John Makin

John Makin

Author at Dentistry Online

Head of the DDU
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COVID-19: what have members asked the DDU?

John Makin reveals the issues that have prompted most requests for advice and support during the pandemic in 2020. The coronavirus outbreak has been an anxious and challenging time in dental practice. Health concerns, financial pressures and the need to adapt to wholesale changes in working arrangements have caused real anguish. However, dental professionals have … Continued

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What can 2020 teach us?

John Makin reflects on how we can still learn important lessons from a difficult 2020. Many dental professionals are used to dealing with high pressure situations, stressful decisions, and anxious patients. However, the pandemic magnified these challenges to an unprecedented level during 2020.  Over the course of last year, there was a variety of new … Continued

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Reflecting on 2020

John Makin, head of the Dental Defence Union, reflects on how we can still learn important lessons from a difficult 2020. Many dental professionals are used to dealing with high pressure situations, stressful decisions, and anxious patients. But the pandemic has magnified these challenges to an unprecedented level during 2020. Over the course of the … Continued

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Indemnity – your questions answered

One of the first decisions you need to make as a young dentist is about your professional indemnity. It can be a confusing area. Head of the Dental Defence Union, John Makin, answers your top five queries. 1. Why do I need professional indemnity? Even when carefully managing risks when treating patients, dental professionals can … Continued

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Acting with immunity

John Makin warns the public should not hold dental professionals to an unattainable standard after the applause fades away. Every Thursday evening, people up and down the UK ‘clap for carers’. This is in recognition of the efforts of NHS staff and other key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an uplifting moment. But when … Continued

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Stability in uncertain times

John Makin urges dental professionals to regularly check relevant websites to stay up to date with the latest advice. Dental practice has changed dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s natural for dental professionals to be feeling unnerved by the speed and scale of the transformation. We have heard from many members concerned … Continued

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Keep it local

John Makin remarks on the growing number of complaints coming from other dental professionals. Efforts by the General Dental Council (GDC) to better signpost those raising concerns about fitness to practise (FTP) to local processes rather than the regulator have begun to pay off. The number of complaints to the GDC about FTP decreased by … Continued

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Patients or consumers for cosmetic facial treatments?

John Makin says dental professionals need to be cautious when marketing cosmetic facial treatments. Two new documents appeared in my inbox recently that highlighted the need for dental professionals to tread cautiously when promoting cosmetic facial treatments to patients. Firstly, the General Dental Council’s (GDC) latest Patients and Public survey. This looks at the views … Continued

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Charity work in Tanzania with bridge2aid

John Makin recounts his time in Tanzania with the charity Bridge2aid. Travelling overseas is always a rewarding experience to learn about new cultures and to push yourself out of your comfort zone. There is the opportunity to learn how local dentists work, when you take an elective placement, often with extremely limited resources. In short, … Continued

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GDC changing its emphasis

John Makin explains why the GDC’s changing emphasis is something the dental profession should welcome. Fortunately, relatively few dental professionals undergo a GDC investigation. Even fewer have any action on their registration as a result. In 2018 the GDC’s Professional Conduct Committee imposed erasure or suspension in just 125 cases. Or 0.1% out of 116,173 registrants. However, … Continued

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Contractual friction burns

John Makin on how to temper the fallout when a relationship between practice and associate turns sour. Dentists have traditionally worked in general practice on a self-employed basis. In most cases, it’s a win-win situation, as the associate can focus on caring for their patients and developing their skills without the additional pressures of practice … Continued

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Read the small print

John Makin advises that it helps to have a clear picture of the types of products on offer when choosing an indemnity provider A report by the consumer group Which? found that the small print on an average car, home, pet or travel insurance policy document is harder to understand than Stephen Hawking’s A Brief … Continued

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Give honesty a chance

John Makin on why it’s important and ethically sound to inform your patients when their dentist uproots to another practice. When a popular associate decides to move to pastures new, it’s only human to feel disappointed, but also a little worried. It is not just a matter of replacing a respected member of the dental … Continued


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