professional version of themselves.

Increasing awareness of the College is paramount, so all dentists and their team members are inspired to become members.

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 a practice owner and LDC Chair for many years and also Vice Chair of the Yorkshire Forum of LDCs. I am well experienced in chairing meetings and being able to keep meetings on track. This allows robust discussions on relevant topics and the direction required to reach decisions. All the above roles involve working as part of a larger team, requiring constructive intervention to progress ideas. I am organised, considered, tactical and prudent, which are all necessary attributes to work successfully with a wider team.

Thomas Stapleton AssocFCGDent

“Standing for election to a possible seat at the College of General Dentistry offers a unique opportunity to contribute actively to the advancement of the college and dental profession. Since taking up a position as Leeds Dentinal Tubules study club lead, I have first hand experience managing colleagues and advocated for their interests and concerns.”

Click here for candidate statements

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

After completing my PhD in tissue engineering, I decided to look to a career in dentistry. Following completion of my BChD I have furthered my training by taking the MJDF, Postgraduate certificate in restorative dentistry through the Dominic Hassall Academy and multiple other courses. This culminated with me completing a Diploma in Endodontics with distinction through Simply Endo and the University of Chester. This has allowed me to take a position of clinical lead at a group of private dental practices as well as taking external referrals for endontic. Outside of dentistry, I have a young family of which we love to take walks in the Yorkshire countryside. I also love CrossFit gym and reading to keep me physically and mentally in shape.

Why did you decide to stand for election?

Standing for election to a possible seat at the College of General Dentistry offers a unique opportunity to contribute actively to the advancement of the college and dental profession. Since taking up a position as Leeds Dentinal Tubules study club lead, I have first hand experience managing colleagues and advocated for their interests and concerns of which I have taken a lot of enjoyment. Additionally, holding a seat at the college would provide a platform to collaborate with colleagues, share expertise, and influence policy decisions that shape the direction of the college in my area and subsequently the profession.

I feel I am at an age and experience where I may now be able to benefit my peers in their career choices and progression.

What are your ambitions for the organisation?

In the ever-evolving landscape of dentistry, it is my hope that the College envisions a future marked by innovation, inclusivity, and excellence in patient care. The college should look to position itself to lead the profession into new frontiers of research, education, and practice. Embracing technological and theoretical advancements, the college should

empower its members with cutting-edge tools and knowledge, enabling them to deliver superior dental care tailored to the diverse needs of their patients. As ever fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development is the backbone of these goals.

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.

Clinical – Clinical Lead and DWSI.

Leadership – Dentinal Tubules Study Club Lead.

Outside of dentistry skill set – worked in multiple scientific industries prior to enrolling in dentistry

Age/Maturity – at a period in my life when I have more flexibility to take on other roles, especially as I am not burdened by practice ownership

Networking – generally good contacts throughout dentistry

REMINDERS: VOTES SHOULD BE CAST THROUGH THE UNIQUE LINK SENT TO ELIGIBLE MEMBERS BY MI-VOICE BY EMAIL; VOTING CLOSES AT 23:59 ON FRIDAY 24 MAY 2024

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New PDJ online: General dentistry (part one)

The latest issue of the Primary Dental Journal, ‘General dentistry (part one)’, is now live online.

The issue features articles on a wide range of topics of relevance to the whole dental team, selected by the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Prof Igor Blum (Clinical Professor of Primary Care Dentistry and Advanced General Dental Practice at King’s College London).

Topics covered include, among others, an exploration of the Delivering Better Oral Health version 4 toolkit; an examination of job satisfaction/dissatisfaction among dentists and dental care professionals; a review of current trends in digital implant planning and rehabilitation; and an update on dental transpositions. This issue also includes the final update on College developments by Dr Abhi Pal, whose term as President ends in June 2024. (The full list of contents is below.)

Outlining the purposes of the general dentistry issues, Prof Blum said:

“As part of our ongoing effort to support the journey of continued learning and development of the primary dental care team, the articles in these issues address topics likely to be informative and relevant to your practice, and which I trust readers will find stimulating, interesting and valuable.”

Full online access to the majority of articles is reserved for College of General Dentistry members and Primary Dental Journal subscribers, who can also expect their printed copies to arrive in the next 2–3 weeks.

For non-members / non-subscribers, at least one paper in each issue is made available online free of charge, with all other articles available to purchase via the links below.

An annual print subscription, normally costing £130, is included with membership of the College, which also includes online access to the current issue, access to the PDJ Archive of over 1,400 past articles, and a range of other benefits. College membership, which is tax deductible, is available from £125 for dentists, £83 for other dental professionals, and £42 for Dental Nurses, new registrants and concessions.

On behalf of the College, the PDJ editorial team would like to express its gratitude to all the authors and peer reviewers who have contributed to the publication of this issue.

CGDent members can view full articles by logging in via the yellow button below, then clicking ‘Access the PDJ Archive’:

Issue contents:

The next issue of the journal, General dentistry (part two), is due out in Summer 2024.

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College to elect Council members from across the dental team

The College is expanding its elected national representation to encompass the whole dental team.

Elections are held each year for a number of seats on the College’s Council, and this year, for the first time, four role-based seats will be elected: one each representing dentists; dental hygienists and dental therapists; dental nurses and orthodontic therapists; and dental technicians and clinical dental technicians.

Those elected will serve three-year terms starting in June 2024, during which they will help to shape the College’s development, have the opportunity to be involved in areas such as careers, policy and standards, and be eligible to vote and stand in the annual election of two Vice Presidents of the College.

The elections, which are the latest step in a journey to build a Royal College for the general dental team, are taking place twenty years after the College’s predecessor organisation, the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP), began admitting Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) into Affiliate Membership.

However Affiliate Members – a category distinct from the Associate Membership and higher grades of membership then available only to dentists – could not progress in membership, nor stand for elected office or vote in elections, and their board representative did not carry a vote.

When the FGDP transferred into the College, CGDent became the first organisation of its type to allow all qualifying dental professionals into substantive membership, with Full Membership and Associate Fellowship opened to all team roles in 2021, followed by Fellowship in 2022.

For those without postgraduate qualifications, Associate Membership of the College is also now available equally to all registered dental professionals, with Affiliate Membership open to non-clinical team members such as practice managers.

At the same time as these changes were made, three additional seats were created on the College Council, all with voting rights, to ensure fuller representation of all registrant roles. These seats have been appointed during the early years of the College’s existence, but in becoming elected will further improve the standing of DCPs.

The franchise for the role-based seats has also been expanded to include Associate Members, enabling a greater number of DCPs and younger dentists to participate in Council elections, many for the first time.

And in addition to the role-based seats, dental professionals from across the clinical team who are Full Members may stand in any of the eight regional seats for which elections are also being held this year: Central London; Mersey and North West; North East and North West Thames; South West; Trent and East Anglia; Wales; West Midlands; and Yorkshire and Northern.

Nominations open on Friday 15 March and close on Monday 15 April, and dental professionals wishing to stand for election will need to be a member of the College to submit their nomination. Those not already a member are advised to apply for membership by the end of March in order to allow the process to complete in time.

Further information on the role and nominations process is available via the button below.

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Notice of elections

Elections will soon be held for twelve regional and role-based seats on the College Council, and all eligible members are invited to consider standing.

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.

Elections are being held this year for eight of the thirteen regional seats on the Council, and for the first time also to four seats representing specific roles within the dental team.

Nominations will be open from Friday 15 March to Monday 15 April. Following validation of nominations, voting will open during the week commencing 22 April and will close 30 days later, with the results announced shortly thereafter.


The role

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 also get involved in specific initiatives on areas such as careers, policy and standards.

If elected, you would serve a three-year term, from June 2024 – June 2027, during which you would be expected to attend face-to-face Council meetings on three Fridays each year, as well as regular online meetings and occasional committees outside of business hours. Your first Council meeting would be on Friday 21 June 2024 in London. 

You would also be expected to vote, and eligible to stand, in the annual election of two Vice Presidents; to participate in the triennial appointment of a College President; and to attend College events around the UK.

You would be able to stand for re-election in 2027, and individuals may serve up to three elected terms (i.e. nine years) on the Council. The role is voluntary, but we do cover essential expenses. A role profile is available below.


Eligibility

To stand for election to a regional seat, you must be a Full Member, Associate Fellow or Fellow of the College (in any team role) and must live or work within that region, and be registered to that region with the College.

To stand for election to a role-based seat, you must be an Associate Member, Full Member, Associate Fellow or Fellow of the College, and must be registered with the GDC (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant role for the seat. All members are automatically assigned to one of the College’s four faculties for electoral purposes, based on the team role in which they have registered their College membership.

If you are a member considering upgrading your membership in order to stand or vote in an election, 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.


Council seats for election in 2024

Nomination are sought for the following seats:

  • Central London
  • Mersey and North West
  • North East and North West Thames
  • South West
  • Trent and East Anglia
  • Wales
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire and Northern
  • Faculty of Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy
  • Faculty of Dental Nursing & Orthodontic Therapy
  • Faculty of Dental Technology & Clinical Dental Technology
  • Faculty of Dentists

College electoral regions

If you are unsure which College region you are in, check your entry on the Member Register 


Nominations process

On 15 March 2024 (tbc), all eligible members will be emailed a link to the nominations website by the College’s election services provider, Mi-Voice.

If you are interested in standing for election, you will need to complete the nomination process via that link (once received), 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 nomination. For regional seats, your supporters must each be a Full Member, Associate Fellow or Fellow of the College. For role-based seats, your supporters must each be an Associate Member, Full Member, Associate Fellow or Fellow of the College. If you are unsure of the membership status or region of potential supporters, please consult our Member Register

If you think you might like to put yourself forward as a candidate and would like further information before deciding, 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]

Please note that this item was amended on 28 February 2024 to reflect the addition of Central London to the list of regional seats being elected this year

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Full response to ‘Recovery Plan’ for NHS dentistry in England

The College has published its full response to the government’s Dental Recovery Plan, adding further detail to the interim response from its President, Dr Abhi Pal FCGDent, which was issued earlier this week.

Announcing the plan, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins MP quoted the College on the importance of making use of the full range of skills of all dental team members

The updated statement from the College includes responses to the proposal to speed up entry to the NHS Performers List; to the idea of commissioning private-only dentists to deliver NHS care; to the intention to press the GDC in relation to the recognition of additional qualifications as being equivalent to the UK BDS; to the intended expansion of the LDS, and to the plan to provide preparatory support for LDS candidates. It also includes additional considerations in relation to the proposed ‘golden hello’; to the creation of a provisional registration scheme; and to the increase in the number of dental school places.

The new commentary is as follows:

“While we support in principle the NHS making use of available local capacity to provide much-needed dental care, the proposal to use private-only dentists to do this would either fail or be completely iniquitous to those practitioners who have remained committed to NHS delivery. The correct solutions are to take measures to support the recruitment and retention of dental professionals in the NHS, and to support the financial viability of practices through adequate funding of contracts.

“We are already looking forward to an increase in the number of sittings and places for the Overseas Registration Examination, and we welcome the proposed expansion of the LDS examination. We also welcome proposals to support candidates in preparing for the LDS, and would advocate for similar support to be made available to candidates preparing for the ORE.

“We support the intention to speed up entry to the NHS Performers List, and the possibility of provisional registration, but public safety must not be compromised in our haste to fill gaps in the workforce. There must be proper structure in the training and assessment of provisional registrants, and a robust Quality Assurance process must be developed to ensure that the end product is a Safe Practitioner. Additional training and support may also be required for supervising dentists, as this role may well be more challenging than that of Educational Supervisor of Foundation Dentists.

“Similarly, we support the intention to identify non-EEA qualifications which meet the standard required for registration as a dentist in the UK, but due care and rigour must take priority in order to ensure patient safety. In time, this may prove a useful additional means of ameliorating the labour shortage experienced by dental practices, and the consequent lack of access to NHS dental care experienced by so many patients.”

The sections of the response which have been expanded are as follows:

“The planned ‘golden hello’ scheme also brings implicit recognition of the difficulties experienced by dental practices in the recruitment and retention of clinical staff to deliver NHS dental care. However, we are concerned that the proposed short-term offer, which is in any case limited to dentists, may fail to overcome many practitioners’ long-term concerns about embarking on a career in NHS care delivery, among which are burnout, lack of career progression and insufficient recognition for enhanced skills. We would emphasise that these factors apply not only to dentists but to other members of the dental team, especially dental nurses, and consideration should be given to exploring alternative models of incentivisation to support their recruitment and retention.”

“We are already looking forward to the increase in the number of dental school places available for dentistry, dental hygiene and dental therapy students. The planned expansion of student numbers must be accompanied by an appropriate increase in academic teaching capacity and resources so that the quality of undergraduate training is maintained.”

The College response in full is below.


The College’s response to the ‘Dental Recovery Plan’ in full

Responding to the government’s Dental Recovery Plan, Dr Abhi Pal FCGDent, President of the College, said:

“The government has set out a range of initiatives intended to help tackle some of the many longstanding problems facing NHS dental provision in England. These include some potentially positive new initiatives, which we welcome, alongside previously made announcements. However, while some further positive changes to the dental contract are anticipated later this year, the Dental Recovery Plan does not represent the more fundamental contract reform which is required, nor will the additional £210m in funding behind the plan, welcome as it is, restore universal access to NHS dental care.

“We welcome the proposed Smile For Life programme, with its focus on intervening early to prevent oral diseases in children. Tooth decay remains the leading cause of hospital admission for 6–10-year-olds in England, and a preventative approach has the potential to reduce the need for restorative treatment. However, we wait to see whether sufficient resources will be invested for the programme to be a success.

“The additional temporary funding aimed at those who have been unable to access dental care for two years or more is much needed. However, we would like to see consideration of the ongoing care of individuals benefitting from this initiative.

“The intention to bring NHS dentistry back to some of the many communities who have lost access to it is also very welcome. While mobile units may help in the short term, bricks-and-mortar dental surgeries should remain the backbone of routine ongoing care delivery, and appropriate funding should be put in place to support the re-establishment of NHS practices to address lack of access and meet the volume of need.

“While we support in principle the NHS making use of available local capacity to provide much-needed dental care, the proposal to use private-only practices to do this would either fail or be completely iniquitous to those practices which have remained committed to NHS delivery. The correct solutions are to take measures to support the recruitment and retention of dental professionals in the NHS, and to support the financial viability of practices through adequate funding of contracts.

“The planned ‘golden hello’ scheme also brings implicit recognition of the difficulties experienced by dental practices in the recruitment and retention of clinical staff to deliver NHS dental care. However, we are concerned that the proposed short-term offer, which is in any case limited to dentists, may fail to overcome many practitioners’ long-term concerns about embarking on a career in NHS care delivery, among which are burnout, lack of career progression and insufficient recognition for enhanced skills. We would emphasise that these factors apply not only to dentists but to other members of the dental team, especially dental nurses, and consideration should be given to exploring alternative models of incentivisation to support their recruitment and retention.

“We are already looking forward to the increase in the number of dental school places available for dentistry, dental hygiene and dental therapy students. The planned expansion of student numbers must be accompanied by an appropriate increase in academic teaching capacity and resources so that the quality of undergraduate training is maintained.

“We also look forward to the implementation of medicines exemptions for dental hygienists and therapists. Greater recognition and use of the full range of skills of all team members will enable the delivery of more care and make NHS dentistry more attractive to dental professionals. We also look forward to further proposals which empower the wider dental team when the next set of contractual changes are consulted upon.

“We also recognise that an increase in the minimum UDA value will support a minority of practices to continue delivering NHS dental care. And we support the intent to introduce community water fluoridation in areas of high need as this has the potential to reduce the prevalence of oral diseases and the need for invasive interventions.

“Finally, while dental practices struggle to recruit and many patients struggle to access care, there are many dental professionals who have qualified and practised overseas and who could be providing care here in the UK, but are unable to do so due to the waiting lists for registration exams.

“We are already looking forward to an increase in the number of sittings and places for the Overseas Registration Examination, and we welcome the proposed expansion of the LDS examination. We also welcome proposals to support candidates in preparing for the LDS, and would advocate for similar support to be made available to candidates preparing for the ORE.

“We support the intention to speed up entry to the NHS Performers List, and the possibility of provisional registration, but public safety must not be compromised in our haste to fill gaps in the workforce. There must be proper structure in the training and assessment of provisional registrants, and a robust Quality Assurance process must be developed to ensure that the end product is a Safe Practitioner. Additional training and support may also be required for supervising dentists, as this role may well be more challenging than that of Educational Supervisor of Foundation Dentists.

“Similarly, we support the intention to identify non-EEA qualifications which meet the standard required for registration as a dentist in the UK, but due care and rigour must take priority in order to ensure patient safety. In time, this may prove a useful additional means of ameliorating the labour shortage experienced by dental practices, and the consequent lack of access to NHS dental care experienced by so many patients.”

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Using self-directed learning at dental school

Second year Dental Therapy and Hygiene student at the University of Portsmouth, Modupe Ilesanmi, advocates using self-directed learning to improve your performance at dental school.

What is self-directed learning?

Self-directed learning (SDL) is an approach to taking responsibility for acquiring knowledge on a particular subject matter in order to become proficient in that area.  In a didactic teaching method, the learner often takes on a passive role of receiving information. However, in a clinical environment such as dentistry, a student is presented with a variety of unique cases that raise questions on content learnt, so a didactic teaching method alone is not sufficient.  For instance, you could have a patient present with an unfamiliar case and you are expected to find appropriate resources that support your clinical judgement. Another example is where you venture on an in-depth learning journey on a topic of interest.

SDL initiates and shifts the student’s learning experience from a passive state to a state of autonomy, thereby providing room for learners to take the lead on their own learning experience. The academic then takes on the role of a facilitator and motivator rather than instructor.  Consequently, your learning ability and confidence as a student is enhanced.

What I’ve gained by using self-directed learning

Through self-directed learning, I’ve gained control over my academic trajectory. SDL allows me to dictate my educational needs and customise my learning schedule according to my preferences. With the flexibility to decide what, when, and how I learn, I’m able to progress at my own pace. In addition, I can hone my critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It enables me to analyse evidence and draw independent conclusions, skills essential for academic excellence and lifelong learning. Furthermore, SDL empowers me to set goals, manage my time effectively, and assess my progress. These self-regulation abilities not only enhance my academic performance but also serve as a valuable asset in advancing my career.

How to navigate self-directed learning in dental school

  1. Identify your learning needs

    The ability to apply the knowledge you have obtained is crucial in dentistry. In order to achieve this, thoroughly understanding the subject is vital. To understand a topic you must identify your knowledge gaps. To do this you have to be true to yourself. Write down everything you know about the topic then proceed to using resources such as lecture slides or textbooks to supplement what you know. This will eventually advance your proficiency in the subject matter. Knowledge gaps can also be identified through reflection on your performance and feedback from lecturers or peers.
  1. Determine the learning outcomes

    It is important to understand the objective of any particular learning. How is this going to help me as a student? The learning objective answers the question “why am I learning this?” Learning objectives also keep you on track. Set a number of questions around the subject matter that you should be able to understand by the end of the study.
  1. Gather a variety of sources for identified topics

    Depending on what you study, there are various resources you can use to gather the relevant information. For instance: protocols, guidelines, textbooks, evidence-based research. Knowing what type of resource you need is relevant to identifying the right information and will help you achieve your learning objective efficiently. An understanding of what each resource is and how to apply them is key.
  1. Narrow everything down to key points

    Narrow everything you found on the subject at hand to key points based on the learning objectives. Going back to your learning needs will help to keep you on track and not go off on a tangent.
  1. Retain the information

    An evidence-based method for retention is active recall and space repetition. Information that is not revisited will be eventually forgotten, whereas information that is consistently actively revisited, will be retained for a longer period of time. Try asking yourself questions about what you have learnt at different intervals. 

Top tips: in order to stay motivated, always remember the reason you are embarking on this study. Remember how this will help you be a better clinician in the long run. Be accountable to someone who will keep you in check. For dental students, developing a self-directed learning approach at university will be valuable throughout your career, especially for your continuing professional development.


Author bio

“I am a second year Dental Therapy and Hygiene student at the University of Portsmouth. I am keen on restorative dentistry. My hobbies outside of dental school are swimming and playing the piano.”

Modupe Ilesanmi

A dental therapist’s unexpected journey

Dental therapist and business operations manager, Poppy Dunton, reflects on her career in dentistry and how her mantra that “every day is a school day” has supported her development.

Never would I have expected to have the career that I did out of dentistry. I was a disgruntled 15-year-old being told my graphic design two-week work placement had pulled out. With everyone else having picked their placements, I was left with the unexpected choice of a dental practice. “A dental practice! You’ve got to be joking?” I initially thought. Yet, as I made cups of tea and filed blue forms, the hustle and bustle of the place felt surprisingly comfortable. To say I enjoyed it was an understatement.

As the two-week period ended, the principal dentist offered me a part-time after-school job – making tea and cleaning the old impression trays (pre-single use era), and earning £3.15 per hour. I jumped at the chance, feeling like I was made of money. Every day after school, I would walk and do my 4 pm – 6:30 pm shift. When a trial day at Northampton College for photography didn’t sit right with me, I informed the principal dentist that evening. My father was called in for a meeting, and that’s when the principal dentist said, “I’ll only give her a job here, Graham if she makes something of her life.” That evening became the catalyst for my passion in dentistry.

The evolution of my career is intricately tied to a commitment to education. I embarked on an evening college course, alongside my apprenticeship, to train to become a dental nurse. Tuesday evenings in Milton Keynes led to passing the NEBDN Certificate in Dental Nursing. Once I had this, I spent the following months learning as much as possible – four-handed dentistry, impression taking, and implant nursing. The practice grew, and another was bought over the road, giving me the chance to set up an oral hygiene program.

Following my return from Cardiff University, where I completed a diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy, I was privileged enough to be offered my job back in the practice where I started. The first week was a week to remember; I ran an hour late, fell down the stairs, and stuck two teeth together. I had the most patient mentors, and working in an NHS practice was fantastic, allowing me to complete my full scope of practice, including paediatrics. Was it hard? Yes. Did it teach me speed and resilience? Absolutely.

After graduating in 2012, there were limited postgraduate options. Notable pursuits included constantly up-skilling and working in a team supportive of therapists. Composite courses with GC in Belgium, Level 7 in Employment Law, and being promoted to operations manager of two NHS practices – eventually managing a team of 64 staff – led to me being offered a practice manager position four years into my career. This opened learning about people psychology, leadership, and planning team meetings alongside my clinical career.

I was privileged enough to then open a squat practice alongside my principal, with a business plan for two surgeries over two years which resulted in 10 surgeries being opened over five years, including a vaccination clinic.  Three CQC inspections later, and the role of CQC manager was also added to my repertoire. The most rewarding part of project managing the development of this new practice was recruiting a group of individual dental professionals and watching them grow into a wonderful team.

Upon completing a PGDip in Perio and PGDip in Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry, I was introduced to the College of General Dentistry and was eager to explore the recognition I could gain as a dental therapist. Unfortunately, the course credits were not enough per course to contribute towards Fellowship. Thus, I joined the College’s Certified Membership Scheme (CMS) to gain guidance on how to continue advancing my career and choose the best postgraduate training to reflect my aspirations. As part of the Scheme, I have regular contact with a Facilitator who consistently ensures that my investment in courses leads me in the correct direction. Ongoing self-reflection allows me to constantly critique myself, and the leadership module fits well with my management of staff, completing practice meetings, and public speaking. Being part of the CMS has supported me to complete a Level 5 ILM in Leadership and Management, by enabling me to choose an appropriate course and help develop leadership qualities.

The College’s Professional Framework, which underpins the Certified Membership Scheme, maps 22 key capabilities, many of which have played a crucial role in my journey. Emphasising the value of postgraduate education, I would encourage new graduates to embrace opportunities for further learning and to constantly be self-critical of their work. Recording self-reflection, taking photographs, and analysing what went well in each case, shadowing peers, or approaching colleagues for their opinions are essential. Don’t fear failure; it’s what makes you better.

In my experience, this profession can be challenging and, at times, isolating. There are days when running late, neglecting notes, skipping meals, and even necessities like restroom breaks become the norm. The toll on one’s body—back pain, eye strain, and hand fatigue—can be significant. Looking after your long-term career is vital. Record-keeping has been one of the largest changes I’ve seen, starting in my early career with very short notes. Now, ensuring my conversations with patients are highlights in notes, and my nurses help and scribe during appointments. This has proved invaluable when a complaint arises. Protecting yourself is vital.

The most unexpected rewards in my dental therapy role often come during these challenging moments. Patient gratitude and the joy of assisting anxious individuals through treatment illuminate the darker days.

This career has allowed me ongoing dedication to continuous learning, reflecting on my mentor’s ethos of “everyday is a school day”. My commitment to education and mentorship is rooted in a desire to guide new professionals in navigating complexities while maintaining their well-being. In 2023, I was privileged to join the Board of the Faculty of Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy for the College and long to continue my career in teaching.

Recently I have relocated due to family illness, and this marks the end of a significant chapter in my career, prompting reflection on the unconventional path that led me to the field of dentistry, the intricacies of managing a bustling practice, combined with the personal growth and educational pursuits that defined my journey. In conclusion alongside all new graduates, I continue to embrace new challenges and aspirations, remaining steadfast in my commitment to contributing positively to the ever-evolving world of dental therapy.

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How the dental sector could retain dental nurses

Dental nurse, Dr Debbie Reed FCGDent, is Chair of the inaugural board of the College’s Faculty of Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy and a Reader and Director of Advanced and Specialist Healthcare in Global and Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent. In this blog, Debbie reflects on the results of her recent research into dental nurse retention in the UK.

There are currently over 61,6631 dental nurses (DNs) on the General Dental Council (GDC) register, making dental nurses the largest occupational group of dental registrants.  However, in recent years there has been a perceived drop in the numbers of dental nurses, to the extent that this has been termed a ‘recruitment crisis’. In my capacity as Reader (associate professor) in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare, I conducted the Dental Nurse Retention Survey, in February – March 20232, which aimed to explore the  current state of the registered Dental Nurse workforce within the United Kingdom (UK).

The main conclusions of the subsequent report3 provide valuable insights into the reasons dental nurses want to remain in the profession, as well as some of the factors that may lead them to consider leaving.

There are three top factors that encouraged 50% of dental nurse respondents to remain registered with the GDC and working within the dental sector. These were, in order:

  • Meaning and growth, focusing on reasons associated with job satisfaction, including meaningful work, career structure and opportunities for professional progression and growth.
  • Extrinsic rewards, including contracts of employment, financial remuneration and pay, as well as additional rewards and incentives provided by employers.
  • Workplace culture and environment, which was defined as a set of values, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions common to those working together, which influences behaviours and interactions amongst colleagues within the dental team. Workplace environment also means the setting and physical conditions, such as the building structure, equipment, and material, in addition to the culture.

This indicates the potential importance to dental nurses, of having career pathway routes, such as the College of General Dentistry’s Career Pathway for Dental Nurse and Orthodontic Therapists (OTs)4.  CGDent’s Career Pathway offers a progressive and flexible structure through which dental nurses can be enabled in equality of opportunity for career development and progression, alongside a route-map for the achievements of DNs and OTs to be recognised within a prestigious multi-professional, sector wide, recognition framework. CGDent’s progressive career framework, is an accessible and achievable  route to job satisfaction and professional longevity.

Uniquely, CGDent provides a transparent, progressive series of gateways that encourages DNs and OTs to maximise their development opportunities, with means to track their development throughout their career progression. The gateways offer much-needed commonality of approach to career progression across all registered dental professions, with parity of occupational esteem, unparalleled elsewhere in dentistry, nationally or internationally. 

Instinctively, the CGDent Career Pathway, launched in 2022, may go some way to responding to some of the reasons dental nurses not only become uncertain about remaining but the reasons that dental nurses go on to declare an intention to leave.

The Survey Report detailed, with regards to the other 50% of respondents, that 34% who declared having become ‘uncertain about remaining in dental nursing’.  The top three reasons for this, in order, were:

  • First – Dissatisfaction with pay.
  • Joint second – Employers not valuing, recognising, or showing appreciation for the dental nurses’ contribution or no longer enjoying working as dental nurse.
  • Joint third – Dental nurses not getting a sense of meaning and reward from their role or feeling that they were unable to progress in their career.

The remaining 16% of dental nurse respondents declared ‘an intention to leave dental nursing’.  Surprisingly, when requested to be specific, pay was not amongst the top three reasons why dental nurses were making the decision to leave, although it did feature. The three top reasons, in order, why dental nurses intended to leave dental nursing were:

  • Employers not valuing, recognising or showing appreciation for their contribution.
  • Feeling they were unable to progress in their careers.
  • No longer enjoying working as a dental nurse.

Reassuringly, the study also revealed that even within the group who were ‘intending to leave’, that 46% could be tempted by employers, with suitable progression routes, offers, rewards and incentives, to remain or return to dental nursing.  So, it is not too late for employers, there are steps that can be taken to retain this group of dental nurses, and the report offers ideas to be used as a starting point for such discussions and negotiations. The Dental Nurse UK Retention Survey 2023 Report offers hope in the form of possibilities which might be explored to retain or re-engage that group and tempt them to consider re-registering to work in the dental sector.

The Dental Nurse Retention Survey UK Report published the results in Autumn 2023:  Reed, D.P. (2023) The Dental Nurse UK Retention Survey 2023: An Internet Mediated Survey Of Members Of The British Association of Dental Nurses And Wider Dental Nurse Workforce Regarding What Encourages Them To Remain Within The Dental Sector.

Unsurprisingly, it has had over 1,840 reads so far. For those who wish to access the survey results, the report is freely available on ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/374919034_Dental_Nurse_UK_Retention_Survey_2023  

Over the course of the year, look out for the associated blogs (such as the GDC January 2024 Blog5),  papers, journal articles and speaker events, including part of the CDO Lounge events in March 2024 at BDIA Showcase in Excel London,  which will provide further detailed analysis of the survey results.

References:

  1. General Dental Council (GDC) (2024a)GDC Registration Reports January 2024. Available online: https://www.gdc-uk.org/docs/default-source/registration-reports/registration-report—january-2024.pdf?sfvrsn=2fc3066f_3
  2. British Dental Nurse Association (BADN) 2023) DN Recruitment and Retention Survey. Available online via: https://www.badn.org.uk/NewPublic/News/Dental-Nurse-Recruitment-and-Retention-Survey.aspx
  3. Reed, D.P. (2023) The Dental Nurse UK Retention Survey 2023: An Internet Mediated Survey Of Members Of The British Association of Dental Nurses And Wider Dental Nurse Workforce Regarding What Encourages Them To Remain Within The Dental Sector. Available online via ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/374919034_Dental_Nurse_UK_Retention_Survey_2023
  4. College of General Dentistry (CGDent) (2022) Career Pathways. Available online: https://cgdent.uk/career-pathways/
  5. General Dental Council (2024b) Blog 4 January 2024: What encourages dental nurses to remain within the dental sector? Available online: https://www.gdc-uk.org/news-blogs/blog/detail/blogs/2024/01/04/what-encourages-dental-nurses-to-remain-within-the-dental-sector

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College engages the next generation of dental professionals

As part of a new initiative to raise awareness of its mission to dental students and early career professionals, the College held its first ‘NextGen’ event on Saturday 25 November 2023.

The CGDent NextGen Leadership Workshop, which took place in Manchester, was open to students on the Bachelor of Dental Surgery, BSc or DipHE Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy, BSc Clinical Dental Technology and BSc Dental Studies courses at the University of Manchester, the University of Liverpool, the University of Birmingham and the University of Central Lancashire, as well as Foundation Dentists and Foundation Dental Therapists in the North West region.

Successful applicants were awarded a fully funded place at the one-day workshop, which explored the skills required for effective leadership in dentistry, through a series of talks, workshops and discussion. The day focused on the five competencies in the Agency Domain of the College’s Professional Framework for Career Pathways in Dentistry: autonomy, decision-making, influence, leadership and management.

Supported by five College facilitators, the delegates were encouraged to examine the key leadership skills and consider how they could develop them through short-term, medium-term and long-term goals.

Christy, a BDS student at the University of Birmingham who took part in the day, said: “…it was great to meet the facilitators and other students there. Everyone was so welcoming, and the talks and activities were easily accessible – no matter what stage or area of dentistry we were in. I’ve learnt multiple ways to develop my skill set, information about the College of General Dentistry and thoroughly look forward to future events!”

Many of those who attended the workshop have become NextGen Ambassadors for the College, with the aim of raising awareness within their communities of CGDent’s mission and of the career support it offers to dental professionals.

The College wishes to thank the students and Foundation Trainees who enthusiastically took part in the day; the workshop facilitators who generously gave their time and expertise (Phillip Brown, Poppy Dunton, Roshni Karia, Abhi Pal and Sir Nairn Wilson); and the University of Manchester, University of Liverpool, University of Birmingham, University of Central Lancashire and Health Education North West for their support.

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College partnership with BDCDS24

At the 2024 edition of the British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show (BDCDS24), the College will once again be the headline education partner for the Enhanced CPD Theatre.

The annual conference, which will take place at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May, is the UK’s largest dental event, bringing together the whole dental team with 9,000 dental professionals gathering under one roof.

Free to attend for all registered dental professionals, attendees can expect over 200 lectures across 11 CPD theatres in total, as well as the opportunity to meet over 400 exhibiting suppliers. Details of the College’s lectures will be announced in due course.

The College will also be hosting a stand throughout the conference where staff and senior members will be available to answer any queries you may have about the College and membership, or just to say hello.

Further details about BDCDS24 are available on the conference website.

Use the link below to pre-register your interest and be the first to hear once delegate registration is live.