The British Dental Association (BDA) is the largest voluntary membership organisation for dentists in the UK.
The majority of the BDA’s 22,000 members are family dentists, working in general practice providing both National Health Service (NHS) and private care. BDA members also work in community and hospital settings, universities and the British armed forces.
The BDA’s headquarters is in Wimpole Street, London near Queen's College, London in the City of Westminster and it currently has offices in Stirling, Scotland, Belfast, Northern Ireland and Cardiff, Wales. BDA Manchester opened in May 2008 and is in Lowry House.
The Dental Reform Committee formed the BDA in 1880. Sir John Tomes was the first President. The Dental Act 1921 created the Dental Board of the UK, whose functions have been taken over by the General Dental Council since 1956. The BDA headquarters were opened by the Queen in March 1967. The organisation represents dentists at national and local level, ensuring that the views and concerns of the profession are high on the political and public agenda. The BDA promotes good practice and patient care, and provides members with expert advice in all aspects of practice, management and opportunities for continuing professional development. The organisation is also a scientific society promoting higher standards (often in co-operation with other organisations) and improvements in the oral health of the nation.
The British Dental Association is calling for patients and dentists to lobby candidates in the forthcoming general election for a better deal for dentistry. The call comes as the BDA, the UK's largest dental organisation, launches its manifesto for UK dentistry.
John Renshaw, chair of the BDA's Executive Board, said:
"We have all seen the images of people queuing for hours just to register with an NHS dentist and there is no doubt that access to dental care is extremely important to voters across the country. Parliamentary candidates from across the political divide must recognise this and act to help solve the UK's dental crisis."
The BDA's manifesto also lends its support to the campaign to make school vending machines include healthier options and calls for water coolers, rather than fizzy drinks, to be made more readily available in schools. It also repeats the BDA's support for targeted water fluoridation schemes as a way of significantly reducing dental health inequalities.
1. The British Dental Association is the trade union and professional association for dentists practicing in the UK, representing 20,000 members working in all aspects of dentistry.
2. The six key points of the BDA's manifesto are:
-- Change for the better: introduce NHS dentistry reforms that work and give dentistry its fair share of increased NHS spending
-- Train more dentists: tackle the access problem and put an end to patient queues
-- Stop the rot: support preventive care for patients and invest in teaching children how to care for their teeth
-- Narrow the gap: fight dental health inequalities and bring in water fluoridation
-- Meet demand: support family dentists and recognise the value of the mixed economy for patient choice
-- Ensure quality care: develop the dental team and safeguard patients