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Panel discussion – ‘The Future of Dentistry’

We hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday 4 July 2023 in London as part of our 140th birthday celebrations following the AGM. The aim was for the Board and the audience to consider how the dental profession will evolve and look forward to the impact this may have on the organisation, its applicants, and its funding in the future.

The discussion was chaired by Dr. John Milne, Patron of the BDA Benevolent Fund. The panelists were Dr. Shawn Charlwood, Chair of GDPC, Dr. Jasneet Gulati, host of Protrusive Dental Podcast, Dr. Ola Hassan, a GDP and Trustee of UK and US-based charity Health-Point Foundation, and Dr. Gina Vega, Principal Dentist at Bishopsgate Dental and one of the BACD Board of Directors.

The discussion ranged from topics looking at the impact of AI and new technologies, the influence of the NHS, and the implications these could have on dental professionals, their wellbeing, and the ability to care for vulnerable patients. It was a lot to cover in just one hour and there was great audience participation.

What implications might the changes in dentistry mean for those who seek assistance from the Benevolent Fund and those that support it through donating and fundraising?

The BDA Benevolent Fund has been supporting dentists for 140 years and has only slightly changed over that time. The final question for the panel considered how it can stay relevant for the next century considering these changes and if it would still be needed.

There was a concern amongst the panelists about whether enough of the profession would still be contributing to the Charity in the future.

There will still be a need, but will it still be here?

It was noted BDA Branches and Sections seem less active and younger people are typically not as involved with the Charity as previous generations which has already had an implication on donations received. Without support from the profession, the Charity is at risk.

There were many contributions from the floor about the continued demand for services and how it might support the profession in the future. This included not just financial support but also perhaps mentorship and increasing support to improve the mental health of dentists in the UK.

It was felt there is a lack of awareness of the Charity and that it should continue to work in partnership with other organisations to raise its profile amongst dental students, dentists, and their families.

Attendees commented that they were delighted to see such expertise and diversity on the panel which added to the depth of discussion. A cake was shared to mark the special day.

We welcome your thoughts about how best to promote the BDA Benevolent Fund so that everyone knows where to come in their time of need.

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Dr Austin Banner


  • Trustee since 2010
  • Dental speciality – Retired consultant Orthodontist
  • County – Southern Counties
  • I am a Past President of the BDA Southern Counties Branch with extensive experience in committee, management, teaching, and training.

Dr Peter Crooks


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental Speciality – General Dental Practitioner
  • County – Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • I am the representative of the Principal Executive Committee of the BDA on the BDA Benevolent Fund Board. I hope to continue and foster the close working relationship between the Charity and the BDA, of whose members are also members of the charity. I’m also a Director and Secretary of a charitable company – CHEERS Youth Centre

Dr Molly Deykin


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental speciality – General Dental Practitioner
  • County – London
  • I have been involved in student support groups and I was elected British Dental Student Association President. I worked with the Sands Cox Charity when I was the Dental School Society Vice-President. After graduating I was the Foundation Dentist Representative on the BDA Young Dentists Committee.

Dr Allan Franklin


  • Trustee since 2003
  • Dental speciality – General Dental Practitioner for 35 years
  • County – Oldham/ Rochdale
  • I am the Chairman of BDA Oldham & Rochdale Section (and previous Secretary). Chairman for the E.Lancs & E Cheshire Branch of BDA in charge of section regeneration. Previous Chairman of British Society for Dental Hypnosis (as it was then) and involved in Local Dental Committees.

Dr Alex Gormley


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental Speciality – Academic Clinical Fellow at the University of Bristol
  • County – Bristol
  • I have worked in primary dental care and a maxillofacial unit since graduation. I am continuing my dental core training alongside academic training at the University of Bristol. I also serve as the Early Career Representative as an invited board member at the FDS at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Dr Chris Hayward


  • Trustee since 2013
  • Dental speciality – Associate Specialist in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Lead Clinician Dental Emergency Department Newcastle Dental Hospital, Honorary  Clinical Lecturer Newcastle Dental School
  • County – Newcastle/ Northern Counties
  • I have been active in the BDA at Section, Branch, and National Levels. I was a member of the Rep Board/Body; a former member of the BDA PEC; a Director of International Affairs; and the previous BDA Board.

Dr Philip Henderson


  • Trustee since 2006
  • Dental Speciality-Principal Practice Owner and in General Dental Service for 37 years.
  • County – Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • I have been a Church Elder for 34 years with pastoral care responsibility Local Dental Adviser for Dental Protection including attending GDC Hearings and Probity work in NHS Current member “Probing Dental Stress” group in N.I.
  • Past: LDC Chair, N.I.DPC Chair, Northern Ireland Branch BDA President, Director of the BDA’s PEC for two terms

Dr Ros Keeton


  • Trustee since 2008
  • Dental Specialty – Leadership and management of Dental Services
  • County – Shropshire
  • I am an experienced NHS Chief Executive and health care leader who combines a dental background with substantial leadership experience. I am also a Chairman of a specialist hospice and EOL charity Compton Care. I am a passionate and committed advocate for dentists in distress.

Dr Stuart Robson


  • Trustee since 2006
  • Dental speciality – A General Dental Practitioner
  • County– North Yorkshire
  • Former President of BDA 1999- 2000, previous Vice-Chairman of BDA Council and also Dental Services Committee. On behalf of North Yorkshire LDC, was organiser and lead of the North Yorkshire PASS (Practitioner Advice and Support Scheme) preventing some dentist with problems having dire financial and professional difficulties.

Dr Bill Creedon


  • Trustee since 2014
  • Dental speciality – GDP
  • County – Hampshire
  • I have been in general practice for over 20 years as a practice owner in Southampton. The last four years I have been also working at Kings College, London. I am Chair of the BDA’s Wessex branch and Vice Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight LDC.