Bidding farewell

27 November 2023

 The Dentist speaks to Simon Chard as he looks back at his time as BACD president.

 The Dentist speaks to Simon Chard as he looks back at his time as BACD president.

Cosmetic dentistry has been coming into its own in recent years, and the growth in demand for such services is showing no signs of slowing. For dentists and their teams, this presents an exciting opportunity to develop skills and expand the business. The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) is dedicated to helping clinicians achieve this in a safe and effective way. The organisation is committed to providing and supporting excellent education in the field while also offering an invaluable source of advice and peer guidance.

As he steps down as president of the BACD, Simon Chard considers why he believes this is the time for colleagues with an interest in cosmetic or restorative dentistry to get involved with the academy.

“There has never been a more important time than now for a community like the BACD to exist. There is so much misinformation about cosmetic dentistry being pumped out on social media platforms like TikTok. It is easy to find commercially-driven adverts for products that are ineffective or even dangerous for patients – especially when it comes to teeth whitening, for example. It’s up to the next generation of dentists to be vocal in their positive education around cosmetic dentistry, once they’ve had appropriate training in the relevant clinical areas. To have a supportive community that provides exceptional, broad and highly ethical training in cosmetic dentistry, is critical. That’s why the BACD is such a vital resource for clinicians throughout their careers.

Simon said, “The other area we have seen substantial growth within is digital dentistry. By utilising the technologies available on the market today, clinicians can make their dentistry more minimally invasive and more biologically-respectful. In doing so, we can avoid the long-term issues that so many patients will be facing after choosing cheap treatment at overseas establishments that do not share UK dentists’ passion for ethical and progressive treatment. With the right education and tools, we can achieve beautiful cosmetic dental results that protect patients’ natural dentition for many years to come. The BACD provides access to both.”

The education available through the BACD on everything from digital dentistry to new clinical techniques and research is one of the main pillars that hold it in such high esteem among the global profession.

Simon reflected on the past 12 months to discuss what else has been key for the academy this year, “The BACD Annual Conference is always the highlight of the year, with world-class speakers brought in from around the globe. It’s a great resource for clinicians and team members at any stage of their careers – from those just starting in cosmetic dentistry to others who are highly experienced with many years in the field.

“It has been important to the board and I throughout my residency that we continue to grow the academy, in particular, by welcoming young dentists to the community. I was the youngest BACD president so far, so it was important to me that we connected with the next generation of cosmetic dentists. We have to remain relevant and current in order to grow as an Academy, and providing a service for young dentists and students is part of that. I’m delighted with how successful we were with this – the enthusiasm among newly qualified dentists and student ambassadors has never been stronger. In fact, we have seen an increased appetite throughout the organisation from new people wanting to get involved with committees or the Board, which is always fantastic to see.

“When you’re the president of such a prestigious organisation for a year, you are the steward of the academy, guiding progress in the direction that presidents before you have established. I’m proud of what we have achieved this past year.”

Indeed, Simon has demonstrated just how far the BACD can take you, having initially joined as a student representative and worked his way up the ranks over the past decade.

He considers how his journey has shaped his own dentistry, “When you’re steering a ship as large as the BACD, you are exposed to many different facets of dentistry, from business aspects to corporation models and board structures. At every stage of my personal development, from student up to president, through every committee and board, I have picked up skills and obtained useful information.

“In my first ever BACD board meeting, I sat there quietly and didn’t say a word. This year, I have chaired the events, making key decisions along the way. Difficult times shape you as a leader, and I am honoured to have added the BACD presidency to the experiences that have made me a better human, dentist, leader and businessman.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity, and being elected president of the BACD has been one of the greatest honours of my life. I look forward to handing over the reins to Luke Hutchings!”


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