It was an enormous privilege to be asked to be President of the BSRD. I started to attend meetings soon after qualification from the Royal Dental Hospital in 1978, encouraged by my mentor Bernard Smith. In those days, pre-establishment of the Restorative Specialties, it was difficult to access high level post graduate training other than travelling to the USA. The BSRD led the way in organising meetings with expert speakers for interested general practitioners, hospital and academic staff. We now take this for granted.
Following my specialist training in Restorative Dentistry, I pursued a career in Specialist Practice and as a NHS Consultant at Guys Hospital. During this period, the specialities developed at a rapid rate, postgraduate education became compulsory and much more available and the BSRD had to adapt to these developments, offering an increasing international input.
During my Presidential year we had a Spring meeting in Brighton with a guest speaker from Sydney, Terry Walton, focusing on evidence based dentistry and the need to embrace new technologies whilst still maintaining traditional values of quality and longevity. A full social programme included a trip to the Aquarium and a ‘Brighton style’ drag entertainer.
A highlight of the year was the first ever Pan Society meeting held in Birmingham, bringing together all 4 restorative societies. 2 years in the organisation and a big risk for all the societies, this was an enormous success and I am delighted that it has continued as an event.
I finished my career as Head of Conservative Dentistry and Director of Education at KCL - a full circle of experience. Having been involved in the establishment of specialist training in Prosthodontics and seen the dramatic change in culture and clinical practice due to the development of adhesive technologies and Osseo-integrated implants, I can truly say that restorative dentistry has come a very long way since my undergraduate years and I had a very exciting and challenging career for which I am very grateful.
It is easy to forget that the BSRD has been at the forefront of many of these changes, showcasing and challenging new techniques, encouraging postgraduate education, developing the specialisations and acting as a means for like minded dentists to network and raise standards. Long may it continue.