Six Nations dentistry

In 1997, Simon Hill was lining up against England at the national stadium in Cardiff to win his 12th cap for Wales. In February 2009 he will be returning to the national stadium – this time with a group of dentists to watch Wales play England in the Six Nations Championship. The game will be the climax to a two-day course in Cardiff organised by Ian Mills and Simon Hill entitled Implant dentistry – raising your game.

In addition to national honours, Simon played over 300 times for Cardiff, represented the Barbarians and appeared in the first European Cup Final in 1995 – all while studying dentistry at
University College Wales. He was forced to retire through injury and has subsequently applied the same focus and determination to develop an implant referral practice in South Wales.

‘I know Ian through the FGDP Implant Diploma and we share a mutual passion for dentistry, rugby and the Wooden Spoon charity’, explained Simon. ‘We are both involved locally with Wooden Spoon, which is a rugby charity helping disadvantaged and disabled children, and this is how the idea for the course came about.’

Ian and Simon organised a similar course in 2008, which proved a resounding success, and helped raise over £1,000 for Wooden Spoon. Having been persuaded to organise this year’s event, they hope to raise more than £5,000 for charity.

Ian, who runs an implant referral practice in North Devon, enthused: ‘The feedback from last year’s course was very positive, and the delegates seemed to find it both educationally and socially worthwhile. We seem to have stumbled upon a winning formula that offers quality CPD, top-class sport and enjoyable company.’

This year, the two-day event will focus on ‘developing your practice’, and the organisers have managed to recruit some headline acts to deliver the programme.

Ashley Latter, Simon Hocken and Martin Docking will give presentations on various topics including creating a vision, marketing, advances in laboratory techniques and ethical selling.

‘We are absolutely delighted at the standard of speakers which we have managed to attract to Cardiff this year’, said Simon. ‘It is a great opportunity to listen to some of the most influential speakers in UK dentistry, and then have the chance to chat with them in the evening.’

A dinner has been arranged on the Friday to allow delegates to socialise after the formal presentations have been delivered, and the guests will be entertained by after dinner speaker Dr Phil Hammond. Phil is a columnist for Private Eye, part-time GP, radio presenter, media celebrity and a huge rugby fan.

One of the most memorable aspects of the inaugural event was the rugby Q&A at the end of the course where a panel of ex-international rugby players took questions from the audience. This proved extremely popular and Andrew Lewis, Arwel Thomas and Simon gave an amusing and
entertaining insight into international rugby.

Ian said: ‘We have several ex-rugby internationals lined up to attend the event, and it promises to be a great weekend. Unfortunately we can only accommodate 50 delegates due to the limited availability of match tickets, and judging by the initial demand we are likely to be oversubscribed.’

The course runs over 13 and 14 February 2009 and there are still some spaces available. If anyone is interested in attending they can contact Ian Mills at [email protected] for further details or phone Ian on 01805 623657.

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