Keeping up with the changes in dentistry
 

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Keeping up with the changes in dentistry

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Keeping up with the changes in dentistry

 

Keeping up with the changes in dentistry

It’s always the same wherever you go. Businesses, government officials, local councils etc, are loathe to invest in areas that are clearly starving. It happens in every profession, from the smallest local newsagent to giant corporations – they will not invest from the bottom up.

The proletariat continues to work to the bone but in a more subtle way. Budgets are slashed, bonuses vanish and pay rises are ‘incremental’ as companies surreptitiously revel in fat profits.

One person is hired to do the job of four, overtime is all part of the norm, and meetings squeeze out the last drop of energy to even be human. More directly, mix money with relationships and it can be catastrophic. Marriages are destroyed by it, families are torn apart, and people move away to live more insular, nuclear lives. England is running out of space to build one-bedroom flats, supermarkets are profiting from ‘ready meals for one,’ and as the next indulged generation of ‘me, me, me’ children grow up, things are looking decidedly grim.

But money cannot be seen as a separate entity, for emotions and finances are inextricably linked. A person who is selfish, insecure and unforgiving is unable to give a single thing.
Closed purse = closed heart. Open purse = open heart. But you don’t have to wait for a financial clash, because it’s written all over a person’s face – you just have to recognise the signs.
Behind every closed door in the business world there is a closed heart. No matter how big or successful a corporation, there is someone sitting somewhere in the big chair, who can’t and refuses to see the wood for the trees.

Take the new staff report Clinical Academic Staffing Levels in UK Medical and Dental Schools (page 3). Earlier this year the
government celebrated the biggest increase in the number of dental students in the UK ever. Did it fail to acknowledge the radical teaching staff shortage looming around the corner? Or, like other businesses, did it foresee that clinical academics, like dentists, must work like dogs to keep up with the changes?
In England, the number of teaching staff has now risen by just 3%, while student entrants rose by 25%. It is now a critical situation. Couple this with the further funding needed for dental schools just to ‘sustain the quality of teaching,’ and alarm bells should be ringing.

Meanwhile, the news that tooth-whitening products (TWPs) could be sold to consumers with high levels of peroxide is just banal. Large companies are apparently pressurising the European Commission (EC) to give them the go-ahead to sell TWPs containing up to 6%. Are they thinking about anyone other than
themselves – or of profit and more profit?

Dentists are saying there are dangers of cancer linked with super-strength tooth whiteners. Is there anyone listening? If so, why are they (as usual) being ignored?

Finally, while it’s great news that the government has told us how it plans to award £100m for NHS dental surgeries, who are the winners and losers?

Apparently, the level of grant awarded is expected to correspond with the level of commitment to the NHS. Clever! Are there actually going to be any dentists left in the NHS to take advantage of it? Most dentists are genuinely committed to the NHS but are being squeezed out because of the new contract. Good timing really, rolling out a substantial sum when there’s no one left to benefit.

Let’s hope our new CDO does his utmost to, not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Only time will tell.

 Posted on : Mon 14th - Aug - 2006

 

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