The King's Crown Sept/Oct 14 Issue

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! ! ! ! ! ! ! Electives: Home ! or Away? ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! DO WE!NEED ! THERAPY? ! ! ! ! ! !


Fourth years, listen up! We hope to provide you with some guidance on whether you should complete your elective in-country or abroad. We asked Garry Wilson (BDS 5) why he chose to complete his elective in the UK at KCH.

Generations of student doctors and dentists have made their way to the planet's most remote outposts in the hope of using their knowledge and skills to help others less fortunate than themselves, to sample a change in culture and see how their trade is practiced around the world.


Nowadays, where health and safety is king and healthcare professionals are seen as nothing more than a big piggy bank draped in a white coat to some people, the dynamic of electives has changed considerably, to the point where, if you do things by the book, you are flying to these far-flung and exotic destinations to do little more than stand in the corner of a dental surgery and watch someone bang a class I composite in. Continued on page 3




Note from the Editors

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Welcome to The King’s Crown! We are so excited to release our first newsletter issue of the year with a new logo (thanks to Abbas), a new format and 3 sections to keep you entertained. Luke Greenfield and Jessica Ah-Kye did a fantastic job last year of getting The King’s Crown up and running, and we hope to carry that on. Our aim this year is to make the newsletter more accessible with an upcoming blog on the dental society website to ensure all writers get a chance to have their words seen, and to help build your portfolios alongside Dentsoc by involving other magazines so that your articles could get into other publications.


With the first term well and truly on its way, we’ve had some memorable events already. The boat party, Pulp Crawl and BDSA Sports Day weekend were unmissable events, creating a hangover epidemic amongst us. That doesn’t mean we weren't working hard though- the attendance to this year’s first Dental Society Talk exploring the differences between NHS, private and corporate dentistry broke records to the extent that many of us were left standing for an hour in a completely packed Tower lecture theatre. With October comes Stoptober, a campaign that the dental institute has gotten involved with by hosting the first interteam competition- with four houses, only one can claim glory by having the most smoking cessation referrals by mid-November. Will it be St Pauls, Palace, Monument or Thames? May the best house win!


With November, we can look forward to some moustaches sprouting out amongst the dental lads, Oral Cancer Awareness Month, as well as an array of events and activities from DentSoc, Smile Society and many others to keep us going until the Christmas holidays. Dentists sure know how to work hard, play hard.

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With dental love to our dental friends, The King’s Crown Editorial Team


Akta Prabhakar, Chief Editor

Nick Byfield, Special Features Editor

James Campbell, News Editor

Niki Keyhani, Social Editor

PROOFREADERS Sahar-Tara Aghababaie Jassan Aujla Priya Champaneri Suneeta Dhokia Danielle Kelly Venukumar Vibishan



! !

Electives: Home or Away?

Fourth years, listen up! We hope to provide you with some guidance on whether you should complete your elective in-country or abroad. We asked Garry Wilson (BDS 5) why he chose to complete his elective in the UK at KCH.


Generations of student doctors and dentists have made their way to the planet's most remote outposts in the hope of using their knowledge and skills to help others less fortunate than themselves, to sample a change in culture and see how their trade is practiced around the world.


Nowadays, where health and safety is king and healthcare professionals are seen as nothing more than a big piggy bank draped in a white coat to some people, the dynamic of electives has changed considerably, to the point where, if you do things by the book, you are flying to these farflung and exotic destinations to do little more than stand in the corner of a dental surgery and watch someone bang a class I composite in. This, as far as I am concerned, offers no educational value to a dental student who is less than 12 months away from throwing off the shackles of dental school and is about to make a living from drilling and filling.

The 3 weeks were a wonderful blend of learning from staff members, passing on my wisdom to other students, assisting in procedures and diagnosing and treating patients of my own. It was an excellent means of consolidating my existing knowledge but also building my confidence and becoming much more aware and adept in my own surgical performance. What I most enjoyed about spending my time working with the staff was that they treated me like a fellow member of staff and made me feel at home in the department. I'd jump out of bed in the morning knowing that I was about to spend a great day amongst lovely people.

Of course, we would be naive to think that the vast majority of people treat their 'elective' as little more than a glorified drinking/sightseeing holiday, and that's fine by me, but the elective is meant to be an educational opportunity, which brings me onto my main argument: do you really need to go abroad to have an enjoyable and constructive elective?

I couldn't fault my rotation in any way! I was able to involve myself as much as possible in the management of patients - more than I would/ should have been able to had I gone overseas. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the 3 weeks, especially considering I started my rotation on the Monday after the academic year had finished, but I took away so much from my time working at KCH that I would strongly recommend anyone to spend their elective in the UK.


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To that question, I must give an unequivocal 'NO'! I spent 3 weeks working at King's College Hospital in the departments of oral surgery and oral medicine and I absolutely loved every second of it.




Special thanks must go to Mr Prag Lal for his help and commitment in ensuring that I was able to gain as much from my rotation as possible.


SPECIAL FEATURE We also asked Siobhan Anthony (BDS 5) to give us a taste of her adventurous elective in South Africa to tempt you to broaden your horizons. As soon as I learned we were required to do an elective placement I knew I wanted to go to South Africa. My whole family had been there for a wedding a few years ago which I couldn't attend as I had just started dentistry. Naturally, I was gutted! I promised my cousin I’d come and visit when I had the chance and saw my elective as the perfect opportunity! Although the most popular destinations amongst fourth years seemed to be the US or Denmark Hill, I really, really wanted to go to South Africa. My parents weren’t too keen on the idea of me going alone, as areas of South Africa are known to be quite dangerous, but luckily I managed to persuade Luke to join me. I travelled out alone and spent just over a week in Johannesburg visiting my cousin. We spent the weekend on a game farm where I saw animals such as rhino, giraffe, wilder beast and lots of bok. I even got to feed a hand reared Kudu! On the way home from the game farm, we stopped for some lunch at a dress designers house who happens to make the dresses for Miss South Africa – I was in heaven! I then travelled to Cape Town to meet Luke with whom I spent just under 3 weeks. We had arranged our elective placement with the Dental Wellness Trust and so we spent the working week at an elderly care home interviewing 104 residents for an oral health project. We were due to spend around 15 minutes with each resident but on many occasions much longer was spent as we both got caught up chatting too much - who would have thought it! The last two days at the home were spent completing clinical screenings & intra-oral photography with one of the dentists. In just over a day we saw 84 patients; that’s 7 minutes per patient - it really was like a conveyor belt! It was an absolutely exhausting day but such a great feeling to see what we had achieved. We also spent a day in the townships visiting pre-schools to observe the toothbrushing schemes in place.

At the weekend we did various activities including climbing Table Mountain, visiting Robin Island, a wine tour, afternoon tea, driving around the Cape of Good Hope and going whale watching en route to Hermanus - just to name a few! But mostly, our days revolved around eating - I cannot tell you how amazing the food was and so cheap! If you are a foodie, Cape Town is definitely the place for you! Culturally, it was very different in South Africa, and even more so between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Johannesburg was very unsafe and I was unable to go anywhere without a chaperone. Even at my cousin’s house, which was situated in a relatively safe part of town, the security levels were incredible and something I had never experienced before. I was so relieved to arrive in Cape Town where it was a lot safer and the whole city had a more relaxed vibe (I guess they are used to tourists!). It was very interesting to learn about the abolished Apartheid in South Africa and its effects are still very apparent in both cities. The nursing home in which I worked was a White Jewish Care Home where many of the residents were originally from Germany and had moved to South Africa during the Second World War to escape Hitler. I learned a great deal about the War from their perspective through speaking with them. They also insisted on giving me their opinions on the Apartheid in South Africa which proved to be somewhat hypocritical considering their pasts! Overall, I loved the trip and couldn’t recommend it more. Your elective is a great chance to go exploring and see the world. Just go for it! 4


Do we need therapy? Edward Li

A new era is dawning for graduating dentists. It is very likely that significant changes to the dental team will come into full force early in our careers. In particular, the role of dental therapy is raising eyebrows amongst existing practitioners, particularly those within the NHS. Should dentists be concerned or elated by these new developments, poised to shake the dental world from the base up?

2002 Dental therapists to administer ID blocks, perform pulpotomies on deciduous teeth and take impressions.


May 2013 ‘Direct Access’ to hygienists and therapists, with-out the prescription of a dentist passed by GDC.


Sept 2013 ‘Scope of Practice’ document by GDC; dental therapist role expanded, including: Preformed crowns and extraction of primary teeth Direct restoration of any tooth Varying detail, but not direction, of dentists' prescriptions according to patient need (eg. surfaces restored, material used) Diagnose common pathologies and treatment plan within competence

practice meeting their UDA targets at under 70% of the current labour cost: therapists earn significantly less than dentists; this is an economic exigency for the NHS. For some, days free from baseline dentistry can only be good news - keeping their hands in work that continuously challenges and engages them. For others, the concern is whether dentists will be out of a job, as therapists and hygienists develop diagnostic skills and open their own clinics for "Direct Access". Some also question the scientific foundation of their training and depth of their knowledge. Is it fair that a three-year course allows therapists to perform the bread-and-butter work of dentists whose educational achievements must be outstanding from A-level up? Yet it can also be seen as a push for dentists to further their training, improve their abilities above the basic level, and even specialise. How long will it be before therapy courses push into treatment of root canals, or extracting permanent teeth? These are not far beyond some therapists' existing skills. Whatever the outcome, however, we should always aim to develop our own abilities and work cohesively with our team. There only need be competition if our sights are set low and we remain stagnant in ambition.

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! Many are beginning to see the possibility of an NHS workplace where dental therapists replace practising dentists. If therapists carry out the majority of stabilisation and basic restorative work, the dentist would be left with the planning and execution of complex procedures. Imagine a


NEWS GDC Annual Retention Fee

Pay Cut U-turn

Anish Patel

Garry Wilson

Overloaded, pressurised and sluggishlypaced (no, not the lifts at Guy's every morning!): dentistry has changed remarkably over the past decade. With GDC fee hikes among various rising costs to practice, uncertainty is understandable amongst professionals and dental students alike.

'Mazel tov' to the BDA for ensuring that FDs are spared a £2000 pay cut during their DF1 year: great news, you'll all agree. It's reassuring to see our 'trade union' making a positive impact on the lives of its members; well-paid profession it may be, but such a low-blow to those still finding their feet in the industry would have been a bitter pill to swallow. Let's raise a glass (ionomer) to the BDA, who've played a blinder. Nice one, you gang of heroes.

Registration with the GDC is a lawful requirement for dental professionals. However, from 2015, the independent body has planned to increase their ARF from £576 to £945: a 64% rise. Undoubtedly, this increase has been met with fierce opposition. The profession appears to have fallen out with its regulator, whilst defence organisations and even the Department of Health (who typically has little involvement with such bodies) have all queried the GDC's justification. Allegedly these fees must meet rising operating costs incurred from Fitness to Practice hearings, with ever-growing numbers of complaints made against registrants since 2010. This, hand-in-hand with the emergent litigation culture in the British dental industry, directly affects students. Representation by defence unions is a more worthwhile investment than ever. The BDA, our professional association, have called into question the GDC's integrity. Legal proceedings were pursued and followed by commissioning of a major accountancy firm to review the case for rising fees. The ultimate decision can be expected on 30 October 2014.

! Editor's note On the subject of "Direct Access"... According to our sources at King's, hygienists are not flocking to open independent practices, and were not in fact actively seeking (or even viewing themselves as prepared for) "Direct Access". Their skill mix complements that of other team members, and they will not look to work without close contact with dentists - generally, a prescription is required from a dentist for fluoride, anaesthetic, anxiolytic and antibiotic products, without which their practice is almost impossible. As for therapists, there are currently relatively few positions available in the NHS. Fear not! James Campbell

[Full article in The King's Crown online]

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Behind the scenes: Boat Party 2014 Cathy Liu It was that time of year again, when hopeful guests-to-be would queue for hours and overcome all obstacles to clasp their fingers around a ticket. The event: the Annual Dental Boat Party.


For veteran dental students this would be the ‘welcome back’ bang to kick off the academic year, and for Freshers it would be the ‘welcome to dental school’ that promised a fun and carefree university experience, soon to be shattered by midsessionals.


Amro and I (the fresh-faced, newly elected Events Reps) had begun planning in July, and within the months of preparation, the word had gotten out about the ‘surprise’, which led to much speculation including a rumour that we had managed to get hold of a lion or somehow hired Beyonce to perform on the boat. After hearing that, we weren’t quite sure how to live up to expectations; we had hired a photobooth. In comparison it seemed rather tame.


The day dawned and the afternoon seemed to pass like a blur. While Amro took on the challenge of managing the drinks reception, some helpful committee members and myself were given the task of preparing the boat. Let’s just say, if you had been standing on Tower Bridge at around half past six on the day of the Boat Party you would have seen me sprinting past with three bags flapping wildly from my shoulders. Thankfully I reached the boat, but whilst I frantically called committee members to direct them, the boat all of a sudden began leaving the pier. It had left earlier than we'd expected and there were now three of us stranded until it would dock an hour and a half later at Tower Pier. After staring blankly at the committee members who had been a minute too late, we began to blow up the balloons and, on discovering that there was no means of sticking them to the walls, secured them to the window frames by wrapping the ribbon around

any cracks or protruding nails that we could find.


When the boat reached Tower Pier, the guests were already assembled there looking scrubbed, polished and dressed to the nines. When it came to checking people’s wristbands and ticking them off the guest list, Amro and I were caught short of a pen and so borrowed one from an innocent family standing nearby. If that said family are reading this, I’m very sorry and please get in touch so I can give you back what is rightly yours. But eventually everyone made it on board, we set sail, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.


Honestly, the time raced past too quickly for me. But as the night was drawing to a close, hearing people say that they wished it could go on for longer left me beaming. I hope everyone had a ball and took home good memories.


On a side note, I’d like to take a moment to remember the ones that we lost on that day. Namely, the ‘2’ and ‘0’ balloons that originally made up ‘120’, intended to celebrate the 120th anniversary of DentSoc. The ‘2’ was cruelly taken from our hands by the lightness of helium and the ‘0’ drifted away from the top deck later. Thus, within the space of 1 night, DentSoc lost 119 years.


So to wrap up: dear future dentists, thank you for bringing life to the first event we planned, and for making our hard work completely worth it.


Submit your story. Submit your story. For all communications please email: all communications please email:

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