College of General Dentistry: what it can do for technicians
Nairn Wilson, honorary founding president of the College of General Dentistry, explains what this new organisation is planning for technicians.
The College, intended Royal College of General Dentistry (https://cgdent.uk) is being formed for all members of the dental team.
Dentistry and all those who make up the dental workforce should no longer be the exception in mainstream healthcare in not having a College, let alone a Royal College.
What will the College do?
The College, with parity amongst its members, whatever role they have in the dental team, will provide new whole-profession leadership. A unified, UK-wide voice for dentistry. Much needed career pathways, standards relevant to everyday dentistry and more.
Dental technology holds great importance in oral healthcare provision.
The College wishes to engage many more dental technicians in its formation, growth and development. There are plans to create a Faculty of Dental Technology (CGDent FDT). This will complement the work of the relevant professional associations.
The College is looking to dental technician members to get the faculty off to the best possible start. To cement its position in the structure, activities and strategic plans of the College.
Dental technologists, together with all other GDC-registered DCPs presently have the opportunity to take advantage of the College’s ‘Privileged Membership Scheme’ to join.
This intends to take account of post-qualifications diplomas and degrees in determining the entrance level to the core membership of the College – associate member (Assoc MCGDEnt), member (MCGDent), associated fellow (Assoc FCGDent) and fellow (FCGDent).
Levels of membership in the Faculty of Dental Technology – associate member (Assoc. MFDT CGDent), member (MFDT CGDent), associate fellow (Assoc FFDT CGDent) and fellow (FFDT CGDent) will be determined within the faculty, membership of which will be at no extra cost to members of the College.
Distinction and development
The distinction between an individual who may be recognised as a fellow in the faculty and a fellow of the college being achievements and attainment of standards notable in both dental technology and dentistry in general.
By way of example, a qualification in education, leadership or management or a masters or doctoral degree relevant to everyday clinical practice are notable achievements in dentistry. With each one being just as difficult to obtain and commendable whatever role someone has in the dental team.
The development of the College will be a transformational development in dentistry.
Given strong, across the profession support, we hope that the award of a royal charter will occur sooner rather than later. Royal status, will greatly enhance the standing of dentistry.
The profession may look forward to the possibility of many more, much needed interprofessional interactions and initiatives. The utilisation of the knowledge and skills of all dental professionals is lacking at present.
What the future holds
Interprofessional care of patients in fields as diverse as sports and sleep medicine and the holistic care of old, vulnerable individuals in which different forms of dental and dentally-related laboratory made appliances and devices play an important role.
They provide opportunity for dental technologists to come much closer to realising their full potential. Such thinking is central to the mission and vision of the College.
The College of General Dentistry is firmly on track with a growing head of steam towards formal launch this summer.
Dental technology must not miss the train. Individually and collectively, dental technologists can make an important difference by being on board.
The sooner the better for the whole profession and the future of dentistry: all for one – one for all.
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