Dentistry Top 50 and a new number one!


Thousands of you voted online and here are the results in full! This now-traditional annual feature yet again gripped readers as they took the opportunity to have their say on who they felt were the most influential people in the UK dental profession. This is the fourth year we’ve run this campaign and the excitement and anticipation it draws from within the industry show no sign of abating. Read on to see where your votes went. . . 

1. Eddie Crouch
Last year’s position: 2

We have a new winner! Eddie’s sterling work as both a committed NHS practitioner and an inspirational political crusader over recent years has seen his influence soar, and with it his placing in this poll.


After co-founding the political pressure group ChallengeDoH with John Renshaw and Ian Gordon in 2006 in response to the introduction of the new contract, Eddie blazed into the top 50 in March 2007 at number six, the highest new entry for that year. Twelve months later he came in second, and in 2009 he goes one better. It has been a rollercoaster ride to the top, certainly not without its difficulties and sacrifices, but the Birmingham orthodontist has clearly had a huge impact on the profession, drawing a wide spread of votes in this poll.


Many voted him as their number one while compiling their own top 10 lists. But, if not claiming the top spot, he often figured there or thereabouts on other people’s voting forms. It has been a big year for Eddie, which is more than likely the reason why he has risen from No 2 to No 1. He won a landmark legal victory against Birmingham PCT over a clause in the NHS dental contract that allowed bosses to terminate dental contracts without cause or notice, a brave move undertaken by Eddie at a significant risk to his personal financial security.


But, after an appeal to the profession, funding from colleagues and friends sympathetic to his cause flooded in to help him take his battle to court. The Department of Health then tried unsuccessfully to overturn this decision in December. Eddie also won the very first Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2008 Dentistry Awards for his contribution to NHS dentistry.

2. Kevin Lewis
Last year: 1

Well, it had to happen eventually. Kevin has finished top of the pile in each of the previous three years this poll has been staged, and as he himself once jokingly reflected to Dentistry magazine:


‘There’s only one way to go from here.’ And so it has proved. The number of votes he accumulated this year was still huge, however, and there’s no doubt that his influence throughout the profession remains immensely strong across a wide spread of people. Kevin spent two decades in general practice, specialising in preventive dentistry and practice management.


In 1989, he joined Dental Protection and was appointed dental director there in 1998, a post he still holds. He has written textbooks on practice management issues and contributed to CD training programmes on infection control. He has lectured all over the world, but it is his engaging writing style that has won him so many admirers in recent years. He was the associate editor of Dental Practice for 25 years and has been a consultant editor on Dentistry magazine, in which he writes a fortnightly column, since 2006.


His vigorous and sharp prose has won many admirers, and has become an extremely effective way of illustrating his inimitable insight into all aspects of UK dentistry.


3. Amarjit Gill
Last year: 5

Another high placing for the cosmetic dentist who has influenced many people’s careers through his long-standing work with the British Dental Association. Amarjit is a senior cosmetic dentist at Wollaton Dental Care, Nottingham, heading the SmilesAhead dental office and offering patients simple or advanced choices in smile design.


Amarjit was deputy chairman of the British Dental Association’s executive board until March 2008. He is still on the board and, in June 2008, was selected to be the BDA president for 2010-11. He is also a member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the International Academy for Dental Facial Aesthetics. He has worked in several NHS practices during his career, one of which he successfully designed and built himself, and draws on his own business and entrepreneurial experience to offer guidance to BDA members making the switch to private practice.


Amarjit is also a freelance journalist, contributing to many dental magazines – covering product launches in particular – and is a renowned lecturer in the UK, his main topics of discussion being the future of dentistry and tooth whitening.


4. Barry Cockcroft
Last year: 22

It has been another busy year for the chief dental officer for England, and maybe it’s the high-profile dental news stories that Barry has inevitably been involved with that have helped his place in this poll rise 18 places from this time last year. The issues over water fluoridation, access to NHS dentists, the upcoming three-year anniversary of the new contract and its ring-fencing implications, government funding into mouth cancer prevention, the use of mercury amalgam to name but a few have all required a significant recent contribution from Barry into the on-running debate.


Dental-related stories are hitting the national headlines at a frenetic rate it seems, with hardly a week going by without some kind of survey being released and demanding an official government reaction, a recent one being the so-called ‘DIY dentistry’ that members of the public are undertaking due to not having access to an NHS dentist.


Away from the media, Barry’s efforts in implementing DoH strategy rarely go unnoticed, leading the way in encouraging PCTs to employ local commissioning policies to improve the public’s oral health. Prior to joining the DoH in 2002, he spent 27 years in NHS general practice, serving as chairman of the West Midlands Association of LDCs and as vice-chairman of the BDA’s General Dental Services Committee.


5. Edward Lynch
Last year: 6

Once again Edward achieves a high placing, demonstrating the crucial influence that academics can have on the dental sector. Edward holds the position of Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Gerodontology at the Queen’s University Belfast, as well as Consultant in Restorative Dentistry to the Royal Hospitals.


He has served as Senior Lecturer in Conservative Dentistry and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and Postgraduate Course Organiser for the University of London. At the time of writing, he has been awarded 94 research grants, totalling about £5 million. During his career, Edward has successfully supervised more than 40 MSc, MPhil and PhD students and has been awarded many prizes for his research.


He is also a specialist in endodontics, prosthodontics and restorative dentistry, and presents at many postgraduate courses each year. His research team in Queens University Belfast has been honoured nine times by being awarded first prizes at the annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, while Edward has just been elected the next President of GORG in the International Association for Dental Research. Edward has recently edited the Quintessence book, entitled Ozone – The Revolution in Dentistry, and is chairman of the European Experts Group on tooth whitening.

6. Mike Gow Last year: N/A; 7. Roy Higson Last year: 12; 8. Philip Wander Last year: N/A; 9. Raj Rattan Last year: 7; 10. Wyman Chan Last year: 34; 11. Michael Wise Last year: 4; 12. Nairn Wilson Last year: 31; 13. Mervyn Druian Last year: 43; 14. Trevor Burke Last year: 16; 15. Sia Mirfendereski Last year: N/A; 16. Christopher Orr Last year: 8; 17. Chris Barrow Last year: 9; 18. Ruby Austin Last year: 39; 19. Margaret Seward Last year: 38; 20. Ellis Paul Last year: 15;
21. Linda Greenwall Last year: 46; 22. David Houston Last year: 14; 23. Stephen Hancocks Last year: 19; 24. David Bloom Last year: 42; 25. Paul Tipton Last year: 18; 26. Lester Ellman Last year: 36; 27. Paddi Lund Last year: 3; 28. Gordon Christensen Last year: 20; 29. Michael Zybutz
Last year: N/A; 30. John Tiernan Last year: 26; 31. Manny Vasant Last year: 25; 32. Tony Jacobs
Last year: 28; 33. Hew Mathewson Last year: 24; 34. Paul Beresford Last year: N/A; 35. Joe Rich
Last year: 48; 36. Ian Buckle Last year: N/A; 37. Simon Hocken Last year: 11; 38. Michael Watson Last year: 33; 39. Julian English Last year: 44; 40. Peter Ward Last year: 37

And the rest . . .
41. Newton Fahl
42. Susie Sanderson
43. Liz Kay
44. Derek Watson
45. Mike Martin
46. Sue Gregory
47. George Freedman
48. Anthony Blinkhorn
49. Abid Faqir
50. Bridget Crump

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