Est. 2015.  


History of the Society of British Dental Nurses

The Society of British Dental Nurses was established in November 2015 and formed by a prominent group of dental nurses who recognised that there was more that was needed for dental nurses and the profession.   

There was also a demand from dental nurses who wanted an organisation that was readily available to support and guide dental nurses through every stage of their careers and with a central focus on education, learning and development.

The founders and the early committee were: Fiona Ellwood – chair, Donna Hough – Treasurer, Tracey Rodgers – Education, Patricia Rawsthorne – Secretary, Anne Jones – Advisor

The Society has since become a much larger organisation and today in 2019 it is made up of:

  • an Executive Group who run its’ business,
  • a council and committee, who undertake its’ business
  • a large ambassador group with up to 18 dental fields covered,
  • Honorary Fellows Board -Prof Ireland, Prof Cure, Consultant Andrew Baldwin, Consultant Odontologist Richard Leigh Evans, Dr Janine Brooks and Elaine Tilling

The Society has representation from the 4 Nations and has a number of active regional groups. Annually the society hosts the Professor Ireland Annual Lecture and a conference primarily for dental Nurses. In 2019 the Society became a welcome member of the Dental Professional Alliance (DPA) – a group where all dental care professional elected Chairs/ Presidents meet. In 2019 the DPA is made up of SBDN, OTA, BSDHT, BADT, OTS and BISDT.

The society have a number of affiliations and sponsors who they work closely with.

The Society work closely with key stakeholders such as:

  • General Dental Council
  • British Dental Association
  • Faculty of General Dental Practice
  • Royal Colleges
  • Care Quality Commission
  • Dental Charities – Dentaid, Swallows, Mouth Cancer Foundation etc
  • Health Education England
  • All Wales Faculty for Dental Care Professionals
  • Local Dental Networks
  • Local Dental Committee

The services of the Society have also expanded; Mentoring, Stress at work support, Mental health guidance, career guidance and planning and more and speakers can be booked as well as representation and articles written.

In November of every year the Society hosts the National Dental Nurses Day in celebration of the first dental assistant taking her examination in 1943. The award currently has 6 categories:

  • Outstanding Dental Nurse
  • Outstanding Dental Nurse Student
  • Outstanding Dental Nurse Tutor
  • Outstanding Dental Nurse Manager
  • Outstanding Contribution to Dental Charity
  • Long Service – outstanding commitment

In addition to this a prestigious award is on occasion awarded to an outstanding individual who has contributed widely to the profession and who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. This award is given at the discretion of the Patron with the agreement of the President and the Chair. The first recipient of this outstanding award is Tina Gorman, who was recognised in 2019 by the Patron Fiona Ellwood. Tina has worked in Belfast, Dublin and Birmingham and at the time of receiving the award was the Associate Director and Lead Dental Nurse for the Division based at Birmingham Dental Hospital.

The Society regularly write for the Dental Nursing Journal and others and attends the dental shows and has a large following on social media. It prides itself on being current, modern and on topic and being made up of hands on clinical dental nurses.

The Society is a not-for-profit organisation that works for the good and future of dental nurses, all monies go back into the Society for the good of dental nurses and the Society contribute widely to charitable causes.