The future of dentistry is bright, says profession

Positivity about the future of dentistry is alive and well. At least, that’s the message from the people working at its forefront, says FMC’s Guy Hiscott.

Scores of the profession’s brightest pioneers gathered at the Future of Dentistry Summit earlier this month (5 December) to discuss the road ahead for dentistry in the UK.   

And while they agreed that dentistry is facing huge challenges, the sense of resolution was clear: 98% of the audience said they felt positive about the next five years in the profession.  

Across several hours of round table debate – and several more over drinks afterwards at the Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch – invitees from all corners of the profession tackled the big issues in their working lives. Every topic from regulation to technology was up for discussion.  

Several key themes emerged over the course of the night, with the difficulties of recruitment and retention looming particularly large. Issues with skill gaps and the need for extensive postgraduate training characterised many conversations.  

The future of dentistry is bright, says profession

Collaborative discussion

Further criticism waited in the wings for the thorny issue of regulation – with 98% of the room voting that the General Dental Council does not regulate the profession fairly.

Around half of the audience – 51% – added that they felt anxious about the prospect of being subject to a Fitness to Practise investigation.  

But despite these issues, the mood in the room was buoyant as the evening closed. Asked whether they would recommend a career in dentistry, the invitees offered a nearly clean sweep: 92% said that they would.  

Guy Hiscott, content director at FMC, paid tribute to the experience on offer. He said: ‘We asked for collaborative, honest discussion – and that’s exactly what we received.   

‘The Future of Dentistry brought together some of the country’s leading dentists, nurses, hygienists, therapists and technicians to share their insights into the issues facing dentistry. That alone has been a great event to be part of. But watching them turn that insight into collaboration and start working through how to solve those issues? That’s been inspirational.  

‘We heard tonight that the people here feel optimistic about the future of dentistry. Based on what we’ve seen and heard here, I think that’s with good reason!’  

Follow Dentistry for a full report from the summit, including a deeper dive into the big issues shaping the future of dentistry.  

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