The Monday Morning Quote #189

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln

Back training places call, young dentists urge.

In the wake of the DFT fiasco comes a call from young dentists. I am assured that the only reason there weren’t more places is because the DoH wouldn’t releases funds. One thing strikes me as odd when dentists leave the NHS the figure that their training has cost “the taxpayer” is frequently quoted as £250,000; when the cock up is down to the DoH the figure is £150,000 – no mention is made of the money that comes from the families of the students nor of the severe debt that the students bear. Nor is any mention of the sheer waste of manpower that this has caused.


17 October 2012

Back training places call, young dentists urge

Young dentists are calling for support for their demand for Government to guarantee all graduates from UK dental schools a Dental Foundation Training (DFT) place. The demand comes in the British Dental Association’s (BDA’s) newly-published YDC Asks, a mini-manifesto for young dentists developed by the organisation’s Young Dentists Committee (YDC).

The Committee is asking those who support it to sign a Government e-petition founded by YDC Chair Dr Martin Nimmo. The petition argues that the failure to allocate DFT places to UK graduates both wastes taxpayers’ money invested in their training, because denying each individual a DFT place means that they are prevented from providing NHS care, and is unfair to the graduates who taken on significant amounts of debt in order to complete their studies.

The launch of the petition follows a recent admission by the Department of Health (DH) that 35 UK graduates from the 2011 cohort have not been allocated DFT places. Each graduate, DH acknowledged, will have cost the public purse approximately £150,000 to train.

Dr Martin Nimmo, Chair of the BDA’s Young Dentists Committee, said:

“It is perverse that students who have strived hard to pursue a career in NHS care are being denied the training places they need to fulfil that ambition. This is a significant waste of taxpayers’ money, and a tragedy for the graduates who have taken on large amounts of debt in pursuing their vocation. Given that there are some areas of the UK where patients who wish to access NHS care cannot do so, it is also nonsensical.

“I urge all current and potential members of the profession, and taxpayers, to join young dentists in calling for a guarantee that this farcical situation will never be allowed to happen again.”

YDC Asks also expresses concerns that robust data should be used in workforce planning, that barriers to young dentists becoming practice owners are mounting and that careers in dental academia and specialist training must remain viable options for young dentists.


Notes to Editors

The BDA Young Dentists Committee represents practitioners up to 12 years post-graduation from all spheres of dentistry and across the UK and Northern Ireland.
The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association for dentists in the UK. It represents 23,000 dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students.
For further information, please contact the BDA’s media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter:!/TheBDA.

The Monday Morning Quote #188

“Originality is the art of concealing your sources.”


Thanks to Dixie Dynamite

I do wish I had said that #6

Michael Watson writing in Dentistry nails the subject.

Can governments be trusted with commissioning?

Michael Watson questions why commissioning remains the cornerstone to provision of healthcare across the NHS including dentistry.

The fiasco over West Coast Main Line rail franchise raises questions of whether ministers or civil servants can be trusted with commissioning projects in the future. Alasdair Palmer writing in the Daily Telegraph described it as ‘the latest in a long line of blunders in the way the state awards contracts to private companies.’

The Department of Health is not immune from this, remember the project to modernise the NHS computer systems, abandoned after £12 billion had been spent and wasted. Yet commissioning remains the cornerstone to provision of healthcare across the NHS including dentistry.

Indeed in its response to the recent Office of Fair Trading report, the government once again committed itself the principle of commissioning NHS primary dental care, with all such decisions being vested in a central mammoth NHS Commissioning Board.

Locally decisions will guided by advice from professional networks, with the added possibility of ‘jobs for friends’, maybe even brown envelopes stuffed with cash.

The rail franchise was initially awarded on the (inaccurate) basis of the winner being cheapest, not on whether it could provide a better service for passengers. The experience in dentistry over the past six years is that dental contracts are awarded to the cheapest, not those that will deliver the best patient experience.

What will happen when Sir Richard Branson in the form of Virgin Healthcare challenges a decision of the NHS Commissioning Board in the courts? Will it expose the flimsy basis on which NHS commissioning is based?

Of course until 2006 patients could choose which dentist to attend and what treatment to have. They were at the centre, but this, of course, robs the bureaucrats of their power and cannot be tolerated in the new world of the NHS.

The Monday Morning Quote #187

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves,”

William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar
(I, ii, 140-141)

The Greatest Breakthrough Since Lunchtime #6 – The Canary System

From The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation

A Toronto Success Story

Quantum Dental Technologies
A Quantum Leap For Dental Care

Drilling and filling cavities could soon be a thing of the past thanks to revolutionary new technology developed by Toronto dentist Stephen Abrams and U of T engineer Andreas Mandelis.

Called The Canary System, the technology uses light waves and can find cavities even before they show up on x-rays. The system is safe, non-invasive and painless – and lets dentists halt decay by using pastes or gels to remineralize teeth.

“This really is breakthrough technology,” says Abrams, now president of Quantum Dental Technologies, the company he and Mandelis formed to develop and manufacture the system.

With The Canary System, a dentist uses a handheld laser that emits a low-power light to examine tooth surfaces. The system measures the amount of light and heat emitted from each tooth. Since healthy tooth enamel produces a specific wavelength signature, any deviations can be analyzed, and can pinpoint problems as tiny as 50 microns (half the diameter of a strand of hair) up to five millimetres below the tooth surface.

Custom reports are generated and displayed on an interactive, touch-screen monitor for immediate chairside review. They can also be downloaded onto a smartphone or personal computer, helping patients take ownership of their own oral health care.

The Canary System, which won a National Instruments Graphical System Design Achievement Award in the medical device category for 2010, is expected to be available to dentists in Canada beginning in April 2011.

For Abrams and Mandelis, bringing the technology to market has been an exciting adventure that began 10 years ago in Abrams’ dental office when Mandelis was visiting for a routine check-up.

Abrams was bemoaning the state of preventative care in dentistry. Mandelis, an expert in thermophotonics, suggested perhaps lasers could be adapted to assess oral health.

The two brought their idea to the Ontario Centres of Excellence, which got the ball rolling with start-up funding and help with product development. Along the way, the Health Technology Exchange also contributed product development expertise and funding, and MaRS provided advisory services on positioning and branding.

“These commercialization programs have been very helpful to us,” says Quantum’s vice president of corporate development, Josh Silvertown. “For those who want to use them, government resources are there. The key is to be creative and take advantage of them.”


The Monday Morning Quote #186

The wonderful Belinda from The Labrador Rescue Trust delivered our new dog yesterday. His name is Jasper and he’s a 9 year old chocolate Lab., his previous owners have retired and bought a motor home with the intention of doing a lot of travelling. Sadly Jasper hates the movement of the motor home and is not a happy dog so with regret they decided to ask the LRT to find a new home for him.

Here are a few canine quotes via Phillip Humbert to celebrate Jasper’s arrival.

No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.  Louis Sabin

Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail.  Henry Wheeler Shaw  

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater… suggest that he wear a tail.   Fran Lebowitz

You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, “My God, you’re RIGHT! I never would’ve thought of that!”  Dave Barry

If your dog doesn’t like someone, you probably shouldn’t either.   Unknown

Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.  Bonnie Wilcox

The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.  Unknown

Dogs never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation.  Jerome K. Jerome

I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.  John Steinbeck

You may have a dog that won’t sit up, roll over or even cook breakfast, not because she’s too stupid to learn how but because she’s too smart to bother.   Rick Horowitz

My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can’t decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives.   Rita Rudner

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.      
When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.     
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another human.
With him, I am all powerful.
I know a secret comfort and a private peace.  
He has brought me understanding where I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.
His presence is protection against dark and unknown things.  
He has promised to wait for me in case I need him.
And I expect I will, as I always have.
— Gene Hill

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