2014 blog in review – still a lot of work to do….

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Monday Morning Quote #298

“Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”

Douglas Bader

Per-Ingvar Branemark – R.I.P.

250px-Branemark_headshot2I was very sorry to hear of the death of Per-Ingvar Branemark who died on December 20th. at the age of 85. He had been ill for some time.

The discovery in 1952 that titanium would integrate with bone flew in the face of conventional thinking at the time. The finding which was by chance, as so many in science are. He was researching blood flow in the bones of rabbits and found that the titanium optical chambers of the microscopes could not be removed. He termed this phenomenon “osseointegration”.

I don’t know how the jump was made to the application in dentistry, Sverker Toreskog once told me that he had suggested it to Branemark over coffee one morning in Gothenburg, but Branemark constructed “fixtures” of pure titanium which were carefully inserted into the implant site. His first patient was Gosta Larsson and the fixtures were still in place at the patient’s death 40 years later.

The first presentation of his research work was in 1978, more than a quarter of a century after his initial findings. Such dedication to the research into the process of integration and its use in dentistry needed a team of physicians, dentists, biologists, engineers, metallurgists and physicists under Branemark’s leadership. His meticulous procedures and attention to detail meant that by the time he released his findings the procedure was already tried and tested.

Unfortunately dental implants had a very poor reputation until the discovery of osseointegration, with patients suffering from their loss and often being worse off than before treatment. So in may ways Branemark was swimming against the tide of opinion and history and was facing a great deal of scepticism from medical and dental colleagues. He struggled with funding for his research and was eventually funded from outside his home country.

The fact that dental implantology is now seen and taught as a part of mainstream dentistry is a testament to the rapid growth and great success of the procedures that he pioneered.

The world, not just dentistry, owes a great deal to this meticulous and dedicated man whose findings have brought benefits through increased quality of life to millions.


The man who made people smile. here

Per-Ingvar Brånemark. here

Obituary Dentinal Tubules: here


The Monday Morning Quote #297

“About all you can do in life is be who you are.

Some people will love you for you.

Most will love you for what you can do for them,

and some won’t like you at all.”

Rita Mae Brown

An open letter to the Chief Executive of the General Dental Council – BDA

As the dust settles on the judicial review, the 2014 award for Brass Neck goes to Evlynne Gilvarry.

An open letter to the Chief Executive of the General Dental Council

The British Dental Association (BDA) has published an open letter to Evlynne Gilvarry, Chief Executive of the General Dental Council, following their press statement on today’s High Court judgment.

The regulator was found to have acted unlawfully in its handling of the consultation on the Annual Retention Fee (ARF). In the statement the regulator appeared to sidestep the substance of Justice Cranston’s judgment.

Evlynne Gilvarry
Chief Executive
General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street
London W1G 8DQ

Dear Evlynne

We have been alerted to your press statement with regard to today’s judgment by Mr Justice Cranston. You quote, highly selectively, from paragraph 36 of the judgment, which credits the GDC for its public announcements on a commitment to transparent consultation. However, that specific paragraph goes on to outline that ‘a transparent consultation meant that consultees had to be put in a position to test the validity of the assumptions purporting to underlie the suggested fee increase’.

Elsewhere in the consultation, Mr Cranston is unambiguous that, whilst the GDC may have made these public announcements, it did not live up to them. For example:

–          ‘In my judgment…there was a gaping hole in the GDC annual retention fee consultation’ (paragraph 37)

–          ‘The GDC’s answer to the freedom of information request…was distinctly unhelpful’ (paragraph 37)

–          ‘In my judgment this substantially increased projection of the number of fitness to practise hearings clearly required a transparent explanation and adequate information as to how it was calculated. […] None of the key information as regards closure rates and fitness to practise trend information was disclosed as part of the consultation (paragraph 38)

–          ‘The gap [in information] was fundamental to the whole edifice. As a result the consultation was not transparent’ (paragraph 40)

Therefore, to highlight this extract from the judgment, without recognising the context – that the GDC has been found not to have lived up to its public announcements on transparency, which is the basis for the finding of unlawfulness of the consultation – is enormously misleading.

It is also interesting to note that today’s release sits just above the GDC’s position statement on the duty of Candour and Honesty.  In light of the fact that a High Court Judge has today handed down a judgment that finds the GDC to have acted unlawfully, I would be interested in your views as to whether your reportage properly accords with the underlying principles of such duties.

Yours sincerely

Peter Ward
Chief Executive
British Dental Association

A copy of the draft judgment is available for download here: https://www.bda.org/news-centre/press-releases/Documents/bda-gdc-judgment-18-dec-2014.pdf

‘General Dental Council statement on the outcome of the BDA’s judicial review’ published 18 December 2014 is available here: http://www.gdc-uk.org/Newsandpublications/Pressreleases/Pages/General-Dental-Council-statement-on-the-outcome-of-the-BDA’s-judicial-review-.aspx

An Open Letter to the General Dental Council – GDPUK

I try to not get too involved with dental politics on this blog – I save that for my work with the BDA and so on, but in the wake of the Judicial Review result this morning regarding the hike in Annual Retention Fee I am happy to share this. Originally posted on GDPUK.

An Open Letter to The CEO & Registrar, Chair of the GDC, and the Council Members.

Dear Ms Gilvarry and Mr Moyes, and the General Dental Council members.

Today has been a landmark day for the UK dental profession.

It is now apparent that it is not only the Dental Profession that had doubts over the veracity and legality of the case presented for the increase in the Annual Retention Fee, but our legal system has also condemned the process.

This is in addition to the questions now being asked at Ministerial level about the problems behind the doors of Wimpole Street.

To Ms Gilvarry and Mr Moyes, as the heads of the now tainted and damaged General Dental Council you must both take full responsibility for the situation you now find yourselves in.

To the Council Members, your failure to call to task publically an Executive that has lost its way so completely renders your continued membership of the council untenable.

Never has a profession been so united against the unjust and inappropriate measures its flawed regulator sees fit to employ, its mechanism of operation, and the double standards from within which it operates.

Such double standards as the redaction of personal information that reveals the directorship held by Chief Executive on the grounds it has a duty to protect privacy since this might identify the home address. Yet the GDC fail to acknowledge that this same risk exists publishing registrants addresses without allowing any discussion as to their human rights privacy and considering an alternative. It is ironic, considering how easy it is to find details of the directorships held by individuals which then reveal the personal addresses, that the Council still believes you are owed more privacy than a registrant deserves because of the risk of publishing that information.

The double standards present when Council meet in private in a shabby and undemocratic manner to rubber stamp the ARF increase, and then pass it with the words ‘Are we Comfortable with that’, when we as registrants are expected to have full transparency and openness with our patients.

This situation can no longer continue. Not only has an entire profession voted ‘No Confidence’ in its regulator, now our Judiciary has weighed, measured, and given a verdict that is a final indictment of your leadership.

It is time for you to show some of the insight you so rightly expect of your registrants.

You fall far below the very standards by which you judge us at every opportunity.

It is time to resign.

This letter has been placed in the public domain for members of the dental profession to support by sharing on social media, by tweeting, sharing, or any other method of rebroadcasting it appropriately.

Yours Sincerely.

The Dental Profession.

The Monday Morning Quote #296

“I do not seek to follow in the footsteps of men of old;

I seek the things that they sought.”

Matsuo Basho (b 1644)


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