Interview: the fight against mouth cancer

In 2013, there were 7,591 new cases of mouth cancer. In 2014, 2,386 deaths were recorded due to the disease. However startling those figures may – or may not – be, what they don’t tell you is the 40% increase in a decade. Mouth cancer is one of the few variations of the disease on the rise, which makes our job ever-more important. Professor Mike Lewis and Dr Chet Trivedy answer questions about the... »

Bad Dental Press

It’s been an interesting few weeks in the press. Headlines such as “The great dental rip-off” making front page news, and the case of Desmond D’Mello accused of 56 misconduct charges at the GDC is also making headlines. The Times investigation was a series of three dental articles published in the paper on Saturday 6 August 2016. Further on in the paper they discussed Mr D’Mello, whose case likely... »

The NHS Contract: the real rip off

This weekend the failed NHS dental contract was back in the media spotlight. On Saturday The Times led with stories of ‘the great dental rip off’ (£) and a focus on the broken Unit of Dental Activity (UDA) system at the heart of NHS dentistry. Some out there would like to say this profession puts ‘profit before patients’. We know the reality – that our broken NHS contract s... »

Stepping into a minefield every day: something has to give in the NHS

The present NHS dental contract has meant stress and frustration for me. I feel like working conditions in general dental practice are now stacked against us. How can you squeeze the vast expertise and range of dentistry into three bands? Some patients are high needs and need work more regularly than others. The rules and regulations in relation to treatment are very unclear under the present cont... »

Unfinished business at Department of Health

Jeremy Hunt remains at Department of Health, but leads a new ministerial team, whose responsibilities have not yet been confirmed. What this means for policies is that impact on dentistry is unknown, so we are seeking urgent clarity on unfinished business on the NHS contract, on dental regulation and on prevention. The Secretary of State has intimated in the past that he has not taken a ‘hands on’... »

A voice in the wilderness? Oral health inequalities from Hammersmith to Waverley

At the surgery I work in Hammersmith, we’re an exclusively NHS practice. We have 10 chairs, so that’s a lot of dentists seeing a lot of patients coming through the door. And I’m not just patting myself on the back when I say that overall, our patients are pretty happy with what we do, and often go out of their way to tell us so. It makes me feel there is some light amidst the gloom. And so, I’m pl... »

Struggling to make it work: NHS contract disadvantages ‘good’ patients

As a recent graduate, trying to build a list from new NHS patients is very difficult due to the high needs of our local population. Some months, I find I am earning less money than when I was DF1, despite a full-book, full-time. This just reflects the inadequacy and unfairness of the system for young dentists. And many of my patients really don’t believe me when I say one filling costs the s... »

NHS in crisis – is dentistry really ‘sorted’?

Last week I went to speak to our friends at the British Medical Association for their emergency conference on the crisis facing our NHS. There were so many familiar themes. privatisation, corporatisation, over-regulation, red tape and spin. The dental profession has been at the cutting edge of all of these. And now we are having to seek ‘efficiencies’ when we represent 3% of the NHS budget, mannin... »

Is NHS dentistry in general practice in the dark ages?

As a practitioner I feel hugely under-valued and often frustrated that I cannot be honest with my patients and explain to them why NHS treatment isn’t inferior to private when it so obviously is. I am unable to utilise innovations and advances in technology to provide treatment that is more comfortable and predictable for my NHS patients. There are huge advances in dental materials and techn... »

Associates’ pension tension: are you missing out?

The last thing you’re going to be thinking of when you start your first job is saving for your retirement. Most of us will put off such decisions because we have plenty of time to save for those golden years, don’t we? This is an understandable reaction but in the past few years the BDA has come across several cases of younger members in the UK who have opted out of the NHS pension scheme. The BDA... »

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