Shortlist of dental practices to continue trialling the new NHS dental contract

Last week, the Department of Health (DoH) announced an additional 29 practices to join the existing 70 practices for the new contract pilot scheme.

The reason for adding more practices to the scheme is to test one of the biggest changes of the new contact – how dentists are paid. Previously, this was based on the number of courses of treatments, compared with the new proposals which are based on dentists being paid for the health results they produce and the number of patients they see.

The need for this change came from criticisms of the current system, where dentists have been accused of focusing on hitting targets as opposed to the oral health of their patients. The new contract hopes to see patients as the core focus, as pressure for reaching targets is lifted. A focus on preventative dentistry was also pushed by the NHS, a main aim of the new contract is to help improve patients oral care through regular check-ups and preventative education.

The traffic light system will also be tested by the new practices, whereby patients are given ratings of green, amber or red depending on the health of their mouths. Dentists will then advise on how patients can improve their oral health relevant to their rating.

Barry Cockcroft, chief dental officer for England, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome the new practices to the pilot scheme and know they will continue with the excellent work which has been carried out so far.

‘We were inundated with applications and choosing the shortlist was very difficult but we were keen to make sure they represent a really broad spectrum of the profession. It is evidence of how positively the pilot programme has been received.

‘We are now committed to making sure the pilots form the ground work for the development of a robust new dental contract that is fully tested and fit for the future.’

Let us know your thoughts about the new dental contract and pilots by commenting or tweeting @stockdalemartin.

See below the shortlist of new practices.

The shortlisted practices

Practice name



St Michael’s Dental Practice

Wakefield       West Yorks

Daventry Dental Practice

Daventry       Northants

Eston Dental Practice

Middlesbrough       Cleveland

Skipton Road Dental Surgery

Colne       Lancashire

Breeze Dental

Sunderland       Tyne & Wear

Church Street Dental Surgery

Hull       East Yorkshire

Noah’s Ark Dental Surgery

Fowey       Cornwall

St Georges Dental Practice

Brighton       East Sussex

Richmond Dental Care

Sheffield       South Yorkshire

Inglewood House

Whitefield       Manchester

Colney Hatch Dental Practice LTD

Muswell Hill       London

A H Trueman Ltd

Ipswich       Suffolk

Basildon Dental Practice

Basildon       Essex

Tuckton Dental Centre IDH

Bournemouth       Dorset

ADP – Avonmouth

Bristol       Avon

Shrewsbury Dental Centre (IDH)

Shrewsbury       Shropshire

Easton Dental Practice

Bristol       Bristol

Pittar Chambers Dental Practice

Exeter       Devon

Oasis Dental Care

Bognor Regis       West Sussex


Dudley       West Midlands

Minto Road Dental Care

Sheffield       South Yorkshire

Carillon Dental

Loughborough       Leicestershire

Wisdom Dental Clinic

Chesterfield       Derbyshire

The Dentists at Watling Street Road

Preston       Lancashire

St James Dental Practice

Winchester       Hampshire

Yeading Dental Care

Hayes       Middlesex

Chadwell Dental Practice

Grays       Essex

Summerstown Dental Practice

London       London

Hendon Dental Practice

Hendon       London

Digital education – improve or harm the next generation?

In the news this week a school in Bolton, ESSA Academy displayed their forward thinking teaching – every pupil and teacher has an iPad.

The traditional pen and paper method has not been completely scrapped from their classrooms but the focus of this school is certainly on the digital. The head teacher simply believes technology enhances learning and is the next step forward for education. After reading the comments on their own website from visitors – it seems the pupils are engaged and passionate about learning, suggesting the technology is spurring enthusiasm at school.


But how may this impact on our ability to undertake the basics? Technology may help to inspire on topics but ultimately the content of a piece is what ensures learning. Could basic English and Maths skills be harmed through the use of technology as opposed to the traditional ways of learning?

Increasingly in our industry people are drawn to the interactive opportunities that technology can offer – for example when trying to influence a customer or “sell” an idea. How important to do you think the format of a presentation is vs the proposition and message that it is delivering?

Tweet us your thoughts to @stockdalemartin

Our 2012 in blogging


600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas is coming!

We’re all busy working away finishing off our projects before the Christmas break and of course, getting into the Christmas spirit.

From advent calendars, biscuit boxes to decorating our trees – we’ve had it all. Even our office dog Lottie is getting into the spirit of things as you’ll see below. Doesn’t she look cute in her Santa hat!!

Lottie photo

We’re all getting excited for the Christmas party next week, our regular trip to Luton Hoo will go down nicely after a bustling year! Our office will be closed from 5pm 21st Dec until 9am 2nd January but Ed can be contacted in-between times either by phone or email.

The team here wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – enjoy the festivities!!

How to drive patients to your practice

Finding out what motivates your patients to visit you and what you can do to improve this – is the key to success.

Recently, the BDTA teamed up with Ragdoll to conduct an in-depth study of how the public perceive dentistry and their dental practice. The findings were rather interesting, including:

  • 25% of the UK population do not currently visit a dental surgery
  • Key reasons for non-visits included: cost, fear, disinterest and access
  • Key reasons for visiting the dentist included: maintaining oral health, fear of what may happen if they do not visit, always visited regularly
  • 76% claimed they follow their dentists advice

Dentist at work in dental room

  • Trust in a dentist is very important, outweighing the importance of their expertise
  • Awareness is a key issue, 1/5 of participants were not aware of what services their current dentist offered
  • Many respondents are unclear about pricing and pricing structure at the dentist – clarity of costs is needed
  • ‘Good oral health’ is the most important factor for customers – fresh breath and healthy gums are key
  • Local – is the best place to promote dentist services. Word of mouth also proved to be popular

Overall, the results show that communication is vital! Communicating your services, clear prices and using communication to build a solid relationship with your patients are needed. Patients rely on word of mouth recommendations and must trust their dentist – which all comes down to effective communication. So what are you waiting for?

For more information about the survey and to download a summary of results, visit

To floss or not to floss – that is the question

Our mouths are like fish tanks and our teeth are the stones, as Ellie Phillips suggests. Think about it for a moment, this metaphor is somewhat true. No matter how many times we floss the ‘stones’, the water still remains dirty – so what’s the point in flossing twice a day?

The controversial topic has sparked several debates over the years and flossing has become part of a push for better oral health. Yet in studies surrounding flossing, most suggest that no amount of ‘self-flossing’ has an effect on tooth decay. For gum disease studies this has been more positive but it begs the question – why are dentists recommending floss when alternatives may prove to be more effective?

Lollipop on White

One of the alternatives is mouthwash, which again most of us mix into our daily oral health routine. But the most revolutionary alternative is xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener, which dates from 2,500 years ago in a book of Chinese herbal cures. The benefits of this natural remedy is highlighted by a study of mothers who chewed xylitol gum during pregnancy, their children were 70% less likely to have tooth decay by the age of 5. Many other studies have also proven the benefits of xylitol in preventative dentistry.

If this natural sweetener can help prevent common oral diseases and improve our oral health, why do dentists not recommend it? Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation comments “The dental profession is generally slow to adapt to new ideas, on xylitol, I think it’s probably lack of knowledge”.  It seems as though all the evidence is there but many of us don’t know the benefits yet. Maybe it’s time for a fresh approach to dental health – a combination of fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and xylitol gum or mints. Let us know what you think!

The art of communicating with your patients

The simple act of communication is not always so simple to do.

Being a dental professional there is a pressure to communicate effectively with patients to recommend treatments and educate them about their oral health. Yet the truth of the matter is, taking the time to communicate effectively can be difficult, especially when we are all busy.

Dentists are often not keen to ‘sell’ to their patients, as it can feel unnatural in a healthcare environment. The real problem may be that dental professionals view communication as a sales pitch rather than an educational insight.

Here’s an example of a typical scenario:

Billy visits the dentist once a year, he doesn’t mind this because he’s in and out in around 5 minutes after a quick check-up from the dentist but he doesn’t believe he’s getting value for his money.

A few years down the line, Billy’s diet and lifestyle changes – he starts to consume sugary foods and drinks. On his next trip to the dentist, he has to have several fillings and begins to resent visiting the dentist!

You see a pattern begins to emerge – a simple 10 minute chat at every visit, discussing Billy’s lifestyle and educating him on the effects of his diet could’ve gone a long way. Not only would Billy feel he’s received value for money but he’d also be educated and aware of how to look after his teeth. The clear message is, communication is the key – especially as preventative dentistry is becoming more and more important. It’s now time to think about patient – dentist communication as a way of building relationships, not as a tool to sell! So what are you waiting for…

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