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History of the BSRD

On the 9th April 1968 a new society was inaugurated for restorative dentistry. Dentists from private practice, hospitals and the schools attended and after considerable discussion the name “British Society for Restorative Dentistry” was settled upon. The scope of the society was best described by the British term Conservative Dentistry but it was hoped to establish areas of common interest with adjacent subjects which are of direct importance to the retention of the natural dentition and its partial replacement by bridgework of various types.

The meeting elected the following officers: President H.M.Pickard, Vice Presidents Prof D. Shovelton and A.R.Thompson, Hon Secretary  Mr H.Allred, Hon Assistant Sec Mr A.G.Alexander, Hon Treasurer Mr A.H.Rowe, Hon Editor Mr C.E. Renson; Members of Council Messrs D.N Allan, N.P Butler, H.E. Heighway, J.W.McLean, M.S.D Seymour. The council planned to submit to an autumn meeting a draft constitution, plans for various activities and plans for the immediate future.

Membership of the society was open to all registered dentists and the annual subscription set at three guineas.

The constitution developed has changed little over the years. Now it encourages participation of undergraduate and postgraduate dentists and all members of the dental team. The objectives of the society have been clarified as:

  • To promote and advance the practice of Restorative Dentistry for the benefit of patients.
  • To promote education and study in all aspects of Restorative Dentistry.
  • To promote scholarship and research, including the presentation and publication of findings, pertaining to Restorative Dentistry.
  • To further the interests of Restorative Dentistry with the organisations which control the provision of dental services.

The educational element is mainly organised through two scientific meetings held in the spring and autumn each year. The presidency has been alternated, for the most part, between a dentist working mainly in practice and one working predominately in hospital or university. The spring meetings have been held in all parts on the country over the years with the autumn meeting usually being held in London. Members of council serve on government and regulatory bodies representing the specialty.

For many years the society has ensured that a good social programme was available for the spring meeting and informally for the autumn meeting. A golf competition and a conference dinner are now regular arrangements. In recent years the society has visited The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, The SS Great Britain in Bristol, Princess Yachts in Plymouth and this year the Titanic Centre in Belfast. The society has been keen to ensure that time for informal discussions and chat between colleagues has been available around the scientific programme.

We are now 50 years on from that first meeting in London establishing the society. Many things have changed as we now practise in the digital age but the principles set out by our founders remain sound and relevant to today.

Ken Hemmings
(Past President 2014)

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