Dentistry Awards – Depth Report

The 2010 Dentistry Awards once again provided the cream of the dental profession with the perfect opportunity to celebrate a year of achievement in style.

The popular annual event, in its fifth running, was held at the Art Deco-style Athena in Leicester on Friday 10 December, and left its 500-plus guests enthralled.

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Tom Stade, a Canadian comedian seen on BBC television shows Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Mock The Week, was the guest compere and went down a treat with the audience, as did the customary champagne reception and delicious three-course meal.

There were also some amazing acrobats, jugglers and circus entertainment laid on throughout the evening.

And then it was down to business as the winners, selected by the Dentistry Awards panel of judges, chaired by Amarjit Gill, were revealed from the various shortlists.

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Belmore Dental Studio (above) enjoyed a fantastic evening, claiming the Best Team award for Northern Ireland as well as the Best Team UK title.

Belmore’s Rory McEnhill was also named Best Young Dentist for Northern Ireland.

He said: ‘It’s a bit surreal but it’s a wonderful experience. You put in the effort during your career; you try to be a better dentist and give your patients the best you can possibly give them, and this is a lovely reward for that. It’s a great thing to be recognised. Although I’ve won an individual award, I’m part of a team, and I’ve only got to where I am because of the people I work with.

‘The Dentistry Awards give the profession something to aim at – to put yourself into the awards selection process, you have to be better, and you have to aim at being a better dentist. You’re up against some amazing dentists, practices and teams, and to win is a wonderful accolade. At Belmore, we’re the most westerly practice at these awards, and I think we’ve done very well to even be recognised in Northern Ireland – to win the UK category is a super achievement, and we’re so proud to be in this position.’

Rory’s brother Joe McEnhill, associate dentist at the practice, said: ‘As a first-time entrant, it’s truly overwhelming to win these awards. We didn’t expect to win; it really does come down to the hard work of our team. It’s lovely, among such esteemed peers, to be coming out on top – it really bolsters the confidence and makes you realise that you’re doing something good for your patients.’

Visage Lifestyle Clinic were named Best Team and Practice in Scotland, and then rounded the evening off by winning the Best Practice UK award. Practice manager Avril Mclintock told us: ‘We are absolutely delighted to win this award. It recognises our dedication to giving our patients the very best care we can provide. We’re so proud – thank you very, very much.’

Another big winner was Edward Lynch, who was awarded the UK Outstanding Achievement award. Earlier in the year Edward was voted by readers of Dentistry magazine and users of Dentistry.co.uk as the number one in our Top 50 poll of the most influential figures in UK dentistry.

He said: ‘It is fantastic to be given this prestigious award and I feel privileged and honoured, especially with the very strong field of the nine shortlisted excellent people.

‘I would not have received this award without the excellent support I get as head of dentistry in the University of Warwick. I would like to dedicate this award to the superb team in Warwick Dentistry who have, I believe, probably one of the best international dentistry faculties in the world. I’m extremely proud to be working in Warwick, which is currently ranked the third best university in the UK (with Oxford first and Cambridge second) and the excellent Warwick part-time distance learning diplomas and masters suit busy dentists superbly as well as allowing them to become DIPSIs.

‘I want to thank professor Philip Lamey for nominating me for this award. Philip was my dean in Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) for many years – in fact, he deserves this award more than I do. Philip is world class and he helped raise the standards in QUB from being last in the UK to actually being ranked the number one dental school in the UK about two years ago in the Times Higher Education Supplement.’

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The other national winner was Matthew Perkins (above), who was named Best Young Dentist for the UK after winning the same award in the Midlands region.

‘It feels absolutely fantastic to win,’ he said. ‘It really is beyond my wildest dreams. I half hoped I might win the Midlands region for Best Young Dentist, but to win the overall UK winner too really is an honour. My wife had a baby last Monday; Stephanie was born at four in the morning and hasn’t had the easiest start in life, so this award really goes to her because she’s a proper fighter. I will be entering again next year with no doubt; they are the most prestigious awards in the country, so why wouldn’t I enter?’

The Smile Spa, based in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside, (no relation to the nationwide teeth-whitening franchise, The Smile Spa) scooped the Best Practice award for the North East. Practice owners Simon and Susan Andrews were delighted, Simon telling us: ‘Coming here tonight we hoped to win, and it’s fantastic we have because there was some very challenging opposition.

‘We’ve brought 20 people with us from the practice tonight and it’s great for them to enjoy the atmosphere. ‘We’ve worked extremely hard as a team this year and we’ve expanded too, offering new treatments such as implants.

‘I think success is always based on teamwork and in this climate you have to work harder than before to achieve the same results. We set ourselves the target this year of growing our business by 30% in an area deemed one of the most deprived in the country, and we exceeded those targets and that doesn’t happen without having the right team to support you. It’s a fabulous evening and we’re very appreciative of FMC’s support.’

Also in the North East, Jayendra Patel, of Clarendon Dental Spa, won the Best Young Dentist award.

He said: ‘I have been very humbled by the response from my friends, family and colleagues and by their happiness for me winning this award.

‘I am happy that the support they have provided in all my activities me since I qualified in 2004 from Leeds has come to something. I believe that this award is a once in a lifetime achievement and will drive me to achieve further. I also believe that such awards will be very beneficial to our business, especially in marketing our services and team.

‘I would like to thank FMC for organising such a memorable event that the whole team were proud to have attended.’

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Monik Vasant (above) was all smiles after being named Best Young Dentist in the North West. Asked if he expected to win, he said: ‘You don’t know what to expect – you just put your application in and hope for the best and it’s fantastic to be read out as the winner.

‘I have my whole team here tonight, and I really want them to get recognition as I wouldn’t have won this without them.

‘We’ve been working hard to provide a good service to our patients. I think being really honest with your patients is crucial – just explain the case with them and make it clear you really care about their treatment, that seems to have done the trick for us.

‘Last year we were shortlisted but didn’t win, so it’s fantastic to go one better this time, and it’s a much appreciated endorsement. You can only hope you get recognition for your efforts and I can only thank the Dentistry Awards for giving this to me. The smile on the faces of my folks makes it totally worthwhile.’

Best Team in the North West went to Ash Dental Practice.

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Principal Ash Rayarel (above) said: ‘Everybody is over the moon to win this award. A valued member of the team sadly passed away at Easter last year, and she’s been the inspiration for this award – it’s really for her.’

The Dental Suite won the accolade of Best Practice in the Midlands. The husband-and-wife team of Kalpesh Bohara and Raha Sepehrara were delighted, Kalpesh saying: ‘Basically, last year Raha won Best Young Dentist in the Midlands, and I won it the year before, so winning Best Practice this year is a great continuation – we’ve come full circle! It’s a great thing to achieve – everyone is so proud to have won.’

Raha added: ‘Most importantly, it’s very rewarding for our staff too. We wouldn’t be as successful as we are without them. We have a great team; we work so well together – it’s fantastic to have that recognised.’

The East region was dominated by White Rose Dental Studio, who claimed the Best Team and Best Practice awards.

Principal Anoush Ariakish said: ‘I’m still absorbing the news, but I’m delighted! We’ve worked very hard to get here. These awards are about complete teamwork – our staff are the ones who know every single one of our patients and keep the goodwill alive. It’s their hard work. I think the Dentistry Awards are fantastic for the profession – everyone is talking about them, from the staff to the patients. It helps patients see that we’re doing things properly and that’s a good thing. We’re so happy to have won.’

Carpenters Arms Dental Practice were also double winners – scooping the Best Team and Best Young Dentist awards for the South East.

Glen Taylor, winner of the latter award, told us: ‘We didn’t expect to win and it feels fantastic. Being on stage happened so quickly, I don’t really remember it, I’m actually a bit shell shocked to be honest. We’ll definitely enter again next year. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and build on it.’

Colleague Fiona Campion added: ‘We’re a three-surgery NHS practice, we try to get involved with the community and have focused on boosting attendance of local children. We had a lot of letters from patients with recommendations on – we included those in our entry so maybe that’s what helped us win. ‘We entered mainly because I wanted to put Glen forward for all his hard work – and while he’s still young enough! I think the awards are very important, it’s so great to be recognised regionally and then aspire to win overall.’

In the South West and Wales, Winning Smiles Dental Care took the Best Team gong. Murray Hawkins said: ‘I feel ecstatic! We won because we have a wonderful team who care about each other 110%.

‘We’re always looking to add new and innovative ideas, the public just don’t realise, so it’s good for them to see.’

Sue Hawkins added: ‘It is important for the public to know what hard work goes into the service we provide and how much we care, the awards help to show our patients this. We’ll be entering next year, we’re always looking to improve, you can never be complacent.’

Best Team North East went to St Michael’s Orthodontics in Wakefield.

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Practice principal, Catherine McCanny, said: ‘We were absolutely thrilled to receive this award. Our practice has gone through some significant changes in the last few years and this award gives recognition to all the hard work the team have put into making St Michael’s what it is today.

‘I was delighted that the judges recognised my team for what they are – a group of highly enthusiastic, dedicated and committed individuals who will always strive for high professional standards. I am so proud of them.’

Martin Chapman, director of Fruit Business Management and responsible for the double award-winning website for The Smile Lounge, said: ‘Winning the Best Website and Best Specialist Referral Website with The Smile Lounge site has been the fantastic end to a really tough 2010.

‘My partner and I were involved in a serious motorcycle accident in February and I’ve spent the rest of the year undergoing numerous operations on all my limbs! Something so serious can knock your confidence and self-belief, so these awards perhaps mean just a little more to me and Fruit Business Management as we approach a new year and, hopefully, new and exciting challenges.’

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