Editor’s blog: Part the fourth

Hello everyone, it’s good to be back after my holiday\. I hope you all had a fantastic Easter break; I ate my body weight in chocolate eggs of all variety, but thank goodness for gyms and toothbrushes.

Easter is usually a time of reflection for all, not just an orgy of chocolate and tin foil. The long Bank Holiday weekend, while a welcome breather from the usual blood, sweat and tears of the working world, is chance to take stock. I like to use it as a chance to catch up on seeing those friends that live far away, or to dig into that backlog of ironing that inevitably builds up, but not this year, oh no!

I was asked to one of my friend’s stag nights. I lived with him and his wife-to-be in my final year of university and I like to think that I helped, along with my other housemates, to provide a serene atmosphere for their love to blossom. (Stop me if you need a sick-bag!)

The stag night itself was actually a whole day and night including a massive paint-ball outing (I still have the scars), a superb meal (I have just lost the weight) and a protracted night out in the local clubs (I’m still having flashbacks!). It was a brilliant send-off for the old boy. Best of luck to him and his missus everyone, he’s in IT and she’s in law, a veritable match made in heaven…or university.

Return from tangent
Anyway, back to the dental world. The news story that caught my eye this week concerned the finding that, due to the rising costs of dental treatment in Britain, a fifth of the British population are not going to the dentist. With this sort of information coming out it’s no wonder that there’s quite so much fear in the air over the future of the NHS service.

HAS, who commissioned the poll, also were able to reveal that a quarter of people think looking after their teeth is now unaffordable and 500,000 fewer people are regularly going to the dentist when compared with two years ago.

HSA spokesperson Richard Halley said: ‘This could be down to cost, and also difficulty in accessing an NHS dentist, indeed 27% of those surveyed claim they have struggled to find an NHS dentist.’ And so the fears grow.

What can be done about this? Is it purely patient perception of rising costs? Or is it a more deeply rooted problem? There’s no denying that the New Contract has deserved some of the criticism levelled at it, but when surveys like this reveal statistics like that, it must just compound the often spoken view that something needs to be done, maybe the 2008 New Contract will satisfy these demands.

In other news, with the legal deadline (30 July 2008) for GDC registration fast approaching, dental technicians are being encouraged to act now to ensure they are registered in time.

Usefully, for dental technicians who have not yet registered, a ‘Registration Surgery’ is being made available at the Dental Technology Show (9-10 May). At the GDC exhibition stand (E20 & E22) members of their staff will be on hand to check application forms, as well as offer advice and answer questions on the registration process. This is great news for all those still waiting to register. It’s always nice when something like this is made that little bit easier and more efficient.

Great offer
I would also like to draw your attention to an upcoming seminar, organised by Independent Seminars, Local Anaesthesia: the most important drug in dentistry. Running across Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of April 2008 the seminar will be held at the Royal College of Physicians, London and include a one day seminar followed the next day by an optional half-day hands-on session. The speakers are Dr Stanley Malamed & Dr John Meecham.

What’s even more exciting is the offer email you should shortly receive which will tell you all about how you can attend the first day of this event for only £175+VAT, a whopping £50 saving. Also if you wish to attend the hands-on section the following day just call Independent Seminars on 0800 371 652. All you need to do to find out more about the event and this offer is go to www.independentseminars.com/eventdetail.asp?seminar=214. If you go onto the website just enter the following code into the checkout box: PREVAPRIL, to receive your discount or alternatively you can call Independent Seminars on 0800 371 652 and quote the same code. It’s definitely not to be missed so log on or ring up today!

In the end
And so ends the fourth editor’s blog on Preventive Dentistry.co.uk. There’s so much going on at the moment so keep checking the website for all your oral health news needs. And remember, the magazine comes out in just over a month and we’re working feverishly to make it a cracker. Until next week, I hope you enjoy the rest the site has to offer.

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