NHS dentistry or private: what’s right for you?

Many young dentists ask me whether they should focus their career on NHS or private practice; what should they aim for? My answer is, it depends. You need to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie, both clinically, as well practically and emotionally. As a young, or indeed old, dentist, career choices are often hard. The path is rarely easy and do we ever get it right? We are taught as under... »

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... »

Is the BDA the organisation you want it to be?

My history with the BDA has perhaps not followed a conventional path, if one exists. I was active in a Local Dental Committee (LDC) environment at a time of upheaval pre-2006, and my anger at the way the profession and patients were being rolled into a dental contract that was criticised and untested, was only increased by being presented with a contract that could be terminated without reason or ... »

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... »

Handcuffed by cost limitations: are dental patients deceived?

For me, the 2006 dental contract initially reduced the treadmill pressure put on dentists. But the subsequent introduction of many other metrics and outside pressures mean that it has become a treadmill by another name, and this time the total income is capped no matter how many patients I see. Morale is low, and I know full well that I am capable of doing much better work outside of the NHS but I... »

The NHS dentistry supermarket: one size doesn’t fit all

To me NHS dentistry currently feels like a bit of a supermarket: there are only three prices. I have to divide my patients up into three types – 1, 3 or 12 UDAs, but real people have multiple different types of need. It’s unrealistic and unworkable. The worst affected patients are those with multiple decayed teeth needing many fillings, root fillings, extractions and periodontal treatment, b... »

Reaching the summit or falling into the abyss?

Reaching the summit or falling into the abyss?

Reading the Government’s recent Evidence and Learning report brought to mind the famous words of George Mallory, when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he curtly replied ‘Because it’s there’. The Department of Health has to climb the difficult road to contract reform and not just because it’s there, but because the current system isn’t fit for purpose. But like scaling Everest, it was al... »