Speaking at the 2014 British Dental Conference and Exhibition in Manchester, Dr Mick Armstrong argued that: 'The dental profession is facing a burgeoning challenge in which a double standard between the professionalism expected of it, and the lack of professionalism with which it is too-often treated, is emerging.'
Citing examples of the inadequate funding uplifts awarded to dentists this year, the shortcomings of regulators in dealing with the profession and the lack of conviction of some politicians in their approach to publicly-controversial but evidence-based measures such as water fluoridation, Dr Armstrong said: 'The profession can be proud of the way it continually rises to the challenge and reasserts its professionalism when many around it appear to falter.
'That professionalism cannot be taken for granted though,' he cautioned, arguing that 'it is amazing that dental professionals uphold the standards they do for patients despite the attack they are coming under.
'It is time for the double standard used to batter dentistry to be vanquished, for the right choices dental professionals make every day to be supported and for regulators to rise to the challenge of matching practitioners' standards of conduct.'
Dr Armstrong is a general dental practitioner in a mainly NHS practice in Castleford, West Yorkshire.
He was elected chair of the British Dental Association in March 2014.