Michael Watson

Michael Watson

Author at Dentistry Online

Michael Watson qualified 50 years ago and started his career in the Royal Army Dental Corps. Retiring in 1979 he set up a general dental practice in Manningtree. In the 80s he became secretary of the GDPA and was the first editor of its journal the General Dental Practitioner. Moving to the BDA in 1991 he spent the rest if his career as a political adviser and editing BDA news. Since retiring he has continued writing and is a regular contributor to dentistry.co.uk and Dentistry magazine along with being the news correspondent for both. Michael now spends more time at a time-share on Gran Canaria and reducing the kid’s inheritance on cruise ships.
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Crisis in child oral health

Michael Watson discusses what needs to be done to improve the oral health of the nation’s children. Last week I attended a meeting of the Commons Health Committee, which was discussing the crisis in child oral health. One third of children in England suffer from tooth decay, which is the most common reason why five-nine-year-olds … Continued

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More people being seen under the NHS

A total of 30 million patients were seen in the 24-month period ending 31 December, 2014, which is an increase of 1.9 million on March 2006, when the new contract started. Expressed as a percentage of the population, this represents a small increase of 0.1% (55.7%) from the 2006 figure. Although the number of children … Continued

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Study suggests oral screening a role for the dental team

Fiona Sandom, who is president of the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT), has drawn our attention to a new study suggesting dental hygienists and therapists should be used to screen for dental caries and periodontal disease. The report, with the rather forbidding title: The Efficacy of Screening for Common Dental Diseases by Hygiene-Therapists A … Continued

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The new dental contract prototypes explained

The long awaited proposals for dental contract prototypes have now been released by the Department of Health. It was at the British Dental Association conference in Manchester last April that health minister, Earl Howe, announced that such prototypes would be started to test the whole contract, rather than parts of it as the existing pilots … Continued

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Practice opening hours over the Christmas holiday

Over a month ago the area team (AT) of NHS England wrote to dental practices about maintaining services over the Christmas period, apart from the bank holidays. The letters reminded them that the contracts stipulated the times during which access to ‘urgent and routine’ treatment must be maintained. Most letters said that on all days, … Continued

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The search for a new dental contract

Michael Watson explains how the current dental contract could be made to work, and why it currently isn’t. Long before Harry Potter, medieval alchemists were searching for the philosopher’s stone, the magic formula that would turn base metal into gold. I see the search for a new dental contract, which will transform NHS dentistry into a … Continued

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Diabetes – Michael Watson’s perspective as a patient

Last Monday I spent an away day at a football stadium to educate myself in managing my type two diabetes. Organised by Diabetes UK and sponsored by Tesco, it was an excellent course and attracted 100+ people. We were given a list of 15 ‘care essentials’ that need to be checked, from blood sugar, retina, feet blood … Continued

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What is the GDC for? Michael Watson takes a closer look

My intention this week had been to steer clear of the General Dental Council (GDC), however Mr Moyes’s talk to the Parliamentary Group last week led me to reconsider. Apart from refusing to answer any questions from the British Dental Association’s (BDA’s) Mick Armstrong, he made a number of contentious remarks that deserve some analysis. According to … Continued

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Michael Watson looks at the latest guidance from NICE on children’s oral health

I don’t know what surprised me most last Wednesday – the BDA (British Dental Association) welcoming moving prevention from practice to schoolroom, or the BBC report that teachers would ‘check kids teeth’. Of course the media reporting was a bit of an exaggeration. What the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) actually said … Continued