THE Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) (FGDP(UK)) is taking forward plans to form a new College of General Dentistry and pursue a Royal Charter.
A transition board is working with the current FGDP(UK) board, the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS Eng) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) of the RCS Eng with the goal of establishing the independent college within the next 12 months.
The new organisation aims to provide a collegiate home and new professional standing for general dental practitioners and all members of the general dental team. It will provide leadership and champion the further development of dentistry.
As indicated in a recent editorial "…the time is right to take that next step with courage and confidence and establish an autonomous dedicated dental college in the UK for the first time, with the FGDP as its beating heart and focusing on general dental practice."1
Specific purposes of the proposed college, in addition to leadership and the further development of general dentistry, will include:
- Serving the public by promoting excellence in oral healthcare, thereby contributing to general health and wellbeing.
- Building on the sterling work of FGDP(UK) to expand and maintain evidence-based guidance and standards for dentistry.
- Fostering quality in clinical practice through education, training and lifelong learning.
Support for the formation of the proposed College of General Dentistry has been most encouraging with a growing groundswell of enthusiasm to bring dentistry into line with most other elements of healthcare by having a UK-wide College, which will hopefully justify Royal status.
Once the College of General Dentistry is established, it is hoped that it will develop a number of faculties and various groups and bodies may wish to become affiliated. The British Dental Writers and Editors Forum has indicated that it wishes to be affiliated with the new College and discussions are taking place with other possible affiliates.
With many aspects of oral healthcare set to change and, with such change, the prospect of many new challenges, it is both timely and important for dentistry in the UK to have an autonomous, dedicated college. FGDP(UK) is encouraging members of the dental team wishing to play a part in creating history and contribute to the “beating heart” of the new college to join the Faculty now.
Nairn Wilson is chair of the transition board of the proposed College of General Dentistry
1 Lewis K, Coming of age. Dentistry, 11 January 2018: p2