Future Safe with Next Generation of Dentists

That the future of dentistry is in safe hands was ably demonstrated at the 31st anniversary dinner of the BDA/Dentsply student clinician programme held at the Park Lane Sheraton in London on February 8. Photo Gallery

Earlier in the day 15 students, representing each of the dental schools in the UK and Ireland, had taken part in the final round of the competition, which had given adjudicators the hard job of selecting who should receive first prize for the best student research poster presentation.

This honour went to Ryan Olley, a fifth year BDS student at King?s College London Dental Institute. His project ?The role of Sonic Hedgehog in tooth root development? will be presented on a non-competitive basis at the annual session of the American Dental Association in San Antonio, Texas, in October, which he will attend as a guest of Dentsply International.

The second prize of ?500 was awarded to fourth year student Paul Hooi from the University of Dublin Dental School for his presentation ?Cracking the problem of premature failure of all-ceramic crown material?. The adjudicators? prize for professionalism and presentation went to fifth year students Shiva Abassi-Ghadi and Emma Saliba from the University of Bristol Dental School for their joint entry ?The effect of bismuth oxide on the compressive strength and radiopacity of mineral trioxide aggregate?.

The evening was attended by many dental luminaries, who were able to admire a display of the students? presentations at a drinks reception before proceeding to the Ballroom for the celebratory dinner.

Dr Linda Niessen, a former student clinician, had obviously followed her own advice when she told the students ?Stay open, you never know where your dental career will lead you?, as she is now Dentsply International?s vice president and chief clinical officer. In her speech of welcome, she congratulated the students on their outstanding presentations. She said they had all excelled themselves and she thought it was wonderful that they would be providing the next lifeblood of the profession. Professor Nairn Wilson, chair of the adjudication panel, and his two colleagues Professors Robbie McDonnell and David Bartlett were thanked for their invaluable help and Dr Niessen also recognised the support provided by academic staff and programme organisers.

Speaking on behalf of the adjudicators, Professor Wilson said it had been a difficult but very pleasant task to choose the prizewinners from a fantastic range of presentations and he complimented all the students on the high standard of entries. He said the awards were held in great regard around the world and he saw the BDA/Dentsply collaboration as an excellent example of the profession and industry working together to move things forward and invest in the future.

The president of the BDA, Joe Rich, said he was delighted to be standing at a celebration of the best in education and was proud to be part of the BDA, which was working shoulder to shoulder with Dentsply to encourage research by undergraduate dental students. He had thanks for everyone who had helped to put the programme together and to the students he said their dedication was of vital importance to the future of the dental profession.

After the gruelling judging day at BDA headquarters, the students were ready to party on through the night and Dentsply had made provision for this too, as the floor was open for dancing until 1.00am.

Information on the 2009 programme can be found on the website students@bda.org

View the BDA/Dentsply Students 31st Anniversary photo gallery



Photo Captions:

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The students with adjudicators and representatives of Dentsply and the BDA



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Ann Phillips, Rupert Hoppenbrouwers, head of the DDU, Glenys Garth-Thornton, BDA head of marketing, and Sue Greening, past president of the BDA



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Professor Nairn Wilson, dean of Kings College London Dental Institute, and Joe Rich, president of the British Dental Association



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Christopher Mercer, consultant in restorative dentistry at The Royal London Hospital, with his guest Mira Connolly



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Supporting their students: Alastair Sloan (Cardiff), Paul Cooper (Birmingham) and Robert Allaker (Barts and The London)



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Jennifer Allen, Norma Hird, guest of (next to her) Susie Sanderson, chair, BDA executive board, Bill Allen a past BDA president and now a director of the FDI, and Stuart Johnston, chair of the BDA representative body



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Warren Birnbaum, acute dental care department, KCL Dental Institute, and Eddie Crouch, chair of this year?s LDC conference



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Warren Birnbaum and his wife with Eddie Crouch



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Dame Margaret Seward with David and Ann Phillips



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Penny Gage (Dentsply) and Sam Cohen, one of the guests



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Dr Linda Niessen and Professor Nairn Wilson



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BDA chief executive Peter Ward was accompanied by his daughter



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Professor Damien Walmsley (Birmingham) and Gerry Campbell, Dentsply general manager in the UK



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Nazli Imtiaz, a member of the BDA representative body, Glenys Garth-Thornton and Laura Thompson, BDA marketing executive



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Andrew Brewer (who took part in the student programme in 1977) and his wife Lynne travelled from Glasgow for the event



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Joe Rich takes to the dance floor



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Rupert Hoppenbrouwers with the winner, Ryan Olley



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Adjudicators Professors Robbie McConnell (Cork Dental School) and David Bartlett (King?s College London) Note: Mary Newing reports, with photos