By Chris Tapper
One working day in April 2018, precisely at 4.50pm, ten minutes before the unseemly scramble by the dentists to get out the door to avoid the dry-retching of the nurse’s as they clean the filters out, I was presented with a sheet of paper.
A nurse delivered the A4 sheet with a flourish and the warning that our corporate practice manager required my signature before five, since she was going away for a few days.
A space had been left for me to make my mark and I noticed all my colleagues had already signed the sheet, with that day’s date. My colleagues had all apparently attested to the fact that they had completed in-house training in needlestick injuries, they had all read the practice policy on needlestick injuries, and they had then participated in a ‘facilitated practice discussion’ about needlestick injuries. The top of the sheet stated that all the training and accompanying requirements had to be completed by the end of January 2015.
I certainly hadn’t completed the in-house training in question personally and definitely hadn’t noticed a facilitated practice discussion, unless I missed it because I was engrossed in Facebook at the time, doing a fun quiz on ‘is your line manager a homicidal psychopath?’ (My answers were probably of great value to Cambridge Analytica and the ‘Leave’ campaign).
More interestingly, three of my colleagues hadn’t even been employed by the corporate around the date mentioned and I figured that two of them couldn’t possibly have done the training since they are new trainees, though they MAY have read the policy during induction. One of them admitted they had only signed the policy sheet “To avoid a lot of hassle.”
I dismissed the nurse with an “I can’t sign it since I haven’t done the training,” to be met a few minutes later by a text from the head nurse with a link to a video on, presumably, needlestick injuries.
The upshot was that I actually went online and found the subject on the website of a training organization I occasionally use, and produced a CPD certificate before six and signed the form anyway.
Yup, I wimped out rather than be met with the ‘I’ve Been Bagging Angry Wasps Into A Sack With My Bare Hands Face’ of my corporate practice manager.
Of course, the nub of the above was that someone in management (I don’t know at what level) had fouled up and had realised that CQC requirements had not been met. In order to meet requirements, staff had been browbeaten into fraudulently signing a statement that would give the authorities the impression the company was complying with regulations.
And the reason I have outlined the above?
At this time of year, independent dental providers are bidding for contracts against the corporates and increasingly, they are being undercut by the latter, who use their low wage, high trainee workforce ratio and dubious interpretation of NHS regulations to undercut independent practices.
NHS commissioners are desperate people. They need to secure services at the lowest possible rate and the corporates present them with exactly what they need to satisfy the number-crunchers at the Department of Health - high numbers at low prices. To quote from a popular 70’s sitcom, “Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Width.”
It’s a subtle form of bullying, but it’s bullying nonetheless. The Independent practices cannot possibly hope to compete on an equal footing with companies that run their practices on trainee nurses and (largely) EU dentists willing to work for £8 to £9 per UDA until Brexit is put into effect.
It’s the equivalent of being elbowed in the face by the school thug as he pushed into the lunch queue.
I have worked for a corporate for over five years after selling my own practice, and during that time we have had a huge turnover of nursing staff. As nurses qualify, they leave within months for the independent sector - not once has a qualified nurse been replaced with a qualified nurse. The company just takes on another trainee, and often the £9-per-UDA associate finds him/herself providing the in-surgery training.
The playing field is definitely not level. Low quality materials, poorly maintained equipment and restrictions on which laboratories can be used all contribute to the ‘Poundstretcher’ mentality. At one point last year, we had absolutely no x-ray facilities while head office sourced the cheapest scanner possible.
Unfortunately the commissioning Area NHS Teams are either oblivious to what is happening in the corporates, or are turning a blind eye. And by no means is my corporate the worst offender - I’ve seen worse with my own eyes. As corporates go, mine is considered to be one of the ‘good guys.’
So what is to be done? Your guess is as good as, although I would LOVE to see widespread and coordinated unannounced CQC inspections nationwide at 9.00am. Or else a mass walkout of the Nash by the independents? The corporates definitely wouldn’t cope - few of them hit their contracts annually anyway.
As for me, I’m off to Poundland.
“I was looking to develop my knowledge and expand my skills in GDP orthodontics. I also wanted to build my competence and confidence so that I could take on more complex cases and still deliver safe and effective treatment. The IAS Advanced training course enabled me to do this.”
Rahul Kukar from iDental dental practice has embarked upon the IAS Advanced training course, following four years of experience in anterior alignment orthodontics.
“The course has been very good, providing a sound academic foundation from which to extend my skills. The quality of instruction and on-going support provided by IAS Academy has been great as well.
“While the course finishes in a few months, I already feel much more confident in approaching more complex cases and knowing how to recognise cases that still require referral to a specialist.
“My advice for other practitioners would be to gain as much experience as possible with the basic systems, before moving onto the IAS Advanced course, but I would certainly recommend undergoing the training when you’re ready.”
If you have extensive experience in fixed GDP orthodontics and wish to develop your skills further, apply for your place today.
For more information on upcoming IAS Academy training courses, including the IAS Advanced,
please visit www.iasortho.com or call 0845 366 5477
Carestream Dental is delighted to host the first of its training days for customers at its showroom in Stevenage.
Offering fantastic added value for existing users, the next courses are:
Understanding dental X-ray technology and the need to minimise patient dose
Instructor: Ernesto Jaconelli
Dates: 16th February 17:00 – 19:00
15th March 17:00 – 19:00
27th April 17:00 – 19:00
23rd May 17:00 – 19:00
Boost your business with CS R4+ (the launch of Springboard V2) – hands-on training
Instructor: Liam Rushton
Dates: 23rd February 17:00 – 20:00
28th March 17:00 – 20:00
CS 3600 and CS 8100 3D user meeting
Instructors: David Claridge and Rob Charteris
Dates: 2nd March 17:00 – 21:00
3rd March 09:00 – 16:00
To find out more about any of these training opportunities, please contact the friendly team at Carestream Dental.
For more information, contact Carestream Dental on 0800 169 9692 or
For the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter @CarestreamDentl
“I had seen the appliance marketed in the professional media and decided to take the hands-on course in order to offer a new option to patients and compliment my professional development.
“The course itself was excellent – very inspirational. The instructors, Tif Qureshi, James Russell and Tim Bradstock-Smith were all very knowledgeable and passionate about what they were doing. They were also really personable, so despite there being many people in attendance, they made an effort to speak to everyone on the course.
“Overall patient compliance has been good with the Inman Aligner and cases have progressed quickly with great results. I have already recommended the training course to colleagues and would definitely recommend it to others.”
For more information on IAS Academy, providers of genuine anterior alignment orthodontic devices please visit HYPERLINK "http://www.iasortho.com" www.iasortho.com or phone 0845 366 5477
A leading supplier of dental education, Healthcare Learning will deliver high quality content and on-going support for all apprentices. Widely recognised learning platforms such as the Dental Nurse Education Zone (DNEZ) will also be made available to apprentices, offering them even more resources to complete their studies and maintain their skills in the long-term.
Barnet and Southgate College has extensive experience in successfully providing a wide range of high quality apprenticeship programmes across various different industries, and will be delivering first-rate classroom-based workshops for dental nurse apprentices as well as providing full quality assurance for the overall programme.
Benefits of getting involved
The first clear benefit for practices getting involved with the programme is that their apprentices will learn on the job, developing the hands-on skills and experience they need to excel in the role of a dental nurse. What’s more, the majority of the course is delivered through online webinars from Healthcare Learning, so apprentices will need to take little time away from the practice.
The programme reflects all the clinical responsibilities of modern dental nurses, equipping them with the knowledge, skills, behaviours and practical workplace experience they need to perform the role effectively. For the practice, this affords complete confidence in the capabilities of the apprentice upon completion of the course to fulfil the duties of a dental nurse effectively. Plus, team members working alongside apprentices have an opportunity to help mould them into highly accomplished professionals, who understand and align with the principles and values of the existing team and business.
For practices that meet the criteria, there is also extensive funding to subsidise the costs of training each apprenticeship. The government has pledged to boost apprenticeships by creating 3 million programmes by 2020 and the Dental Nursing programme is a key beneficiary of this initiative. Therefore, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will deliver £2 for every £1 the practice invests, up to the £6,000 core funding cap. For practices that qualify for all the additional government incentives, while they will initially invest £3,000 per apprentice, they are set to receive £3,600 in rebates once the course is completed and so will actually benefit by £600 per apprentice.
A bright future
The Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing provides students with a Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing, which is equivalent to two A-levels. Not only does this enable apprentices to register with the GDC and embark on a long and successful professional career in dentistry, but it also offers enormous potential for them to undertake further training in order to advance and move onto senior roles. All this continues to benefit the practice – highly motivated staff with the chance to progress can help expand the services available and drive the business forwards.
Intake for the apprenticeship programme begins every few months with the next start dates in early 2016. An eligibility criteria form is available to provide a quick assessment of candidates’ suitability for the course. Generally, candidates need a grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths.
The Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing provides a fantastic opportunity to develop a highly skilled and experienced workforce for the future success of every dental practice. Find out more today.
For more information or applications contact Healthcare Learning
Tel: 020 7400 8989
“Associates in both practices I work in had previously attended and begun offering the appliance to their patients – so there were always enquiries about it. I wanted to develop my skills, in order to also be able to offer patients what they wanted, rather than having to refer them to a colleague.
“I had expected there to be more people attending the course on the day – and the lecture to be more crowded. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that it was a small group, and that the lectures were of the highest quality. Everything was explained thoroughly and the hands-on element complemented the presentations.
“I would recommend the Inman Aligner training course to others, as I feel the IAS Academy has a structured learning pathway you can follow and the guidance and information provided was of a high quality and very detailed in nature.”
To discover what you could learn, contact the friendly IAS Academy team today.
For more information on upcoming IAS Academy training courses, including the Inman Aligner,
“I attended the Inman Aligner training course in December 2014,” says Dr. Patel. “I initially booked a place following an inspirational lecture given by Dr. Tif Qureshi on ‘Align, Bleach and Bond’, held at the FGDP. He was also offering a small discount to attendees of that lecture, so it presented a great opportunity.
“Several of my colleagues had already been using the Inman Aligner – so patients were always enquiring about it. As a result, I wanted to be able to offer my own patients what they wanted, rather than having to refer them to a colleague.
“I had thought that the course would be crowded, that a lot of people would be attending the lecture – but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a small group. The lecture was of the highest quality and everything was explained thoroughly; the hands-on element complemented the presentations very well.
“It was also great that there was a small trade fair running over lunch, which gave us the opportunity to meet and talk to different people from different companies.
“I would recommend the Inman Aligner training course to others, because I feel as though the IAS Academy provides a structured educational pathway for you to follow – and the guidance and information it offers is of a high quality and detailed in nature.”
The IAS Academy provides a number of training opportunities, including the Inman Aligner course, that are designed to give GDPs the confidence and expertise to offer their patients more in the way of alternative anterior alignment orthodontics. A truly unique and dedicated learning pathway, the IAS Academy focuses on education as much as it does on effective appliances, ensuring excellent levels of competence and success.
For more information on upcoming IAS Academy training courses, including the Inman Aligner,
please visit www.iasortho.com or call 0845 366 5477
“Following a seminar I attended presented by Tif Qureshi, I quickly realised that being able to offer patients the Inman Aligner system would be a great skill to add to my armamentarium.
“The course was excellent and very impressive – not only an informative and interesting day, but also a really enjoyable one as well. Instructors Tif Qureshi and James Russell were very professional and they were happy to spend time discussing potential cases.
“The appliance itself is very simple to use in practice and I have been able to use both the online support forum and help from NimroDENTAL laboratory to develop my knowledge of the Inman Aligner and treating more complex cases.
“I was impressed by the IAS academy hands-on training course and I would definitely recommend it to other colleagues.”
Committed to providing the highest quality of training and support, IAS Academy runs courses for the Inman Aligner, ClearSmile Aligners and ClearSmile Braces. To find out more, contact the team today.
“Patients continue to be impressed with the service they receive at Ten Dental and feel reassured that their own dentist is involved in the treatment.
“Martin Wanendeya and Nik Sisodia at Ten Dental have a vast amount of experience in their speciality fields, especially implants, which means that I know my patients will be treated professionally, in a caring environment and to a world-class standard. In short, it gives me the piece of mind that my patients will receive the best care possible.”
Contact the knowledgeable team today to find out more about the comprehensive and personable implant referral service Ten Dental can offer your patients.
“They are absolutely fantastic. Nik is approachable, extremely professional and great with the patients. His help and advice on placing implants and restoration has been invaluable.
“Nik comes directly to the practice and has an innate ability to know how much to push me so that I continue to improve, and he always has time for my questions. I would feel comfortable and confident referring any of my patients to Ten Dental, as they always put the patient first and their communication is excellent.
“Our patients have all been extremely happy with the results and the service they receive. Nik is highly qualified and very relaxed with the patients, which has a positive effect on their experience.”
June also saw Bridge2Aid complete their 71st training programme, meaning that they have now trained 369 rural health workers in emergency dental care. This sustainable model means that once the UK volunteers have left the country the health workers are able to continue treating their local communities for years to come.
The first area where training was delivered was Morogoro which is one of the poorest and most densely populated parts of Tanzania. Most of the inhabitants are subsistence farmers who rely heavily on the surrounding forests for timber, medicinal plants and fuel. The other location was Pangani in the north-east of the country, bordered by Kenya and the Indian Ocean.
There is a desperate need to tackle oral disease, infection and chronic pain in communities throughout the developing world – to enable people to work, attend school and care for their families. Bridge2Aid works hard to deliver the necessary skills in these communities so that local people are able to function free from pain, and avoid the risk of preventable infections and diseases.
If you would like to get involved, either by volunteering or donating to help fund this vital training, please visit Bridge2Aid’s website here (www.bridge2aid.org)
Combined cases can also be produced from one set of impressions by sending to the ClearSmile lab. You will receive the Inman Aligner produced by a certified Inman Aligner lab and the ClearSmile Aligners in the same package, all built on the same digital arch evaluation.
Become a certified user of Inman Aligner and ClearSmile Aligners by attending one of IAS Academy’s hands-on or online courses. All aspects of treatment are covered from case evaluation to fitting and retention, so that you will be able to handle simple to moderate cases immediately.
Come and learn from leading clinicians and instructors in the field, as well as benefitting from case assessment and mentoring via online support. IAS Academy offers dentists a complete orthodontic training pathway from simple to complex systems, so you can be assured every aspect will be covered comprehensively.
Find out more today – build loyalty, attract new patients and ensure continued profitability of your practice by offering Inman Aligner and ClearSmile Aligners.
For information on the IAS Academy, visit www.iasortho.com or call 0845 366 5477.
With the two speakers covering the subjects of diagnosis, communication and the treatment of periodontal disease and peri-implantitis, the message was clear: innovation changes products and progress changes behaviours.
Studies have shown that 40 - 80% of information is forgotten immediately by patients[i]. Donna therefore noted that if you want your patients to be better informed about periodontal disease, you need to find better ways to enhance their understanding. By replacing dental jargon with emotive wording and replacing negative and daunting connotations of treatment with positivity, this has the potential to empower and motivate your patients - increasing your chance of success and improving overall patient care.
With comfort and increased effectiveness at the forefront of innovation, Donna and Amit firmly believe that by using the right technology and products you can minimise the presence of plaque on teeth and dental implants: achieving the ultimate goal of tooth loss prevention.
Using photos and videos for examples, the fluorescence protocol was put to the test with demonstrations of how pioneering products can be utilised to treat and maintain periodontal disease effectively. Both speakers also highlighted the need for
continued focus on educating patients about the differences between supragingival cleaning, subgingival cleaning, root planning, use of medication and x-ray and follow up treatment. They need to be informed of the benefits of prophylaxis as well; those being tartar removal, aesthetics and fresher breath.
Examples of cutting-edge products mentioned included Acteon’s Newtron P5xs ultrasonic generator, the Air n Go easy airpolisher and the Soprocare - which utilises state of the art photonics technologies. With products like these, patients can reap the benefits of accurate detection, quick visual follow up, comfort, oral hygiene education and complete removal of plaque and stains with minimally invasive treatment.
As the question and answering session post lecture depicted, the main concerns highlighted among professionals included patient’s lack of understanding. “It is a relationship,” Dr Amit Patel explained, “Give them the tools to do it themselves and lead them in the right direction.”
It would seem then that the answer to better patient care is twofold: improve patient understanding and rapport to empower patients to look after themselves and utilise technology to see better and treat faster.
On Saturday June 6th, Ziv Mazor examined the concept of Minimal Invasive Surgery Utilizing Piezo Surgical Device - Optimizing Biological and Functional Outcome in the Posterior Maxilla, once again sponsored by Acteon.
In order to explore invasive surgery, Mazor first identified potential obstacles that can occur during treatment.
He noted that implant placement in the atrophic posterior maxilla often causes complications due to the quality and volume of the bone that is available. With the height and width of the residual ridge being affected by post-extraction resorption patterns, physical trauma, periodontal disease and pneumatisation of the sinus, he highlighted that longer and wider implants are needed to enhance long-term survival.
Research points towards infected sockets being the most common cause of post-extraction complications, with a study showing a percentage of 48.7. Bleeding sockets came second with 41% and retained roots caused 10.3% of problems[ii].
Recent innovation in this area highlights that trauma to the tissues and the underling bone can be eliminated, minimising both the procedure time and post-operative complications.
With sinus lifts and osteotome techniques often being associated with higher morbidity rates and complication risks, technological advances are a revelation in achieving a reduced risk and high standard of patient care.
Mazor went on to suggest that with the use of reliable, powerful and simple products such as Piezotome® ultrasonic surgery unit from Acteon, there are fewer complications and emphasis can be instead placed on the application of autologous growth factors. By utilising the sinus lift balloon technique, patients can also benefit from the reduction of risk to damage of the Schneiderian membrane. An example of this product is the Sinus Lift Kit by Acteon, which offers the practitioner a straightforward and safe answer to the sinus lift operation.
The point of this lecture was clear: in reducing complications with the aid of innovative technology, ultimate function of patient dentition can be reached in a shorter time period and risk-free way.
Thus there is a noticeable change in the direction of periodontology. The products that are being developed are innovative and effective not just because of what they can do for professionals, but also for how they engage and empower the patient.
[i] Patient’s memory for medical information. Journal Of The Royal Society Of Medicine. Roy PC Kessels. May 2003; 96 (5): 219-222.
Accessed 5th May 2015 on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc539473/
[ii] Post-extraction complications seen at a referral dental clinic in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. International Dental Journal. Volume 51, Issue 4, Pages 273-276, August 2001. Elison Simon and Dr. Mecky Matee. Article accessed online on June 5th 2015. Onlinelibrary.wiley.com.doi.10.1002/j.1875-595x.2001.tb00837.x/abstract.
Particularly in such a fast-paced profession as dentistry, where techniques, materials and technologies are rapidly advancing and changing the way treatment is provided, remaining abreast of the latest innovations and ideas is vital. Not only does this ensure competency to treat patients in the most appropriate way, but it also allows practitioners to enhance the dental care and treatment they offer.
What’s more, it’s important to develop knowledge and understanding in a broad range of areas. For example, if you wish to offer implant treatment to patients it is clear that you need to complete advanced training so that you have the skills necessary for the provision of safe and effective services. However, even as a GDP who doesn’t provide such treatment directly to patients, you still need sufficient knowledge that will enable you to assess the health of implant supported restorations that you may encounter.
Whether clinicians require education for the placement, restoration or maintenance of dental implants, it is paramount that any training completed is of the highest calibre.
Passionate about improving awareness of and access to first-class tuition in the field is Ken Nicholson. Ken is the founder of the British Society of Oral Implantology, a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and a member of the Faculty of Examiners at RCS Edinburgh, amongst many other accolades. He is also the founder of SmileTube.tv, a learning portal designed to ensure practitioners’ competency in implant treatment. He says:
“The widespread use and published success of dental implant supported restorations is encouraging more and more GDPs to become involved in this treatment modality. A visit to the dentist’s section of the Yellow Pages makes it difficult to ignore the fact that an increasing number of practitioners are using the label ‘Cosmetic and Implant Practice’. Ensuring the clinician has the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake dental implant treatment is of paramount importance.
“The GDC’s required learning outcomes of undergraduate education for Dentists: The First Five Years states that dental students should ‘be familiar with dental implants as an option in replacing missing teeth’. UK-qualified dentists are not expected to practise implant dentistry without undertaking structured postgraduate training and assessment of competence.
“The first step towards treating a patient is case assessment, where attention to detail and identification of the salient features of the case are essential. Even if a general practitioner does not wish to provide implant treatment, it is almost certain that he or she will be caring for patients with implant-supported restorations. A component of that care will be assessment of the health of the implant restoration(s) for which an understanding of implant dentistry is essential.”
For those wishing to perform implant treatment themselves, it is crucial that any training undertaken is carefully designed to provide both the theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience clinicians need to ensure their clinical competency.
Through SmileTube.tv, practitioners have access to a structured, blended learning programme that is tailored to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skill to place and restore dental implants, in a safe environment. The course involves four online modules, which can be completed at a time and from a place of the delegate’s choosing for ultimate engagement and effectiveness of learning. Training concludes with eight clinical days where delegates can develop practical skills for placing and restoring implants, while under the supervision of leading implant practitioners across the country and with access to cutting-edge facilities.
“The SmileTube.tv ‘Ultimate Implant Year Course’ delivered in partnership with Nobel Biocare provides delegates with the core knowledge and competence in implant dentistry expected of a GDP, as described by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for the Diploma in Implant Dentistry at the College,” continues Ken. “The knowledge component of the course, and assessment of that knowledge, is delivered online through the purpose designed e-learning platform SmileTube.tv, and delegates are able to revisit any material as many times as they need for the duration of the course. The clinical skills component, and skills assessment, is delivered through one of a network of clinical training centres throughout the UK and Ireland.
“I believe Nobel Biocare to be a global leader in implant dentistry with a hugely impressive and well documented track record. It is a proactive, innovative and forward-thinking company keen to support education and training for the GDP, which arguably offers the most comprehensive range of services, products and materials in the industry. The latest implant design from Nobel Biocare, the NobelParallel® Conical Connection (CC) implant will be one of the implant designs used on the SmileTube.tv course and promises to be an excellent platform for the newcomer to implant dentistry.
“As Nobel Biocare has been innovative in its approach to implant dentistry, SmileTube.tv has been innovative in its approach to education and training in the field. We hope to develop a passionate, global learning community, pushing the boundaries of education and training in implant dentistry to provide a better experience for our learners and a safe and predictable outcome for their patients.”
For more information about the exciting innovations available from Nobel Biocare, please call 0208 756 3300 or visit www.nobelbiocare.com