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​England: MPs meet the next generation of dentists

5 July 2022


The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dentistry and Oral Health – to which we provide secretariat – paid a visit to King’s College Dental School last week.

During the visit, we arranged for a group of cross-party MPs to tour the award-winning simulation, clinical and training facilities, and meet with students and staff. 
Parliamentarians enjoyed trying their hand at performing dental procedures in virtual reality using phantom heads. Many commented the experience gave them a newfound appreciation of the skill, knowledge and dexterity required to treat patients’ teeth.

Yasmin Qureshi, Sir Paul Beresford and Jerome Mayhew MPs speaking to a dental student
      Yasmin Qureshi, Sir Paul Beresford and Jerome Mayhew MPs speaking to a dental student

The visit also offered a useful opportunity to catch up with politicians about the developments in NHS dentistry, including the progress of dental contract reform, activity targets and recruitment and retention issues.

Several MPs commented on the need to ensure a new dental contract and adequate funding to make the NHS a desirable place to work when current dental students graduate. A number of parliamentarians pledged to continue raising this issue in the Commons and directly with the Minister. 

Father of the House of Commons Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Judith Cummins MP speaking to students and staff]  Father of the House of Commons Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Judith Cummins MP speaking to        students and staff

After speaking to students at the school, Vice Chair of the group, Yasmin Qureshi MP commented: “As the country faces a dental access crisis and growing health inequalities, for the sake of communities up and down the country we must ensure these talented young dentists will feel they can put their skills to good use in our National Health Service”. 

We continue to work to raise the profile of dentistry among parliamentarians and policy makers. We will keep you updated as we work to ensure dentistry stays high on the political agenda, maintaining the pressure for change.