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Posted by on in Professional Services

How mentoring in implant dentistry can improve clinical outcomes and create a more rewarding professional life

Taking the first steps into implant dentistry can seem a daunting prospect for those lacking practical experience, and to successfully introduce and benefit from implant treatment in practice is something that’s not easily achieved alone. Academic training and having the most up-to-date knowledge of the processes involved is of course essential, but having limited experience and lacking confidence in hands-on practical skills can make things far harder in moving forward with treatment planning and placement.

Where to begin

For those who want to take their career to the next level and develop their skills in implant dentistry, yet are unsure how this can be achieved, should consider the benefits from ongoing guidance and support in the form of clinical mentoring. Mentoring can be successfully used to accelerate the development of skills, improve clinical outcomes and help in making complex clinical judgements to assist in building confidence and gaining essential hands-on experience in planning and placing implants.

Mentoring is a long-term relationship and a good Mentor is someone who genuinely cares for the mentee’s development and knows how to combine the desire for learning with practice clinical skills. They have the experience, teaching and support skills to offer high-level guidance for long-term development, to find a clinician’s strengths as well as weaknesses, and know precisely when to step in to help achieve successful treatment outcomes.

The role of a Mentor is not to tell or lecture mentees about what to do, but instead to come into their working environment to offer advice to help them think through challenges and find their own way through the myriad of clinical choices and treatment solutions available. Mentors are not there to undermine a clinician’s skills and competencies, but to guide and reassure them through their first cases and beyond based on individual skill levels and training requirements.

Support where it’s needed

Just as starting out in implant dentistry without expert guidance can be a challenge, finding a suitable Mentor without help can also prove to be problematic. Straumann, a market leader in implant dentistry are ideally positioned to partner clinicians with highly-experienced Mentors throughout the UK and Ireland through their Clinical Mentoring Programme, to deliver high quality and consistent clinical and educational skills in implant dentistry.

The benefits of a reputable training pathway and working closely with a Mentor to achieve consistent clinical outcomes and gain valuable hands-on experience in implant procedures should not be underestimated. This level of guidance is the safest and most effective way to start successfully and confidently placing and restoring implants within your practice.

In my first year all my cases were first and second premolar implant placements, but through the guidance of a mentor I have been able to develop my skills and undertake the placement and restoration of implants in all sites, as well as sinus and bone grafts. When I compare my level of clinical care now to when I first started out in implants I can see a huge difference in not only my clinical capabilities, but my restorative skills too.”

Milisha Chotai, DDS, MSc, PGDip, PGCert

For more information on how to get started with dental implants visit or call Straumann on 01293 651270. To join the Straumann Clinical Mentoring Programme visit

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Posted by on in Professional Services



How MClinDent  helped Dr Wahab Shakir

Many delegates value Tipton Training’s close ties with the City of London Dental School’s Masters degree programme known as ‘MClinDent’.

This ‘fast-tack- degree partnership means that successful completion of Tipton Training’s dentistry courses can lead to a PG Diploma from the British Academy of Restorative Dentistry(BARD) or British Academy of Dental Implantology(BADI). Delegates with the PG Diploma can register with The City of London Dental School, to facilitate their APL entry into the third year of either the MClinDent Restorative and Cosmetic degree, or the MClinDent Dental Implantology degree.

Student to master

One dentist that has followed this route is Dr Wahab Shakir - who is now one of Tipton Training’s faculty members. After studying at Newcastle University and experiencing life at a private practice in London, Wahab furthered his career by taking on The Restorative Course and The Phantom Head Course at Tipton Training in 2013 and 2014 respectively. What’s more, Wahab was presented with the Best Dentist Award for The Phantom Head Course.

“I completed The Restorative and Phantom Head Courses with Tipton Training. Both courses have changed the way I do dentistry, I would definitely recommend the courses to clinicians at wanting to upgrade their skills. It will take your abilities, understanding and treatment planning to advanced levels,” explains Wahab.

“The courses are strongly rooted in evidence and they provide both the practical and theoretical knowledge necessary to treat patients to the best standards. I especially liked the way Paul and the team teach occlusion, TMJ diagnosis, articulators and occlusal splint therapy.

“The courses also had a big positive impact on my monthly salary before I even finished. They gave me the confidence to diagnose and carry out work I would have referred off and not attempted before. Which is great as the I started to work solely in a private practice.”

'Not only do I think it's the best training pathway out there, and there appears to be more and more courses setting up daily as we speak run by dentists who have a spare room and turn it into a 'lecture theatre' or 'conference centre' (and Tipton Training has trained most of them) but it's the only one I know of that has this unique pathway between the course, BARD/BADI and MClinDent to make it such an easy transition in your own time to a Masters. So there's the second reason if you needed one to do these courses."

“Further training is obligatory nowadays, especially when moving into private practice. If you are need a boost in the world of dentistry, if you want to expand your knowledge and take your operative skills to top class levels then the Tipton Training Courses are a must,” adds Wahab.

Wahab was one of the first dentists to take advantage of the partnership between Tipton Training and the MClinDent in Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry at the City of London University. He found the conversion process was easy and that the teaching from Paul and the team have helped him prepare for the complex curriculum of the MClinDent.

An excellent industry reputation

Wahab is now passing his expertise to Tipton Training’s latest pool of ambitious delegates and enjoys a reputation that is typical of our lecturers. In particular, Wahab is respected for his knowledge of up to date cosmetic and general dental techniques, in addition to occlusion.

He believes the in-depth knowledge of the available evidence, thorough treatment planning habits and exacting clinical protocols that the Tipton Training courses instil in the delegates are invaluable. This in turn helps delegates produce dentistry with a good prognosis and pleasing aesthetic results.

Delegates particularly benefit from Wahab’s ability to advise them of the best ways to produce outstanding restorations and high-quality preparations for (amongst other things) anterior and posterior composites, crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers, post and cores and bridges.

Studying dentists can also gain insights into how Wahab uses the principles of occlusion to restore his patient’s worn dentition with the utmost respect for their TMJ, parafunctional habits and any associated pain or tension.




Tipton Training aim to provide the best courses for dental professionals in the UK by drawing on the experience of their talented dental team. They aim to increase levels of confidence and self-belief in their delegates and to teach them excellence in dental techniques so that they can achieve their career ambitions. Tipton Training provides access to specialist guest speakers to ensure that delegates receive the most advanced knowledge available.

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Posted by on in Professional Services



Patient Plan Direct’s commercial director, Simon Reynolds, discusses key considerations in managing a patient membership plan ‘in-house’

Often the rationale for a DIY project is the perception that doing ‘it’ ourselves is likely to be lower cost and will enable us to achieve our desired outcomes in line with specific objectives. We adopt the mind set of “how hard can it be” and get to work.

In some instances, with the right planning and commitment a successful DIY project can be highly rewarding. However, in other cases we can be left to reflect on blood, sweat, tears and challenges that were far greater than we had anticipated. In hindsight, perhaps it may have been a better option to have turned to professional support in the first instance.

When it comes to patient membership and capitation plans many practices may have considered, or have already adopted, administering their own patient plans ‘in-house’. Let’s face it, when stripping back to its bare bones the work involved in administering a patient plan, it isn’t rocket science. The basics being; determining the care and benefits included in your plans, setting plan prices, collecting regular payments from patients and promoting your plans effectively to encourage uptake from patients.

However, as with many things in life the devil can often be in the detail and there are important considerations that may be overlooked when opting to administer a patient plan in-house rather than the outsourced option of working with a plan provider.

Direct debit vs. Standing order

Often mistaken as the same thing, there are significant differences between standing order and direct debit payments – the most likely means of managing regular plan payments. A standing order is an instruction set up by the payer i.e. your patient via their bank, which can limit the ease of patients joining your plan in practice. If a patient cancels their standing order you will not be notified, instead you’ll have to perform manual checks every month. Moreover, managing periodic plan price increases can prove somewhat challenging as a change to the value of a standing order requires each patient to amend their individual standing orders – a tedious task for patients that is not under your practice’s control.

Managing plan payments by direct debit on the other hand offers the beneficiary (your practice) greater control. This is an instruction by the payer giving permission for your practice to collect a regular amount, which can be amended with advance notification to the payer. However, obtaining sponsorship in to the direct debit scheme via your bank can be a lengthy process and thereafter you’ll have to utilise some form of Bacs approved platform to manage collections. This can prove complicated and costly in addition to the processing charges your bank is likely to apply.

Admin: Time versus Real cost

Time is money. Often the reality of managing a patient plan in-house can be more administratively demanding and time consuming than you may think. Preparing and submitting collection files, identifying payment cancelations, managing plan related communications to patients, creating promotional material, training your team in promoting your plans and so much more can be a real bind on your time. No matter who takes on the role of managing an ‘in-house’ plan, there’s every chance this time could be better spent elsewhere in delivering first-class care and building a successful practice.

When you come to sell your practice

In consideration of the complexities that can be involved in managing a plan in-house, when you come to sell your practice potential buyers may be put off. Moreover, in some instances if you have your own sponsorship in to the direct debit scheme, it is not a given that the new vendor will be able to obtain their own sponsorship via their bank to take on the goodwill of plan patients. Finally, historical records of plan collections via a third party can prove more favourable throughout any due diligence processes.

In summary

For some practices, managing their patient plans in-house may be the most effective means of offering patients a plan. However, for many, utilising the services of a trusted plan provider is much more likely to be the more time and cost efficient method. Working with a plan provider does not have to mean huge administration costs and overhead. There are more plan providers than ever before to choose from, each offering their unique service proposition, support and fee structure. It is simply a case of taking the time to discover each provider and working out which is the best fit for your practice.



Patient Plan Direct is a membership plan provider recognised for its low-cost admin fees and is also the winner of the 2016 Dental industry awards – Outstanding Business of the year (under 25 employees). Plan launch, Provider transfer and NHS conversion experts.

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Posted by on in Professional Services



The below blog has been written by Howard Thomas - Chairman at Curaprox 

When it comes to day-to-day life, culture plays a pivotal role in the behaviour and practices of communities – and oral health is no exception. Defined as learned behaviours that have been socially acquired and passed down from one generation to another, cultural practices can be affected by a number of factors including religion, race, ethnicity and geographical location.

In some countries, folk remedies and traditional methods are still used to treat and maintain oral health. It is well known, for instance, that some Somali people either use a stick collected from the branches of a tree called Roomay or a stick called Muswaki to clean their teeth instead of a toothbrush. The Chinese are also widely acknowledged for their deep-rooted culture and traditional practices, such as their use of powdered alum, musk and frankincense to treat what they call ‘hot’ gum disease.

Here in the UK, it is personal experience, education and the media that tend to sculpt cultural beliefs, values and practices. Television and print media in particular have played a pivotal role in the state of UK citizens’ oral health, not least because of the way that certain advertisements can reach a wide audience. Crisps, chocolate, sweets and sugary drinks – all of these products are widely publicised on a day-to-day basis. Plus, since culture is learned, shared and transmitted, the media has also contributed to the gradual desensitisation of poor dietary intake and the detrimental affects it can have on general and oral health.

Smoking and drinking are normal lifestyle choices too, and are some of the leading causes of oral health issues in the UK. Like other western, developed countries, some of these problems are as a result of the greater independence and freedom of choice that teenagers and young adults now have, not to mention the ease at which these substances can be accessed. It is also important to note the impact differences in social class can have upon oral health, from level of education to income and socio-economic status.

While it is likely that some cultures such as Somalia and China will hold on to their traditions, there is no denying that there is scope for future change, especially in the UK where society can be quite flexible and open to new things. Simply by changing cultural perspectives on dietary intake, lifestyle choices and encouraging patients to use effective adjuncts in a daily oral care regimen – such as CPS prime interdental brushes and the CS 5460 ultra soft toothbrush from Curaprox – communities could significantly improve behaviour and practices for future generations to come.


For more information please call 01480 862084, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit


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Posted by on in Professional Services


Denplan has announced today that it has completed its first two 50/50 dental partnerships with dental practices in South Yorkshire. Plans to set up a pilot scheme to enter into equal partnership with individual member practices were revealed last year by Denplan and Simplyhealth. 

The new partnership model ensures that both partners have equal rights in practices and enables dentists to retain day-to-day clinical management of the practice. The business model has been created to reduce the barriers to an associate taking over a practice and supports the eventual transition to a new owner, who will then acquire the retiring dentist’s 50% share of the practice.

The first two new partnership practices are: The Dental Practice, based in Dronfield Woodhouse, in Sheffield; and Mapplewell Dental Centre in Barnsley. The Dental Practice is a family run private practice, owned by Dr Colin Doody, and has been in business for over 36 years. Mapplewell Dental Centre is owned by Dr Mark and Dr Elizabeth Bishop who have been in business for over 21 years.

The Partnership Programme offers peace of mind to dentists as it sets out the basis on which the remaining 50% of the practice will be valued, providing certainty to the dentists who participate at a time when they might have concerns over retirement and what might happen to their practice. It also helps dentists to enjoy their hard earned success by immediately freeing up some of the finances that would otherwise be reserved to fulfill the obligations of running a successful practice – and continuing to allow them to take responsibility for the day to day management of the practice, clinical activity and patient care.

The Partnership Programme resulted from a strategic review from Simplyhealth, of which Denplan is a part, who are focusing on further investment and innovation in the dental market.


Steve Gates, Managing Director of Denplan, commented: “We are delighted that we have completed our first two dental partnership agreements with The Dental Practice and Mapplewell Dental Centre.  Succession planning for retirement is an increasing priority for many dentists and one which we believe Denplan and the Simplyhealth team can play a positive and active role in. We are well positioned to partner with member dentists due to our existing strong relationships with them and our expertise in the dental marketplace.  

Romana Abdin, Chief Executive of Simplyhealth added: “This is a really exciting development that has attracted a great deal of interest from dentists looking to secure the right future for themselves, the practice and their patients. Our sole focus is everyday health and this demonstrates an ongoing commitment to dentists and the market as a whole.”

Dr Colin Doody, owner of The Dental Practice, said: “I was thinking of my exit strategy as I am getting to ‘that age’, and I wanted to ensure that I was leaving my practice in good hands for my son, who is our associate dentist, and also my wonderful long standing staff and patients – many of whom have been coming to see me for the last three and half decades! This Partnership Programme offered me the ideal solution.”

Dr Mark Bishop, owner of Mapplewell Dental Practice, commented: “We decided to partner with Denplan to ensure that there would be a legacy of high quality dentistry after we retire. Denplan are a respected and trusted brand who have always had the same ethos of customer care as we have.  As we really care about our practice team, this model allows a smooth transition and ensures they will be well looked after in the future.”

The new businesses have been set up as ring-fenced partnerships. These will operate separately from Denplan, bringing in additional expertise from across Simplyhealth, with their own governance to ensure that there is no potential for any conflicts of interest to arise.





About Denplan 

Denplan Limited is the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist owned by Simplyhealth; with more than 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million Denplan registered patients. Established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans, Denplan has been at the heart of dental care for nearly 30 years. Today, Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to spread the cost of their private dental care through a fixed monthly fee. Denplan supports regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life. Patient enquiries telephone: 0800 401 402   Dentist enquiries telephone: 0800 328


·         Denplan Care: all routine and restorative care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover 

·         Denplan Essentials: routine care only + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover 

·         Plans for Children: routine and other agreed care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover 

·         Membership Plan: registered with the dentist + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover 

·         Denplan Emergency: worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover only 

·         Corporate Dental Plans: company funded, voluntary and flexible benefit schemes 


Denplan also provides a range of professional services for its member dentists and their practice teams, including the Denplan Quality Programme, Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme and Denplan Training.  Plus regulatory advice, business and marketing consultancy services and networking opportunities.


For more information about Denplan: 

Kate Maybank

Denplan Press Office 

Tel: 01962 829 179

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