Shadow Health Minister Lord Hunt of King’s Heath watching a 3D milling unit
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry and Oral Health – a forum for Parliamentarians interested in oral health, for which the BDA provides a secretariat – held their latest event in Parliament on 12 July.
In a change from the serious panel discussions so typical for APPG events, this informal interactive drop-in, entitled “Do you have what it takes to be a dentist?”, promoted a positive image of dentistry by showcasing advances in dental technology to politicians and civil servants.
Visitors, including numerous MPs, Lords, and senior stakeholders such as the Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley and the Director of Health and Social Care at NICE Prof Gillian Leng, tried their hands at a wide range of dental equipment, from historic dental tools, through to cutting-edge techniques such as a virtual reality training unit, lasers, 3D scanning and milling.
We were pleased to see this many Parliamentarians from both sides of the House come by to see how dentistry has changed over the centuries – some MPs got really competitive trying to spin the BDA Museum treadle drill fast enough to get to the top of our leader board! More importantly we were delighted the event gave us a chance to speak to politicians about wider issues affecting oral health and challenges facing dentists, and we will be following up on many of these conversations with meetings in the coming months.
BDA Public Affairs Adviser
Lord Colwyn, BDA Chair Mick Armstrong, BDA Chief Executive Peter Ward and Job Moerman from MOOG watch Sir Kevin Barron MP try his hand at a virtual reality training unit
Iain Duncan Smith MP and Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Baroness Walmsley watch a 3D dental scanner in action
Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley speaking to Chair of the APPG Sir Paul Beresford MP
Shadow Minister for dentistry Julie Cooper MP speaking to Mick Armstrong
Steve Reed MP extracting a tooth using a 17th century dental key
Alex Cunningham MP spinning a Victorian treadle drill
Lord Colwyn and Peter Ward
SNP Health Spokesperson Dr Philippa Whitford and Sir Paul Beresford MP trying virtual reality dentistry
David Linden MP speaking to Chief Executive of the BDIA Edmund Proffitt
Director of Health and Social Care at NICE Prof Gillian Leng exploring the exhibition
Improving oral health services
The Group brings together industry stakeholders with MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum to debate key issues and campaign to improve oral health and the quality of dental services.