Richard Johns was born in 1929.
After leaving school he did his National Service as a Dental Clerk Orderly in the RAF. After various postings he was sent to Hong Kong. His training in the RAF stood him in good stead for studying dentistry, which he did at Guy’s on his demobilisation from the RAF in1949. He qualifyied in 1955 he was HS to Mr F.S. Warner. This was immediately followed by the appointment as a Part-Time Registrar in“The Denture Room,” under the direction of Professor Fenn.
After working as an associate in a practice in New Eltham he started his own practice from scratch in Orpington in 1958. As a student he had married Pam Thurgood, who remained his support from his student days and throughout his professional life. She died in 2013 after 59 years of marriage.
Following 10 years of general NHS practice and part-time teaching at Guy’s in the Department of Conservative Dental Surgery under Professor AHR Rowe he decide to apply for a full time Lectureship in the same department. By this time he was 39 and the family had grown to five children. As Dental Implants were still a very grey area in dentistry and on the advice of Professor Ron Emslie, he undertook research into that subject This led to his being awarded a PhD in 1973. After promotion to Reader in 1979 and a number of Research papers, as well as the Presidency of the British Endodontic Society, the BSRD and the Odontological Section of the RSM, he applied and was appointed in 1981 to the Chair in Restorative Dentistry in Sheffield. It was while there that Dental Implants became an acceptable form of treatment.With funding from Mr Ron Hobson of NCP he was able to establish, in collaboration with The Brånemark Centre in Gothenburg, Sheffield as the first Dental School in the UK to provide courses for GDPs on implant techniques as well as treatment. He retired to Winchester in 1998.