Interview with Dr David Warning on UK orthodontics: “Overall, we are in a positive place”
As the dental market is slowly getting back on its feet, industry professionals once again have the opportunity to attend leading dental events that had to be cancelled or postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the run-up to the 2021 British Orthodontic Conference (BOC), which is less than a month away, Dental Tribune International spoke with Dr David Waring, chair of the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) conference committee. In this interview, he talks about the current state of orthodontics in the country and discusses some of the highlights of the upcoming event.
Dr Waring, this year’s theme, which is “Risks and Rewards—don’t look back in anger!”, sounds both sentimental and uplifting. Why was this title chosen, and what does it signify?
The idea behind the theme was to bring together orthodontic experts from all around the UK and further afield and ask them to share advice and reflect on what they wish they had known earlier in their careers. It allows for some light-heartedness, reflection, and practical hints and tips for our audience.
After such an unusual year, the BOS would like to invite everyone with an interest in orthodontics, including consultants, specialists, training grades, general dental practitioners, therapists and nurses, to come along, listen to a fantastic programme live, visit Manchester, socialise, and meet friends and colleagues again.
The 2020 BOC had to be cancelled owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. How have the repercussions of the pandemic for the dental industry shaped this year’s event?
It was with great regret that we had to postpone the 2020 BOC. This year’s event, to be held in the iconic Midland Hotel in Manchester on 16–18 September, will be the event’s first hybrid offering. The hybrid element of the event will allow those from overseas or those who cannot travel for whatever reason to be able to register and access the BOC lecture programme virtually, as well as attend a virtual trade exhibition and network with colleagues online.
What is the current state of orthodontics in the UK, and what does the future hold for orthodontic practice in the country?
There are undoubtedly challenges facing UK orthodontics: National Health Service commissioning, long waiting lists and the pandemic, to name just a few. However, I still feel that, overall, we are in a positive place. We have the wonderful role of enhancing people’s lives through improving their smiles, and that is a privilege that we should not take lightly. The pandemic has seen a considerable increase in demand for orthodontics, as many people have taken the opportunity to reappraise their lives and take action. There has undoubtedly been a “Zoom boom” in UK orthodontics!
“The pandemic has seen a considerable increase in demand for orthodontics”
What are some of the key topics that will be discussed at the 2021 BOC, and what exciting features of the event can attendees look forward to the most?
Almost too many to mention! However, if I had to pick out a few highlights, they would be the lecture by Dr Phil Hammond, Private Eye’s MD, physician, broadcaster, comedian and commentator on health issues; the prestigious Northcroft Memorial Lecture, which will be presented by the BOS president, Prof. Jonathan Sandler; and the parallel sessions, “Driving your private practice” and “So you want to know about orthodontics?” for aspiring orthodontists, and a two-day dental care professionals programme. We feel that we have something for all the team at this year’s conference and look forward to welcoming everyone.
Editorial notes: More information about the event can be found here.