The editors of Dentistry.co.uk throughout the years

The editors of Dentistry.co.uk throughout the years

The past and present editors of Dentistry.co.uk reflect on its 25 years of growth, from a time when digital media was newly up and coming to becoming the driving force in UK dental media.

Charles Southey

Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I joined FMC in 2004. I enjoyed working alongside a bright, dynamic and entrepreneurial team.

It was surprising to me that Dentistry didn’t have much of an online presence. Looking back, this was likely due to the lack of interest from the profession at the time.

Unconcerned by the limited interest from everyone else (and being the irritating eager beaver I was) I decided to embark on a mission to design and build a new ‘Dentistry Online’.

I was lucky to have a great colleague Tim Webster who was the company’s web developer at the time. He was excellent at bringing the designs to life.

My evenings after work were mostly spent filling the website with articles taken from the printed magazine. And then after the arrival of the printed magazine, I published the content online. Back then I was always careful to ensure that the magazine had had at least a couple of days to be read before I published it online. After all, the magazine was the priority and I didn’t want to steal its thunder!

Exceeding expectations

The website continued under the radar for a few months, gaining traffic and improving its visibility on the search engines. It was only when, by some miracle, I managed to sell an online advert (I think it was Ivoclar Vivadent) that heads started to turn and the business really took an interest in it.

The pivotal moment was everyone realising the commercial opportunities for an online version of Dentistry. It’s safe to say FMC hasn’t looked back having invested year after year in its digital offering.

It was really exciting to build a product from the ground up and be a part of something that repeatedly exceeded all expectations.

We built something that has endured and is now the driving force in UK dental media – embraced heavily by the profession and the industry. I can’t wait to see what Dentistry Online looks like after the next 25 years!

Paul Gadsby

It was a very exciting time to be taking over the editorial helm of Dentistry.co.uk in 2006.

The site was moving with the times as we expanded our digital offering. We posted regular news stories from the industry for the first time as well as product features. This gave us some fresh and vibrant content to complement our previous information on seminars and magazine subscriptions.

We took the opportunity to engage and interact with our online audience in a way we’d never done before, utilising the technology to invite readers to cast their votes in our popular ‘Top 50’ influential figures in the UK dental sector campaign.

Breaking new ground

We also experimented with making videos promoting our clients’ products and services. We launched a new section on the site detailing our growing list of live events and awards ceremonies, offering guidance on how practices could enter. 

Using powerful imagery and snippets of video (the technology for this was still in its infancy back then!) to supplement our content really felt like we were breaking new ground, both within the company walls and across the dental media as a whole.

It was a fantastic experience to play a role in introducing our large, previously print-based readership to this innovative, forward-looking website, and helping to grow that online audience from there.

We worked hard to develop the site into a quick, easy and informative one-stop shop for dental professionals at all levels. This made it an editorial and commercial success while providing a solid platform for future online development.

Julie Bissett

From a time when digital media was newly up and coming, to becoming the most familiar news platform, Julie Bissett reflects on her time as editor of Dentistry.co.uk in 2008.

My journalism career began in newspapers, magazines and print media. So, when I joined FMC in 2008, digital media was new to me.

Appointed editor of Dentistry.co.uk, I was given free rein to populate the site with what I deemed as dental news.

Initially I was sceptical that there was any such thing – how wrong I was!

On my first day, I recall upsetting the FGDP(UK) press office by failing to use the full acronym in a story. Their reaction was immediate – as was the ability to correct my mistake online. From thereon in, I cherished the scope I was given to deliver news – and fast.

Immediacy has been a facet of the website throughout its 25-year history.

From strength to strength

Dentistry.co.uk has grown over time to become very much the dental website to emulate.

Most dental professionals I know use it as their sole source of dental news. This is because it has its finger on the pulse of the profession as the political landscape remains a key focus.

During the height of Covid-19, it kept the industry up to date on key milestones, government policy and infection control regulations. It covered the like that would affect every team in the UK.

Dentistry.co.uk has gone from strength to strength and is now a cleanly designed website. It cleverly harnesses rich media such as videos, webinars and podcasts to positive effect. It also delivers CPD learning opportunities.

Although Dentistry magazine may remain the company’s flagship for some, the future is very much digital. The two seemingly dovetail perfectly to provide the profession with complete over-arching access to information necessary to deliver high quality dentistry.

Dentistry.co.uk’s mission is to inform and share information and report on current trends and challenges. Therefore, it is well placed to furnish practitioners and their teams with the knowledge and understanding to be part of any step change within the profession.

I look back on my time as editor fondly. I wish the team at FMC a hugely successful next 25 years.

Seb Evans

When I first joined FMC, almost nine years ago now, the Dentistry website was a shadow of what it is today.

Priority was given to the magazines that were dominating information within dentistry at the time. And the website was very much an afterthought.

How things change in just under a decade.

Despite this, I remember upsetting a number of readers in my early days after suggesting publishing a letter in The Telegraph about how poor NHS dentistry was, was a little dramatic and not the right way to tackle the situation.

A letter in The Telegraph now doesn’t nearly go far enough!

Everything changed

Over the following years, the website underwent a number of iterations and gradually grew in popularity, as did our social media following.

When the pandemic first hit, the groundwork we’d done previously meant we were ready to bring the latest updates to the profession and keep everyone as up to date as we could during that period.

Despite that, we were overwhelmed by all the attention and readers we gained at the time. We almost take those numbers for granted now, but we raised the bar that year as far as online dental publications go.

And I believe we’ve continued to raise the bar a year on year since then.

A big thank you

But my biggest thank you has to go to our readers and contributors.

We do our best to bring you the latest news and information, but I am astounded at the profession’s generosity when it comes to giving their time to write articles for us and give their perspective on stories.

The likes and engagement we see on social media is always encouraging too.

Although Dentistry.co.uk has come a long way in the last 25 years, this is only the beginning. We have exciting plans for the website – it has never undergone as much innovation as is currently happening.

But I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that has contributed over the last 25 years.

And for those who haven’t, get in touch! We’d love to hear your stories.


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