Jason Wong, winner of FGDP(UK)’s Community Dentist of the Year, shares why he is so passionate about dentists contributing to their communities

As dental professionals, we are all committed to improving oral health amongst our patient population.

Many of us take this commitment beyond our daily employment, working with others to improve the oral health care service in our local community, often in our spare time.

The need for preventative advice is never far from our minds as a result of the many stories we hear through social media and online.

So many ways to help

Whether it is the fact that every 10 minutes, a child in the UK has a tooth removed in hospital or that, by the age of 10, many children have already consumed 18 years’ worth of sugar, we are reminded of the need to reach out to families who may not attend regular dental appointments. Helping people is what being a healthcare professional is about, after all.

There are so many ways to contribute to the oral health of your community – supporting local events, building relationships with schools and community organisations or even through the use of social media to share resources.

Depending on your preferences, there are opportunities to share skills by training other practitioners, supporting community planning or providing hands-on patient support and treatment.

The Community Contribution Award

I am a general dental practitioner and partner in a 12-surgery mixed practice in Grantham. Although my clinical practice is often slanted towards surgery, a lot of my clinical work still involves giving dental care to the whole family.

In addition to my day-to-day role, I spend time representing and helping local practitioners as the secretary of the Lincolnshire Local Dental Committee and am serving as Local Dental Network chair for NHS Central Midlands.

In 2017, I was lucky enough to be nominated by my peers for the FGDP(UK) Community Contribution Award. I am proud to have received the award and grateful to the people who nominated me for helping to provide the recognition.

I believe it is so important that awards like this allow us to showcase the fantastic work that so many dental professionals do outside of their day-to-day practice.

Why not give some thought to colleagues who may deserve some recognition for their community contribution?