Internet Explorer and Edge browser users:
To download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files please right-click on the file you wish to download, and select 'Save target as...'

Full updates from week commencing 3 May 2021

Read all the updates and what we've been working on during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Friday 7 May 2021



Double Ended Ligature Tucker (orthodontic)


DB Orthodontics Limited has received reports that the tips of instruments appear weaker than usual and have broken during use; as such, there is a possibility the patient could swallow the tip.


The manufacturers have asked practices to identify and destroy the instruments with Product Code: DB05-0311 and Lot Number: 14757.


To date, 234 have been sold and five complaints have been received from five different customers.


Practices are advised to inform DB Orthodontics via of the quantity that they have had to destroy and replacements or credit notes will be issued.





NHS dentistry and oral health update: Mouth cancer awareness


The latest edition of the NHS dentistry and oral health bulletin has been published this morning, with CDO England Sara Hurley and Peter Johnson, NHS England's National Clinical Director for Cancer, bringing together useful resources and advice for dental professionals on mouth cancer.


The bulletin features the BDA/Cancer Research UK oral cancer toolkit, a resource to help dental health professionals identify and refer possible cases of oral cancer, and includes a CPD quiz with 3 hours of verifiable CPD.





Northern Ireland: HSC staff recognition scheme update


The Department of Health has published an update on the HSC staff recognition scheme.


The Department has confirmed it is working to issue payment of the award to HSC employees in July 2021. To minimise disruption to benefits payments HSC Trusts will be offering any employee with concerns the option to receive their award in instalments.


As confirmed previously by the Health Minister the scheme includes GDS dentist and dental teams, including clinical staff e.g. dental nurses, administrative staff and practice managers. There is more information on the HSC FAQs.





Northern Ireland: A new strategy for tackling oral cancer


The stark reality of oral cancer in Northern Ireland requires immediate action – starting with a joined up cancer and oral health strategy.


In a new blog, Gerry McKenna explores what you need to know about head and neck cancers in Northern Ireland.


"Tragically, most patients are currently presenting with late stage cancer. If we are to prevent more needless suffering and increasing morbidity rates, we must take immediate action."






The legal case against the practice owner


The dental profession was rocked by the news this week that a practice owner in Wales was found to be liable for damages and costs - more than two decades after his retirement.


Head of BDA Indemnity, Len D'Cruz highlights why some indemnity policies will not keep you safe from claims and damages.


"It's a sad situation that we learn from another's misfortune. But we should all consider the need for robust contractual cover - preferably one which respects the pleasures and pitfalls of modern dentistry.


"BDA policyholders have the peace of mind of knowing that the policy covers all practice owners as they have vicariously liability covered."




Thursday 6 May 2021



Northern Ireland: health inequalities and oral cancer on the Assembly agenda


Oral health inequalities and oral cancer received coverage at today’s NI Assembly Health Committee. Chair Colm Gildernew MLA has called on the Department to update the 2007 Oral Health Strategy and for sufficient monitoring of oral health within wider health and social care reporting. View the session (from 1:52:36).


Paula Bradshaw MLA shared, with concern, the increasing numbers of late-stage presentations from men with oral cancer symptoms, and called for better public messaging on the issue (view from 2:26:39).


Our sincere thanks to to all involved in today's briefing. We have an opportunity to address health inequalities and we look forward to doing so.


For further learning on oral cancer practitioners can register for our online NI Branch event on Tuesday 8 June with John Marley and Ciaran Moore speaking on Red Flag Referrals and Restorative Aspects of Head and Neck Cancer. We’d love to see you there.





Scotland: Lobbying government to change dentistry


What are the practicalities of lobbying for change? In a new blog, David McColl and Kenny McDonald discuss what’s next on the agenda for improving dentistry in Scotland.


“General Dental Practice is not the same as it was before COVID-19. Government policy and support needs to reflect this reality and regardless of the outcome of the elections, we will continue to work with our BDA colleagues to push on your behalf for the necessary changes to be made.”






Northern Ireland: Closure of the HSCB is an opportunity to move dentistry forward


The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) will likely be dissolved from March next year. In our written submission to the Health Committee, we are calling for this unique opportunity to be seized in a way that enables dentistry and oral health to move forward.


The Board's closure will mean that dental advisors will come under the direction of the Department of Health. This will have important implications for how dentistry is administered. 


Getting this right is a precursor to seeing progress on the many reforms we need to see in dentistry. 






Scotland and Welsh elections 2021: Our chance to improve oral health  


As the polls open for today's elections, we are urging the Welsh and Scottish governments to tackle oral health issues and improve dentistry.


Our manifestos have made it clear that action must be taken to address oral health inequalities which have widened over the past year.  


Now it is in the hands of the governments to work with us and improve access and sustainability of the NHS and enable a fresh start for dental services post-COVID.


Read our manifestos for Wales and Scotland as well as Robert Donald's blog: Scotland: Putting dentistry on the political agenda.





Members invited to this evening's AGM


Our 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held online tonight at 19.30. As a BDA member you are invited to attend, however, you must register in advance to gain access.


To register, log into the website and then book the webinar using the pink 'Register' button. That page also has more information regarding the meeting’s agenda, as well as registration and voting by proxy.


Once you have secured your place, you will receive an email with further instructions. We look forward to seeing you this evening.



Wednesday 5 May 2021



Scotland: Asymptomatic lateral flow testing for general dental practice


Last week the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith, wrote to all independent contractors, including dentists, encouraging practices to continue participating in twice-weekly lateral flow testing for staff. 


Currently 97% of primary care premises across Scotland are participating in the programme. The benefits of testing are outlined - particularly for those who are asymptomatic - and participants are reminded to record their results on the NHS online portal.






Regulatory changes regarding the import/export of human tissues and cells


Following EU Exit, regulatory changes came into effect in Great Britain regarding the import or export of human tissues and cells. These changes will affect your practice if you send (export) or receive (import) human tissues or cells to/from the European Economic Area (EEA) for human application.


Does your practice buy human bone, pericardium or dermal tissue products from an EU company? If so, you will need an HTA licence from 1 July 2021. If you buy these products via a UK supplier, however, the UK supplier will be the importer and they will require the licence rather than you as a user.





BDA Museum: Telling the story of dentistry


Our museum is still closed to the public due to the pandemic. However, Rachel Bairsto, BDA Museum Head, recently appeared on the BBC's World Service programme 'The Forum', about the history of dentistry.


She spoke alongside Dr Scott Swank of the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore in the US, and Professor Dominik Gross of RWTH Aachen University in Germany and has written a blog reflecting on the highlights including: Mayan jewelled teeth, hippo ivory dentures and the humble toothbrush.





Confidential counselling and emotional support


We provide all members with access to Health Assured, a comprehensive confidential service designed to help you deal with personal and professional problems that could be affecting your home life or work life, health, and general wellbeing. Members can access the helpline 24/7, 365 days a year. Support includes:


  • Life support: Unlimited access to counselling for emotional problems and a pathway to structured telephone counselling for you or your dependents and for you face-to-face counselling sessions at your convenience.
  • Legal information: Advice for you on any issues that cause anxiety or distress including debt management, accountancy, lawsuits, consumer disputes, property or neighbour disputes.
  • Bereavement support: Health Assured offers qualified and experienced counsellors who can help with grief and related stress plus a team of legal advisors to help with legal issues.
  • Medical information: Qualified nurses are on hand to offer advice on a range of medical or health related issues. They can't diagnose but can offer a sympathetic ear and practical information and advice.
  • CBT online: We recognise the value of self-help tools in dealing with a range of issues, which is why we have a range of CBT self-help modules, informative factsheets and invaluable advice videos from leading qualified counsellors.





England and Wales: Wrong tooth extractions no longer Never Event


Wrong tooth extractions are no longer considered a never event in England and Wales. This is an issue that we have been working on for a number of years and believe it should come as reassuring news for dentists, who will no longer be required to declare these incidents as never events. All other existing reporting remains in place.


Read about what the removal of wrong tooth extractions from the never event list means in England and Wales.



Tuesday 4 May 2021



Ventilation: the latest information for dentists


The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has published a summary of currently available information on ventilation. This has been compiled from several key publicly available documents developed by other organisations and expert groups, with a focus on advice and information that has relevance for dental facilities.


Please note that this document is not guidance but provides information about ventilation under several headings.





Unconscious bias and dentistry


BDA board member and chair of our equality, diversity and inclusion work, Laura Cross, reflects on the issue of unconscious bias and gender discrimination in dentistry.


"Gender discrimination was a problem long before I became a dentist in 1990, and it continues to be a problem today. These days however it is more likely to be unspoken and unconscious."


"Outlawing discrimination hasn’t made it magically disappear. Unspoken and unconscious biases continue to affect dentists’ lives and hold back careers. We know from the powerful examples of sexism and bias shared during a recent FGDP webinar, for example, that women still face hurdles which their male colleagues do not."






Associate dentists - managing your financial and tax affairs


Are you an associate dentist? If so, consider attending our upcoming webinar for assistance and advice on how best to manage accounts and tax affairs. This online event is free to members and will take place from 19:30 - 20:30 on Thursday 17 June 2021.


Register today to:


  • Evaluate the best ways to organise your accounts
  • Learn how to use essential accounting software to organise and streamline your affairs
  • Discuss deductions available for associates
  • Understand your accounts and tax bill.





Members invited to upcoming AGM


Our 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held online on Thursday 6 May at 19.30. As a BDA member you are invited to attend, however, you must register in advance to gain access.


To register, log into the website and then book the webinar using the pink 'Register' button. That page also has more information regarding the meeting’s agenda, as well as registration and voting by proxy.


Once you have secured your place, you will receive an email with further instructions. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.