Synergy Dental Lobbies for Change! Pt. 2

NHS dentistry has been in crisis for years due to underfunding and has been worsened by the backlog caused by clinic closures during lockdown, leaving many patients unable to access a dentist, but changes are beginning to come. 

The Current Situation

Last week, we talked about the current state of dentistry. At present, UK dentistry faces a crisis. Only 1 dentist out of 5 are currently taking on NHS patients, meaning many people are unable to find a dentist. In some cases, the public have even resorted to removing their own teeth with household objects like pliers. 

As world leaders in the medical field, it’s unacceptable that this is happening in a country like ours. Our leaders have recognised this, and for the first time since 1984, the dentist act is being changed! Our government has implemented new plans to provide dental care to the nation by patrolling underserved areas with dental vans, creating the new ‘Smile for Life’ initiative, and growing the workforce so more dentists are available.

Here at Synergy, we’re ready to help make these plans a reality. 

What are Synergy Doing to Help? 

Growing the workforce is an important step towards making dental care more accessible to everyone. Right now, there are thousands of talented dentists from overseas who are unable to see patients because they are waiting for GDC exams. These are qualified, highly experienced dental practitioners who are being held back due to red tape. Under the new government guidance, the GDC (General Dental Council)  has been given powers to allow overseas dentists to register in the UK under supervision on a provisional licence, allowing them to see patients, making dentistry immediately available to more people as soon as the consultation period ends in June. 

To help overseas dentists to get into roles where they can help patients, we have partnered with The Graduate Bridge, a new company which acts like a recruitment agency, but even better, because they don’t just get dentists jobs, they help them understand the GDC registration process and pass their exams to become fully-fledged UK dentists. 

Another way we are helping to grow the workforce is through our partnerships with local universities, shaping the curriculum to mould the excellent dentists of tomorrow. 

We don’t just want to make more dentists though, we want to improve the dentists that are already practising. Our SynTrain Academy allows qualified dentists to study for extra post-graduate qualifications in areas like implants, invisalign, and composite bonding. Our in-person courses include a mentorship in our practices, allowing dentists to access live patients under the supervision of our mentors, meaning they can confidently use their new skills straight away as soon as they finish the course. 

All of this helps us to work within the new guidance set out by the government to improve dentistry. At Synergy, we think that the new changes from the government are a great start, but that’s all they are… a start

If we are going to end the current crisis facing dentistry, much more needs to be done. 

We have a long track record of working with Mark Logan MP on a range of community projects. Our CEO, Dr. Zuber Bagasi has worked with Mark to improve Youth Services in the Bolton area and improve loneliness for the elderly post-lockdown. 

Just a few weeks ago, Mark visited our headquarters to chat with Zuber about the new changes to dentistry, and how we can work together to improve the lives of people in the community. 

We’re not just stopping with Mark Logan MP though! Over the coming weeks, we have meetings scheduled with Yasmin Qureshi MP, the Chair for Dentistry and Oral health for the All Political Party Group. 

How Can I Help as a Patient? 

Just like we have done, you can get in touch with your local MP too! Tell your MP your concerns about dentistry, they will then take those concerns to parliament and share your voice in the House of Commons. 

The more of us who lobby our MPs, the more chances we have to be heard. Your opinion matters, and you can make a difference! Join us in this fight for access to better dental care for all. 
You can find out who your MP is and contact them here.

Phone Lines Open