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Posts tagged “Dentists”

Could Dentistry Be At Risk In The UK?

Dentistry has sometimes been described as a Cinderella medical profession. The reality is that while careers in general medicine are perceived as more glamorous, dentistry is nevertheless a vital part of the overall medical profession.459343_blog

In fact it could be argued that getting regular check-ups at the dentist could prevent the development of many diseases. Symptoms can show in the oral cavity before they show themselves elsewhere.

In short, it is sometimes the first line of defense for health.

However, a recent survey of practicing dentists has found some rather disturbing news which, if not looked at seriously, could affect the development and growth of the dental profession.

Wesleyan, a specialist financial services provider for dentists, carried out a survey and found that a staggering 74% of dentists believe the costs of training plus reducing financial incentives could deter graduates from coming into the profession.

Interestingly, almost one-third of dentists (31%) said they would not recommend the profession, while 40% said they would choose a different career if they had the chance again.

Without doubt, dentistry in the UK has undergone some radical changes over the last 30 years.

With the NHS opening up as competition plus changes in contracts, many dental practices were forced to either close, be taken over by larger organisations, or go private.

Whether these changes are behind the current strong feelings held by many dentists is hard to assess.

However, many dentists feel that the next 5 years could be a worrying time with financial issues being the number one priority for 64% of respondents. This includes not only rising costs and reducing profits but also pension problems.

Many dentists who work in the NHS are also concerned that the recent reforms will have a significant effect on their businesses.

With a general election due in 2015 it will be interesting to see whether these worries continue or improve in the ensuing 4 or 5 years.

Dentists Get The Charitable Bug

468416_blogIn two separate events, dentists are getting involved in raising money for charity.

In one event a dentist who also doubles up as a part time professional singer is staging a live concert to raise money for 2 organisations – JDRF which is the Type 1 Diabetes Charity and The Cheyne Charity of Children with Cerebral Palsy.

This isn’t the first time that Andrew Bain has performed in a concert for charity. Last year he raised £6,000, but he hopes to at least match that with his present event entitled Love, Loss and Passion.

Interestingly, allied to this is a separate but linked idea. Concert goers are being urged to purchase refreshments and snacks from local suppliers. The suppliers are also donating the profits from the sale to Andrew’s chosen charities.

An auction is also planned with dental prizes being offered.

In the second event, a 10,000 kilometre race has been organised to raise money for the Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme (MCSAS).

The race itself takes place in Glasgow this coming October.

The MCSA aims to help improve outcomes for those suffering from head and neck cancers. In general, oral cancer which affects around 6,000 people in the UK alone each year tends to have a poor outcome unless caught very early.

As such, the money raised will help earlier diagnosis as well as trying to improve prevention.

Colgate offering a new award

The well known manufacturer of toothpaste, Colgate is stumping up money as an award for any dental practitioner – dentist, hygienist and so on who are considered to have gone beyond the call of duty.

The company is asking for dental practices to put forward names of anyone working there who the practice feels is worthy of being nominated. What’s more, the manufacturer will give the proud winner £5,000 as a prize to be paid to a charity of their choice.

As well as dentists, the organisers are looking for non-practitioners and others not directly involved in treatment to be nominated if they have come up with ideas which take the specific dental surgery in a different direction. For instance, is the practice pioneering new way of communicating with children? This is something that is often very difficult, particularly when they are frightened.

Perhaps someone in the surgery has made a suggestion to improve the efficiency of treatment or even invented a new technique which helps to minimise pain.

Called the Colgate Oral Health Month Unsung Hero Award entrants simply visit the Colgate Professional website. Full details of how to enter will also be found on the site.

Events like this are perhaps rare in Britain. Award systems are a regular feature in the USA, but it seems that many in the profession and those involved in some way such as manufacturers like Colgate are beginning to realise the valuable work of all who work in a dental practice in the UK – not just dentists themselves.

Burnley welcomes two new Indian Dentists

In what could be described as a 1950s throwback, a Burnley dental practice welcomed 2 new dentists who hail all the way from India.

When the NHS was being created, there was at that time a shortage of medical experts. Consequently many doctors from India and other parts of the Commonwealth were invited to the UK to work.

Sixty years on this great scheme appears to have been resurrected albeit on a very much lesser scale.

The two new dentists to arrive in Burney are Dr Nitika Virmani and Dr Ilyaz Uddin. The first of the two graduated in India but moved to Britain in 2006. Dr. Uddin recently graduated from Manchester University and has been working both in private practices as well as the NHS.

Speaking with reporters, Dr. Virmani said: “The people of Burnley don’t realise how lucky they are to have access to NHS dentists on their doorstep.”

He added: “I would certainly recommend that people get into the habit of attending the dentist routinely, and I’d like to encourage everyone to register with a dentist. Poor oral health can have a real effect on your physical and mental health.

“Looking after your teeth is vitally important for long term health.”

The two appointments were also welcomed by the East Lancashire Health Authority. A spokesperson for the NHS authority, Sharon Young said: “I am delighted to welcome the arrival of Drs Virmani and Uddin to Burnley and am confident that they will offer the residents of Burnley a first class service in dentistry.”

The practice itself in Burnley is also relatively new.

Apple Stores the Inspiration for Some Dentists

Steve Jobs may have passed on, but his legacy is likely to endure in many ways and not just with Apple’s products. It seems some dentists in the USA are taking on board some of the business practices used by Apple stores.

For instance, customer service is highly valued in Apple stores. Anyone entering one is greeted warmly and not just left to browse. Even if the shop is crowded a new visitor is talked to as if they are the only person in the shop. They are asked what they are looking for and basically treated like royalty. In short they receive personal attention from start to finish.

How can this be translated to a dental practice? After all, patients are there for treatment and not to purchase a product.

It seems that the meet and greet aspect of customer service can easily be transferred from a shop floor assistant to a practice secretary. It’s just about changing attitudes from simply taking information, to finding out what it is the patient really wants and not what they need. There is a subtle difference. The former puts the patient in the driving seat, while the latter takes power away from them.

How well this approach would go down in UK practices is anyone’s guess. The USA is known for its courteous approach to shoppers; Britain sadly is not. While the ‘customer is always right’ was once the mantra of the shopkeeper in Britain, the same didn’t usually apply to dental or medical patients. The patient-centred approach adopted by many medics, however, is changing that.

Apple is one of the most successful businesses in the world, making great products with customer service that is second to none.

Dentists can do no worse than adopt some practices offered by staff working in Apple shops. Not only will it reduce the fear factor of actually visiting the dentist, it could transform a patient’s whole experience.

New Dental Job Search Website Launched in the U.S.

While dentists in the UK appear to have no trouble getting a job, things may not be the same in the US. If so, a new website launched in the USA could help.

The website is also breaking new ground in that it asks applicants a number of pre-determined questions, which the company behind the site believes will streamline and reduce the time wasted by simply uploading a CV.

Speaking with local reporters in Boston Massachusetts, Dr. Moftah El-Ghadi, one of the people behind the new site said: “The days of looking at a CV to determine a job seeker’s viability are over. At the end of the day, it results in too many hours spent interviewing candidates who just aren’t a fit for the job.”

A colleague and chairman of the company, Kevin Collins added: “I’ve been helping match dental offices and dental workers with one another for over four years. I have always been able to understand the needs of the practice and match the candidate’s personality and skills with those needs. Dental Hunters provides this same level of attention electronically to efficiently place more dental professionals in dental jobs more often.”

“We’re hopeful that with Dental Hunters’ unique approach, we will change the dental staffing industry.”

The company that set up the website is called Dental Hunters, which matches job seekers with relevant employers involved in all types of dentistry, including general dentistry, orthodontics, oral surgery and periodontics. It also matches other non-dentist occupations such as hygienists, office managers and laboratory technicians.

Greater Job Chances in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine

It seems that graduates looking for a job once they leave University, are more likely to succeed if they have studied medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine.

This will no doubt come as a great surprise to many, but a disappointment to others, especially during these hard times. Youth unemployment is at an all time high and is not likely to improve any time soon. However the medical sector does seem to be bucking the trend. The stats come from a recent graduate survey and found the employment of students studying the main medical subjects rose in the past 12 months from 89.9% to 90.4%, with most students successfully getting a job in dentistry or medicine, with veterinary students not far behind.

Another interesting statistic is that Buckingham University, which is a privately owned educational establishment, appears to have a 100% employment record. An impressive figure before you realised that it only had 55 students in the medical fields. Most Universities have a lot more students than this, who study medical subjects and the percentage may therefore be lower.

A recent report also showed that the Robert Gordon University in Scotland, one of the larger institutions, fared best out of all of Scotland’s establishments (95.7%), whereas Surrey University, based in Guildford was the best of the English institutions at 94.8%.

Interestingly, out of the 20,000 graduates surveyed, computer science students lagged at the bottom with just 84.7% saying they found employment.

Put Oral Healthy at Top of the Agenda at Summit, Dentists Urge

Dentists from around the world are being urged to get in touch with their respective parliamentary representatives and Government Ministers, to put oral health at the top of the agenda at a UN summit in September. The event takes place in New York.

The summit itself is being set up to discuss non-communicable diseases and since World Oral Health Day is very soon, it gives dental health a chance to be a prominent subject for debate, not to mention greater media attention.

The list of subjects to be discussed at the UN summit include: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disorders. However, dentists argue that there are common links between these non-communicable disorders and oral health, so the latter should be included.

Unfortunately, the feedback being given to organisations such as the World Dental Federation (FDI) is not positive. But a spokesperson for the FDI told reporters: “At this point, oral health still has little support and is unlikely to figure in the Final Declaration unless at the specific request of member governments.”

So, the FDI has taken matters into its own hands by urging dentists to lobby their MPs and other Government people. They sent an opening letter, which reads: “By writing to your health authorities and arranging a meeting, you may be able to convince them to include oral health in their written commentary and interventions at the Summit. There is a letter on our website that you can download and use as a model.

You will find some background details below. In addition, we have attached a Special Advisory document to help in your discussions with the minister.”

Dentists Demonstrate their Cooking Side

When you visit your dentist, you hope that your dental issues will be resolved in due course. Fillings, veneers and braces are just some of the many forms of treatment which your dentist can provide you with. A friendly service is hopefully the norm as well, as many are emotionally scarred after a particularly traumatic experience. However, have you ever had a burger or a hot dog with extra onions served to you by your dental professional? One dental practice has decided to do exactly that.

Taking place at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girl’s School, Butterfly Lane, Elstree in Hertfordshire on the 10th July 2011, the “Anglo-Asian Odontological Group” (AOG) is giving their patients and staff members along with their family members the chance to be given something else other than a dental bill as they will be serving up a delicious barbecue.

This isn’t the first year that this event has taken place and last year three hundred guests attended, who also had the chance to participate in family sports, see children’s entertainers and listen to some great music.

Tickets for this year’s barbeque are available on the day and they cost £10 for adults, £2 for children but you can buy before the day itself and they cost £5 for adults and £1 for children. The proceeds from this event will go towards the many goodwill gestures and projects which the AOG are involved with which include charitable projects in Tanzania, India and Sri Lanka.

By becoming an exclusive member of the AOG, you can attend the BBQ as well as being invited to the other events which are just as much fun as this is bound to be. Members will also find a reduction of their outgoings which include products and services that include educational courses and dental equipment.

Docs and Dentists Top of the Employment Heap

The top jobs in the world come with huge investments and potential risks—years of training and the possibility for lawsuits. A recent American study revealed that jobs in the medical and dental industries top the list of best jobs.

The study was apt to point out the perks of these top positions, chief amongst them being the hefty salary of an average of over $200,000. In fact, the top eight highest paying jobs in America are all branches of medicine and dentistry, fields shelling out the most bucks include anesthesiology, gynecology, orthodontics and surgery.

Employees in these fields are likely to have considerably larger bank accounts than most, but that’s not where the perks end. There’ll always be people having surgeries—cosmetic or life-saving, women in need of pap smears, and children in need of braces. Medicine and dentistry is pretty solid in terms of job security.

A senior recruitment officer for an American hospital, Alan Dixon, said he would recommend the medical profession to anyone looking or a secure place to work. “During the economic decline we have always had the ability to keep our patients, keep our staff, with no layoffs.  For us that’s a huge thing of security in our jobs. So that you are able to come to work everyday and have good benefits and good salaries.”

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