Chris McConnell: BACD 2022

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Chris McConnell: 2022 at the BACD

Chris McConnell speaks about his experience as President of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD). What was achieved during his time in the role, and what’s next on the cards for the academy?

I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my role as President has been working out how to get things back to how they were before COVID. I wanted to bring that social magic back, return to live meetings, move away from virtual conferences and make in-person interaction the norm again.

Earlier this year we had the first lot of face-to-face events. They were really great and widely supported by members and non-members alike, which was very encouraging. We also received wonderful feedback about these sessions, with lots of people mentioning how they would like to gain greater value from their education.

In response to this, we’re looking at hosting hands-on training events that provide the kind of skills attendees can implement straightaway in practice while navigating the post-COVID landscape.

Over the past year, one of our goals has been making the public and our profession more aware of cosmetic dentistry and how it is provided ethically. We’ve also been raising awareness of the BACD among the general public and going above and beyond to support our members. The launch of the Brand Ambassador programme has been a big highlight – we really wanted to help our members raise their profile.

Our other great achievement has been the launch of our new BACD Accreditation, which really helps support people in their career development, by not only allowing their work to be peer-reviewed but also showcasing them as highly accomplished cosmetic dentists both in the UK and overseas.

We soft launched this scheme at the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show last May, but the full launch was at our 18th Annual Conference in November, which proved a huge highlight of the academy’s year.

With its phenomenal list of international speakers, the Conference was a sell-out event. The gala dinner with its ‘fire and ice’ theme went down a storm, and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to catch up with friends face-to-face, and it was great to welcome new members into the fold.

Our future plans are to consolidate on our growth from last year and to incorporate all of the principles already outlined, such as enhancing networking opportunities for our members and really developing that all-important awareness of the BACD both among the public and the profession.

I feel this is going to put the BACD in an even stronger position as the go-to academy for the media on any cosmetic dental stories and topics. I also think we will witness the gradual demise of NHS dentistry, meaning practices will have to look at alternative income sources.

This, combined with the growing desire among the public for improved oral health and smile aesthetics means that cosmetic dentistry is becoming a real boom area – the BACD will be at the heart of this and will continue to give clinicians the skills and advice they need to fully embrace cosmetic dentistry in their practices.

Now is a great time for everyone to get involved – it’s such a rewarding field of dentistry – but it also has the potential to open a lot of other avenues. Whenever we look to grow as dental professionals it’s always best to do this with like-minded individuals.

When we work together as a group we achieve so much more, which is what the BACD is all about. The academy is a group of people focusing their skills and talents for the benefit of all.

I’ve received great support from my board and the members of the academy. I’ve also received great help from many people from outside the academy, such as the professionals at EKC, industry partners, and everyone else who has assisted me during my term as president of the BACD, without whom it would’ve been a lot harder.

The role of President passes from Chris McConnell to Simon Chard.

To get involved and become a member of the academy, visit www.bacd.com