Dr Chris McConnell: What the BACD Means to Me

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New BACD President Dr Chris McConnell celebrates life-changing encounters

Sometimes an encounter with a particular person, organisation or event can end up shaping our career. The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) has provided such a turning point for many clinicians and team members over the years. New BACD President Dr Chris McConnell puts into words what the BACD has meant to him.

I think people use the phrase ‘cosmetic dentistry’ too easily. To do it properly, you need to know about much more than just tooth whitening or veneers. Cosmetic dentistry is about understanding smile design, functionality, occlusion, materials, and, most importantly, how to make the smile fit the patient. It is a multifaceted field and the clinician requires a significant amount of additional training, to deliver all this ethically.

The BACD embodies this and supports individuals in their pursuit of clinical excellence. It offers education, but, much more than this, it also creates a community we can to turn to with questions or concerns, to expand capabilities and celebrate achievements. We are also very proud to be so inclusive – championing diversity and equality. We are a meritocracy, so everyone is judged by merit only and nothing else.

I first came across the BACD when I attended a Conference in 2005 – it was then that I realised the full value of having a network of like-minded peers to help elevate my work.
I made many friends, and it also became easier than I first thought to advance my skills through the Academy’s network of mentors and peers – including some of the most skilled cosmetic dentists in the UK.

Years later, my dentistry has completely changed for the better, I have more structure and all the support I need to achieve my cosmetic dentistry aspirations. That is what the BACD means to me. The Academy is well recognised across the world for bringing amazing speakers to conferences and promoting the importance of going back to basics in terms of clinical skills, education and networking.

And yet I would like to see the BACD promoted more in the public arena. I believe it is important to engage with the general population and make them aware of how to check a cosmetic dentist’s credentials before proceeding with treatment. It would be great to empower patients to ask their clinician if they are a BACD member so that can gain peace of mind that their dentist adheres to the highest levels of training and clinical standards.

The best way to achieve this is through our member base. In the coming months, we will be encouraging members to get involved in a brand ambassador programme, providing them with content and support to promote their services while demonstrating to their patients what it means to be a BACD cosmetic dentist. We will also be helping to market practices locally, raising awareness of the BACD and driving more patients to our members’ doors.

Educational programme

We are currently restructuring the BACD educational programme to offer even more hands-on opportunities and some great new events for members. We are looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality with the return of face-to-face meetings with four hands-on sessions, two full day free educational sessions, our annual ‘Female Leaders in Dentistry’ day, BACD Business Day and a fantastic lecture in memory of past president Anoop Maini in June.

We have also found that our members really enjoyed the webinars, so we are looking at continuing this too. Our aim is to carry on supporting members during and after COVID, giving ever-greater value for BACD membership. For me the biggest highlight of the educational calendar has to be the first ever BACD residential conference in November 2022. Held at Celtic Manor in Wales, this will be a special event, with many companies and overseas dentists already registering high interest.

We are really excited to welcome Frank Spear on the Friday – a Rockstar of US dentistry who rarely lectures in Europe, so it’s a massive deal to see him this side of the pond! But we firmly believe in fun as well as education so have a golf day on the 2010 Ryder Cup course, fantastic after-conference parties, gala dinner, and much more for every delegate.


For more information about the BACD, visit www.bacd.com