30th October 2018

The Challenges Facing Advanced Dentistry

As the president of the British Society of Advanced Dentistry (BSAD), Dr Nigel Jones argues that the need for training and development of general dentists is stronger than ever:

“There is plenty of research which continues to describe a profession that is demoralised by fear of strict General Dental Council (GDC) processes, which in turn, inhibits young professionals from wanting to expand their knowledge and learn more complex treatments for fear of doing something wrong. This has resulted in what has been coined in the industry as ‘defensive dentistry’.

More often, we are seeing colleagues referring patients to specialist centres for procedures that would have previously been thought as routine dentistry. We are also seeing outrageous claims being settled rather than defended and disproportionate sanctions on colleagues whose fitness to practice is questioned by the regulator. In such a climate, defensive dentistry seems sensible but is ultimately to the detriment of patients and to the professional development of the dentists.”

The role of BSAD in a demanding industry

The British Society of Advanced Dentistry (BSAD) aims to improve the quality of dentistry practiced in the UK by offering support to colleagues who would like to develop their skills.

“The society was established over thirty years ago by visionary general dental practitioners who recognised that there was no clear career pathway or stimulus to help professionals improve past general dentistry once they had obtained their degrees. As a result, the Faculty for General Dental Practitioners (FGDP) was then set-up in 1992 and now provides a series of Membership, Diploma and Fellowship exams which enables general dentists to assess and develop their skills.

The FGDP and BSAD hope to inspire colleagues to look beyond the fear of scrutiny to the opportunities that exist for dentists with advanced technical and ‘soft’ skills, for the good of their patients as well as their own professional fulfilment. The FGDP do so by providing aspirational standards and the structure to achieve them and BSAD does this by providing a network of supportive colleagues and access to the industry’s leading experts, all of which have the same vision and ambition for high-quality dentistry.

In pursuit of our aims, BSAD run two conferences a year and maintain a website with forums and a Facebook page to keep our members up to date with developments in advanced dentistry. Membership for the society costs £45 a year, with more information available on the BSAD website. Dentistry is a rewarding and enthralling profession for people with the vision and desire to continually improve. Those who take the biggest steps will go the furthest.”


Click here to read Nigel Jones discuss this topic in an exclusive guest article for Dental Review.


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