Sunday, 25 February 2018

Published! The Dentist's Survival Guide

I've contributed to another book! 

The Dentist's Survival Guide aims to help you succeed in the current dental environment of increased regulation and litigation. 

I was approached by Stephen Hudson (who compiled the book) to write about my experiences working within the Community Dental Services and tips for young dentists on how to manage the increasing risk of litigation. In the book I describe how the re-tender and subsequent re-structure of the CDS has affected me, the patients I see and also how this impacts general dental practitioners.

Not only have I written in this book, but several other upstanding dentists have also contributed chapters and it's a very interesting read to learn from some very experienced clinicians from all sectors of dentistry.

25% of profits from the sale of the book will go towards the Dentinal Tubules Foundation - you can read more about the foundation in one of my previous posts here

Posing with my recent publications

This is second book in the past couple of months I've had the honour of contributing to (the other being a Dental Core Training book - click here for more information). 

To buy your copy of the Dentist's Survival Guide click here. It is also available on Amazon Kindle. 

What tips would you give to help survive our current environment? Have you read the book? Let me know in the comments below. 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Enhanced CPD: Are you Ready?

Enhanced CPD came into play at the beginning of the year, and if you still haven't heard here's what changes there's been.

The main changes are:

  1. All dental professionals must have a Personal Development Plan (PDP)
  2. There is an increase in the verifiable hours of CPD required which must be spread evenly across your 5 year CPD cycle
  3. Non-verifiable CPD is not longer required
  4. Every year, you must declare the number of CPD hours completed (even if this is 0)
  5. CPD must align with your professional requirements and developmental outcomes
  6. Professionals have to plan their CPD activity according to their individual field(s) of practice

Template PDPs and CPD records can be found on the GDC website

The number of CPD hours now stands at:

100 hours for dentists
75 hours for hygienists, therapists, orthodontic therapists and CDTs
50 hours for nurses and technicians 

If you are mid-cycle (like myself) there is a calculator to work out how many hours of outstanding CPD you require to undertake to fulfil the requirements. 

To find out more make sure you check out the FREE lecture from the master of dental education Dhru Shah on Dentinal Tubules NOW!

What do you think about the new CPD requirements? Do you think a PDP is a good idea? Let me know in the comments below. 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

The Future of Dentistry Awards 2018

For the first time ever, this year there will be the FUTURE OF DENTISTRY AWARDS.

Finally there is a national award to recognise some of the upcoming talent for dental undergraduates, care professionals and young dentists! 

Make A Dentist is supporting the partnership of Dental Roots and Tooth Wise to support the next generation of dentists. Dental Roots: Connecting Dental Students & Dentists was set up, the main idea behind this group was to connect dental students and qualified dental professionals which is an ethos shared with their partner, Tooth Wise. 

Dental Roots has been a huge success and has grown to over 3,000 members within only a few weeks of it being formed, and it now stands as the largest dental social network in the UK with other 11,000 members - 60% of these are students. 

The future of Dentistry is made more exciting by people doing more to empower themselves and others. The Future of Dentistry Awards acknowledge this talent and the contribution of inspiring students and professionals. 

If you are interested in applying or would like to nominate someone who you believe is making positive strikes in dentistry click here

Categories include:
  • Dental Student of the Year
  • Student Dental Nurse of the Year
  • Student Dental Hygienist &/or Therapist of the Year
  • Student Dental Technician of the Year
  • Dental Roots Outstanding Contribution
  • Sportsman of the Year
  • Sportswoman of the Year
  • Entrepreneurial Student of the Year
  • Academic Tutor of the Year
  • Best Elective Project
  • Best Regional DFT Student
  • Best Dental Foundation Audit of the Year
  • Best Dental Foundation Case Presentation
  • Ethical Character
  • VT Practice of the Year
  • DFT Deanery of the Year
  • Best Undergraduate Dental School
  • Best Postgraduate Dental School

Appliations close of Sunday 8th April 2018. To find out more see the website or email

See you at the awards ceremony and after-party on Friday 5th of October!

Do you think the awards are a good idea? Let me know in the comments below. 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

How to Manage Haematological Malignancies in Dentistry

This blog post is based on a talk by Avril Macpherson who spoke at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Special Care Dentistry Study Day

What are Haematological Malignancies?

There are 4 main diagnostic groups of malignancies:
  1. Leukaemias (acute lymphoblastic, acute myeloid, chronic myeloid, chronic lymphocytic)
  2. Lymphomas (Hodgkin's, Non-Hodgkin's) 
  3. Multiple myeloma
  4. Myelodysplastic syndrome

What does normal look like?

Haematopoiesis i.e. the generation of blood from stem cells, is a dynamic process but if this is interrupted, can result in low levels of certain blood cells. The most important cell counts to consider safe for general dentistry are:

Platelets > 50 x 109 (50000/l)

Neutrophils > 0.5 (500/mm3)

Treating patients below these limits carries a significant bleeding and neutropenic sepsis risk. Neutropenic sepsis carries a 2-21% mortality rate and so the complications can be very serious!

How are these conditions treated?

  • Chemotherapy (including bisphosphonates - read about this here)
  • Radiotherapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Stem Cell/Bone Marrow transplants
  • Clinical trials

Dental Considerations

  • What is the patient's diagnosis and current treatment?
  • What are the timescales for their treatment? Are you seeing them before treatment commences or mid-chemotherapy cycles for example?
  • Are they experiencing oral pain? Mucositis (inflammation of the oral mucosa) is experienced in 75% of these patients
  • Is there existing or potential infection present e.g. long-standing peri-apical pathology?
  • What is their blood profile and could it be improved e.g. by platelet infusions?
  • What is the patient motivation like? Do they want to maintain their dentition for as long as possible?

Where can I find more information?

Certainly, managing this group of patients is not easy and management by specialists in a hospital setting is often the most appropriate; however, there is plenty of guidance available to help if you do see these patients:
  1. BSDH Clinical Guidelines: The Oral Management of Oncology Patients requiring Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy and/or Bone Marrow Transplant (under review). 
  2. SDCEP Clinical Guidelines: Oral Health Management of Patients at Risk of Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw 2017
  3. British Society of Haematology Guidelines
  4. European Society for Medical Oncology Guidelines

Many thanks to Avril for her informative talk about a really complicated topic and the RCSEd for organising the study day. 

Do you manage these patients? What problems do you encounter? Let me know in the comments below. 

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