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Happy New Year to the dental team from Dental Review

The fizz has been drunk and the fireworks glittered in the rain. What bright gifts will 2018 bring to the dental profession? Who will move where, and what new developments will grace supplier’s shelves?

One thing is sure; the team from Dental Review will do its utmost to bring you fresh material every week. After a brief recess to eat and drink too much we’re back and waiting to hear from you.

What new initiatives have you introduced to your practice to bring in more patients? What new technology has improved the workflow in your lab? Are you still digital free and prospering despite everything we’re told, or have you embraced the fourth industrial revolution and found the future looks bright with CAD/CAM?

The face of the NHS is changing in the UK that much we know. But will the trend for the most vulnerable dental patients to be found sitting for miserable hours in the increasingly rare A&E departments continue? We were pleased to see that Dentaid’s work in the UK has finally been recognised by the national press recently, but was it necessary for them to point out that the charity usually works in the third world, as if that was the point?

Certain sectors of the UK do not have access to NHS dental care due to poor or non-existent government funding. The BDA justifiably reports this as a scandal, and then we hear of amazing dental professionals lending their expertise to charitable work with rough sleepers throughout the UK over Christmas and the New Year. The profession has every right to be proud of these selfless people, but in the 21st Century should their support be necessary in the sixth richest country in the world? It’s time for the NHS to recognise that dentistry is an essential element of healthcare – and worth funding properly.

I remember an old prediction for the future of dentistry posited by the ‘Angry Dentist’ aka Derek Watson. He said that one day a patient will sit down in the dental chair and be treated by a robot. In the surgery there will also be a dentist and a dog. The dog is there to keep the dentist away from the patient; the dentist is there to feed the dog.

Somehow I doubt this will ever happen; I can’t see a robot turning up to treat homeless people on a cold winter’s night. That takes humanity and warmth, and I don’t think the developers have written an algorithm for that yet.

Have a brilliant New Year, and here’s to a cracking 2018

Derek Pearson