Essex Local Dental Committee

Welcome to the Essex Local Dental Committee Website

Promoting the interests, aspirations and welfare of general dental practitioners in Essex. This website is divided up into the main area which is fully accessible to anyone, and a further password protected area which is for members of the Essex Local Dental Committee themselves. The menu on the left side of this page gives links to the various sections and webpages in the public area.

Latest News September 2018

For a general overview of Local Dental Committees click here

New collection of articles, research and topical updates for LDCs

Essex Local Dental Committee  Newsletter
Autumn edition Sept 2018 - Issue 2
Produced by Clint Foreman and Leah Farrell

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 Upcoming lectures available locally through Health Education England.


Click on the links to see the flyers for each course


Contract Prototype - 10th October 2018 - Len D'Cruz,

Restorative dentistry - 16th October 2018 - Nick Barker

Record Keeping - 17th October - Jason Stokes,

First Aid for the Dental Team - 24th October -  Frinton First Aid training.

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Stoptober- How dentists can get involved  (from BDA)

PHE and Cancer Research UK have produced some new resources to help healthcare professionals spot the signs of oral cancer.

Oral (oral cavity and oropharyngeal) cancers are some of the most preventable types of cancer, and over 90% of all oral cancer cases could be avoided. 

We know that dentists and their teams play a vital role in ensuring oral cancers are detected early, and can help to save people's lives. 

And yet, oral cancers continue to rise across the four UK countries:


Public Health England's Stoptober campaigns aims to support people to quit smoking, and dentists can take part by encouraging their patients to do so. 


Free resources are available from the campaign's website, including posters that can be ordered online.


Quitting smoking: Starting the conversation

The NICE guideline on stop smoking interventions and services was updated in March 2018. 


Some of the new recommendations for healthcare workers include:


  • At every opportunity ask people if they smoke, and advise them to stop smoking in a way that best suits their preferences
  • Refer people who want to stop smoking to the local Stop Smoking Services
  • Offer advice on using nicotine-containing products on general sale, including NRT and nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.
  • Explain that a combination of varenicline and behavioural support or a combination of short-acting and long-acting NRT are likely to be most effective.

NICE also recommends that all healthcare professions should be trained to offer Very Brief Advice (VBA) – there's a free short training module available from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training. Public Health England's Smokefree and Smiling guidance provides advice tailored specifically to dentists.


What about e-cigarettes: are they recommended?

The RCP and NICE now also recommend that e-cigarettes should be discussed as an option for smoking cessation when appropriate. 

Stop Smoking Services are the most effective way for smokers to quit, but as access to these services varies and they may not be suitable for everyone, they are suggesting that e-cigarettes might be an appropriate option to try. 

As e-cigarettes are a new technology, there is not yet enough evidence to prove their long-term safety, and the BDA's Health and Science Committee has a watching brief on this. We will keep you updated with any new evidence (make sure you are signed up to our regular enewsletters; update your preferences at MyBDA). 


More tools for dentists and their teams on smoking cessation

Cancer Research UK also has a free enewsletter, Cancer Insight, which you can sign up to, with best practice advice on important cancer-related topics, as well as evidence, training materials, tools and patient resources. 

Don't forget to use our free oral cancer toolkit for dentists and their teams, developed in conjunction with CRUK. It will help you to identify, diagnose and refer, in accordance with the current NICE guidance.

Arianne Matlin, Head of Health and Science Policy 


Campaigning for better oral health

We campaign on a range of issues to get better working lives for dentists and we work to improve the oral health of the nation. 


Find out more about our work on sugar and children's oral healthteeth whiteningantibiotic prescribing, and oral cancer.

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Starting Well Core (SWC)


SWC is the in-house part of ‘Starting Well: A Smile4Life Initiative’ with no extra funding at present. It’s aimed at seeing the 0-2 year olds, which would be a win-win deal for the children, their parents and dentists.


“For years, many parents have wrongly believed that primary school age is the right time for a first appointment with a dentist. Due to the rising tide of GAs for multiple extractions in children as young as two and three, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) has been highlighting the correct advice- that babies should see a dentist as soon as their first teeth come through, or by the age of one at the latest.” Clair Stevens President BSPD


Early next year the Area Team will be organising an event to help practitioners implement SWC.


As part of the Chief Dental Officer for England’s Starting Well Core initiative, a set of online resources for dental professionals has been developed to support dental teams providing preventive care for young children aged 0-2 years. This includes a range of professional and public-facing resources (e.g. learning resources and guidance for professionals, posters for health care and early years settings, leaflets for the public) from a variety of sources, which can be downloaded and printed.

 Resources in the pack available HERE 

For those with capacity there is no reason to wait as the online resources are already available. Targeting the under 5s will help with UDA targets, increase access and lead to early intervention and preventive care.


For the latest guidance on caring for children this is a must read:

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A Better Way?
A reflection on how the GDC is attempting to reduce the number of complaints it receives by Jonathan Randall GDPC Rep Herts and South Midlands
Who reading this fears that letter marked No 37 Wimpole Street landing on our practice doormat announcing the receipt of a complaint? For the last 18 months or so the General Dental Council (GDC) has been running a profession–wide Complaints Handling Working Group in response to the escalating number of patient complaints it is receiving. The group is comprised of representatives from the BDA, Dental Indemnity Providers, Simplyhealth, CODE, Dental Nursing and Clinical Dental Technicians bodies and others including a number of “non-affiliated” GDPs of which I have been one.
The work of the group has been directed to looking for ways in which the deluge of complaints made directly to the GDC can be reduced with the aim of streamlining the complaints process and directing complainants to the most appropriate form of resolution of their complaint. Analysis shows 80% of the complaints received come directly from patients- however 10% are from dentists complaining about other dentists with the remaining 10% coming from  myriad  other sources
  Perhaps not unsurprisingly the outcome of this analysis has been a strong recommendation that local resolution provides the quickest and most acceptable form of complaints resolution for GDC, GDP and the patient. To this end the participating bodies have signed up to an agreed template for complaints resolution that will be launched later this year. At the core of this template is robust local complaints management at practice level through well-constructed and promoted complaints processes.
The GDC has a duty, enshrined by act of parliament, to investigate ANY complaint that it receives no matter how trivial. This process is lengthy and stressful for the GDP. It is also eye wateringly expensive as it is we who ultimately fund this complaints circus. It follows then that it is incumbent on us as dental professionals to do our utmost to do whatever we can to avoid escalating complaints to the GDC.
The GDC recognises that people complain for many reasons however there is evidence to suggest that when dentists complain about other dentists the complaint is often of a vindictive nature. The suspicion that the GDC is being used to “settle scores” between colleagues with professional or commercial differences has been identified as a driver of many complaints that do not need to end up at No 37. This is where the “Better Way” of the title comes to the fore.
 Before “throwing a colleague under the bus”   of the GDC complaints process can we take a hard look at our reasoning and identify an appropriate dispute resolution process lest the reasoning behind the referral backfires on us as frequently happens?

Jonathan Randall GDPC Rep Herts and South Midlands

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Dentists having difficulties can find help from the following 3 sources;
1. Essex LDC by emailing  our secretary

2. The Dentists Health Support Programme  which provides  free support for dentists with problems with  alcohol, drugs, eating disorders and other health  issues.

Click HERE for Dentists Health Support website.

3. The BDA Benevolent Fund which  is an independent charity working for dentists – both past and present – to ensure that dentists do not go unsupported in times of need or crisis. Every year they help people of all ages who are in serious financial need as a result of illness, accident, or other adversity. They provide grants and financial support with career transition.

Click HERE for BDA Benevolent fund website.

2018 Dental working patterns survey

The results of the 2018 Dental Working Patterns Survey have just been published.

 The key findings are:
  • Dentists take fewer weeks’ annual leave than they did when the survey was first undertaken, while those in England & Wales and Scotland now tend to work longer weekly hours.
  • During the last decade there has been a notable drop in the amount of time dentists spend on clinical work across the UK. Principal dentists (and Associates in England & Wales) have also seen a drop in the time they spend on NHS/Health Service work over the same period.
  • The more time dentists spend on NHS/Health Service work, the lower their levels of motivation. 
  • During the last six years there has been an overall drop in the motivation of dentists in England & Wales and Scotland and Principal dentists in Northern Ireland. However, Associate dentists in Northern Ireland, who had previously been the unhappiest, have shown small increases in motivation over the last two years.
  • The most common contributory factors to low morale are increasing expenses and/or declining income, and the risk of litigation and the cost of indemnity fees. Regulations are also cited as a major cause of low morale amongst Principal dentists.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Principal dentists and over half of all Associate dentists across the UK often think of leaving dentistry.  
The survey findings are used by the Health Departments and the BDA in your country in their evidence submissions for the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) which makes recommendations relating to your pay and expenses.

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NHSE Dental Midlands and East aug 2018- Bulletin 2 

Please find HERE the August 2018 dental bulletin which contains important information for your dental team .

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Global guidelines on optimal denture care

By 2050 there are expected to be two billion people aged 60 or older. This is more than double today’s figure. The older you are, the more likely you are to have lost all, or nearly all, your natural teeth.

This means the demand for full or partial dentures is expected to increase.

A comprehensive review of scientific and evidence-based research has found contradictory guidance and a lack of consistency in the recommendations for cleaning and maintaining dentures.

The Oral Health Foundation  have therefore developed global guidelines on optimal denture care (here) , so that correct advice can be given to patients.

The risks associated with poor denture care are wide-ranging and include pneumonia, stomatitis, candidiasis, un-desirable odours, tastes and staining.

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New advice on antibiotic prophylaxis

The Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) has published new implementation advice on Antibiotic Prophylaxis Against Infective Endocarditis, which is available to be used by all dentists across the UK.

The advice supports the implementation of the NICE Clinical Guideline 64 Prophylaxis against infective endocarditis, which states that antibiotic prophylaxis should not be provided "routinely" prior to invasive dental treatment for patients who have an increased risk of infective endocarditis. 

The SDCEP implementation advice offers guidance about which individual patients might be at increased risk and consequently should be considered for non-routine management.  

The SDCEP advice also emphasises the importance of including patients in decisions about their care. It provides support for dentists in discussions with patients and their cardiololgists, who together will identify when there may be a case for special consideration for antibiotic prophylaxis/non-routine management. 

SDCEP has also produced supporting tools, including a patient information leaflet, for dental teams to download and print.

The BDA's Health and Science Committee commented on a draft version of the guidance and requested amendments earlier this year, saying that the BDA believes most dental professionals are aware of the guidance and treat patients appropriately, but SDCEP's guidance will help ensure a more consistent approach to patient care across the UK. 

The key messages of the original NICE guidance published in 2008 were that antibiotic prophylaxis should not be used for dental procedures to prevent infective endocarditis, and that patients at increased risk should be advised of the importance of oral health. 

However, in 2016 NICE revised the guidance and clarified that prophylaxis should not be used 'routinely' for dental patients at increased risk of infective endocarditis, and clinicians should apply their clinical judgement on a patient by patient basis.

In response to SDCEP's consultation, the BDA expressed concerns at the absence of any reference in their guidance to the risks of antimicrobial resistance, which dentists should discuss with patients if they are considering prescribing prophylactic antibiotics to prevent infective endocarditis. 

Read the guidance HERE

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Paper copies of BNF no longer being distributed free

Paper copies  of the BNF (British National Formulary) were always been  distributed yearly, each October. This will no longer be the case , instead the BNF will only be available online or through an App. If you want to obtain the App
  • For  iPhone go to your app store and search for the BNF/BNFC app
  • For an Android phone go to Google play and search for the BNF/BNFC app.
You will need internet access to download the app for the first time but once downloaded you will not need an internet connection to use the BNF content. However you should update the content monthly to benefit from the most up-to-date information.
An online version of the BNF is also  available at:-

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 Dental visits for children under the age of 3 years. 

It is recognised that early visits for children under the age of 3 years are vital for delivering key preventive messages, acclimatisation and beginning a positive, lifelong relationship with NHS dentistry.

Can I claim for Band1 even if I have not been able to complete a full examination? 

 Yes you can 

The chief dental officer has produced an
"Avoidance of doubt" letter (here) encouraging dentists to see patients for a dental check as early as possible.  In the letter she explains best practice for carrying out and claiming for examination for  very young children. 

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PRIVACY NOTICE- As your Local Dental Committee we are committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of newsletter recipients .We have produced a Privacy Notice avaialble HERE, which provides detailed information on when and why we collect your personal information, how we use it, the limited conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.
Contact us
Acting Deputy Chairman : Bryan Harvey  :  07989 608081   :

Hon. Secretary : Tony Clough    :  01245 354046   :

Assist. Secretary : Clint Foreman  :  07718 900909   :

Treasurer : Mark Preston   :  01268 683739   :
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LDC Connections is a bi-monthly publication of the British Dental Association (BDA). It is hosted on the BDA website and aims to disseminate useful information of specific interest to LDCs.

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