More than 500 guests flocked to the Athena in Leicester on Friday 2 December to spend an evening of wining and dining before the ceremony itself, hosted by cutting-edge comedy magician Paul Zenon.
The Dentistry Awards has a unique format, being divided into nine regions to recognise outstanding young individuals, teams and practices across all areas of the UK.
There were three categories (Best Young Dentist, Best Team, Best Practice) for each region, as well as an overall UK winner from each category. This year saw the introduction of a new award – Best DCP – as well the Website Awards and UK Outstanding Achievement Award.
Nominations for the awards were collated earlier in the year, with a select panel of judges finalising the shortlist and winners ahead of the evening itself.
It turned out to be a massive night for Tooth Plus from Stirling. They were named Best Practice for Scotland and then picked up the overall UK accolade in the same category. Practice director Rachael Blyth said: ‘I’m speechless! We didn’t expect to win at all – it was totally out of the blue! We’re absolutely delighted, it’s so exciting to have won. The competition was really strong, we were against such high-calibre practices so to have won is just amazing. It’s a huge morale boost as we’re only two years old.
‘The awards mean that even small practices like ours have something to aim for, to focus on being the best we can. It’s a good exercise for the practice and the team, to stop and realise what we are doing and what more we can do.
‘We will definitely enter next year – probably for a different category like Best Team – and if we’re shortlisted we will bring everyone along. We just weren’t expecting to win, the night has been so good.’
Dentist Abhishek Singh added: ‘It’s nice to be recognised for what we do. The awards are important because it demonstrates a level of performance and care on a national scale. We’ll definitely be putting the award on the wall!’
The Dental Studio
It was also a hugely successful night for The Dental Studio from Colchester. They won the Best Team award for the East region as well as the UK. Principal Stephen Pitt told Dentistry magazine:
‘It’s amazing. I can’t believe we won! We’ve won awards in the past, but working together as a team has helped us push things to the next level.
‘Winning this really brings us together as a team. It’s a wonderful reward for all the team’s hard work – to get this sort of accolade from a national magazine is huge! I’d just like to thank my entire team. Everyone worked so hard throughout the year.’
Another national winner was Dannick Jethwa, who picked up the Best Young Dentist award for the Midlands and the UK. He said: ‘Although it was an individual award, I couldn’t have done it without my team. This is the first time I’ve won an award here and it’s very exciting! Anyone could have won, but I applied my best. It has inspired me to progress in dentistry and become better at all I do.’
Jane Armitage, practice manager of Thompson & Thomas in Sheffield (who also won Best Team and Best Practice for the North East), claimed the prestigious UK Outstanding Achievement Award. ‘What a night!’ she said. ‘I can’t believe it – I’m overwhelmed! I believe in the profession. I believe in the industry. I believe in what we all do, and I think that’s key.
‘It’s brilliant that the team won an award as well. We’re all delighted with that – but I’m gobsmacked to have won the Outstanding Achievement!’
Cranmore Dental Practice
The title of Best Practice for Northern Ireland went to Cranmore Dental Practice. Business development manager Brenda Nelson told us: ‘It’s a great platform for Northern Ireland and the dental profession. We have some great dentists working over here – award-winning dentists – and it’s great for us to be recognised.
‘The awards are a great measure of commitment to quality, community, and how you deliver service to the right standard.’
Invisibrace took the honours for Best Practice in the South East. Principal and owner Darsh Patel said: ‘We’re over the moon! We were in such a big category so we’re really chuffed to have won! It’s weird and exciting all at the same time, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, I’ll have to pinch myself!
‘We’re newly established so it’s sometimes hard to convince new patients that they’re in good hands. These awards add credentials from an independent body so that’s why they’re so important to us. I’m going to put this award in the consultation room so all our patients can see it.
‘Its’ recognition for our hard work, no one realises that you’re busting your guts, we put so much into our entry to portray what we do, so winning is a nice recognition of that!’
Best Practice in London went to E11even Orthodontics. Clinical ortho lead Shivani Patel told us: ‘2011 has been an amazing year for E11even; we won at the Private Dentistry Awards, and now this, we just couldn’t ask for more. It’s good to know we have the right system in place. We really have to thank our referrers, patients and staff.’
His colleague Anthony Lam added: ‘We didn’t expect to win as the competition is really tough. London is such a competitive region that we need something to market ourselves and set ourselves apart from the rest and these awards do just that.’
Harrow Weald Dental Practice
The award for Best Team for London went to Harrow Weald Dental Practice. Principal Sundip Kalirai told us: ‘We have a relaxed and enjoyable team and, in 10 years of practising, this is the best one – we’ve simply all gelled together.’
Titchfield Dental Health
Titchfield Dental Health in Southampton were named Best Team in the South East. Owner Clare Chavasse was effusive in her praise for her team, saying: ‘We are a great team and I am keen to encourage every one of them to make the best of themselves in their careers.’
Earlier in the year Clare’s husband, who was at the ceremony with the team, collected patients when they were stuck in the snow. Clare said: ‘It’s what we’re all about. It’s our whole philosophy – focusing on the patient and helping the team reach the top of their game. These awards focus us on what we do best for our patients.’
Neel Panchal was named Best Young Dentist for London. Neel, a practising associate at Putney Dentists who is also studying for an MSc in aesthetic dentistry at King’s College London Dental Institute, said: ‘I am quite independently driven with my master’s, but my tutors are very encouraging. The work that I submitted to the judging panel was very detailed and it’s great that influential figures in British dentistry have appreciated my work.
‘I was happy just to be shortlisted, but once I turned up at the event it hit me how much I wanted the award. I could feel my heart beating when they read out the announcement.
‘It’s great for someone to recognise my work and I am very proud, but I think this achievement is down to the standard and quality of teaching that I have received whilst studying for my postgraduate at King’s.’
Lorraine Browne, of Belmore Dental Studio in Enniskillen, was the Northern Ireland and UK winner in the inaugural Best DCP Awards.
As head dental nurse at the practice, she was nominated by the practice principal, Sinead McEnhill. Lorraine said: ‘I don’t know what to say. It’s just absolutely amazing. I’d just like to thanks to everyone at the practice for their support and for getting me here today. To be the first DCP to win this inaugural award makes it even better. I am very proud. I think it’s brilliant that DCPs are getting recognition in these awards now.’
Joe McEnhill, also of Belmore, scooped the Best Young Dentist award in Northern Ireland.
Henriette Brown of Open Dental Care was named Best DCP for London. She said: ‘It’s a great honour to win, especially as this is the first time there’s been a Best DCP award at the Dentistry Awards. It’s good that the work DCPs do is being recognised – if you work hard, you deserve to be rewarded, and DCPs work very hard!’
Alison Thompson, principal of The Dental Barn, picked up the Best DCP award for the South East.
She told us: ‘I’m a hygienist who owns a dental practice, so I’m very surprised to win. Surprised but very pleased too!
‘I think the awards are great. They recognise what dental professionals do and that’s really important. Dentistry is a team game – you can’t do it without everyone working together. I’d recommend entering the awards to any DCP.’
he Best DCP award for the North East went to Jodie Wilberforce of Manor Dental Health. She said: ‘I’m delighted. I wasn’t expecting it as there were four shortlisted in my category and region.
‘I came all the way from Hull. Seven of us have come – our practice only entered best DCP, so they all came for me. And we got lost on the way here!
‘The awards ceremony was fantastic. I have never been to anything like this before. My practice’s support has been amazing. This whole experience is something that I am not used to.’
Arden House Dental
Arden House Dental from Cheltenham scooped the Best Website award. Dentist Ian Hazlem said: ‘Nowadays having a practice website is vital and is the way to market your business and confirms recommendations from word of mouth. Everyone looks on the internet and we have spent a lot of time getting it right. We’ve only been up and running a year so we are more than pleased.’
Best Young Dentist
Scotland – Dr Jamie Newlands, The Berkeley Clinic
Northern Ireland – Dr Joe McEnhill, Belmore Dental
North West – Dr Chris Waith, Cahill Dental Care Centre Ltd
North East – Dr Jenny Kabir, Fresh Dental Smile Clinic
Midlands – Dr Dannick Jethwa, Spondon Dental Practice
East – Dr Hiten Pabari, Blue Sky Dental
London – Dr Neel Panchal, Putney Dentists
South West and Wales – Dr Mike Hughes, Graham Roy Dental Care
UK winner – Dr Dannick Jethwa, Spondon Dental Practice
Scotland – The Eyemouth Dental Practice
Northern Ireland – Yew Tree Dental Practice
North West – Ideal Dental Care
North East – Thompson & Thomas
• St Michael’s Orthodontics LTD (Highly Commended)
East – The Dental Studio
• The Smile Centre (Highly Commended)
London – Harrow Weald Dental Practice
South West and Wales – St Piran Dental Practice
South East – Titchfield Dental Health
UK Winner: The Dental Studio
Scotland – Tooth Plus
Northern Ireland – Cranmore Dental Practice
North West – Magicsmiles Dental Studios
North East – Thompson & Thomas
Midlands – Beacon DentalCare
East – Bancroft Dentistry
• Braintree Dental Studio (Highly Commended)
London – Elleven Orthodontics
South West and Wales – Lostwithiel Dental Surgery
South East – Invisibrace
UK Winner: Tooth Plus
Northern Ireland – Lorraine Browne, Belmore Dental Clinic
North East – Jodie Wilberforce, Manor Dental Health
North West – Andrea Shipton, Ideal Dental Care
London – Henriette Brown, Open Dental Care
South East – Alison Thompson, The Dental Barn
UK Winner: Lorraine Browne, Belmore Dental Clinic
UK Outstanding Achievement Award
Jane Armitage, Thompson & Thomas
Best Specialist Referral Website – Maple Orthodontics
Best New Website – Harley Street Dental Studio
Best Website – Arden House Dental