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04 March 2024

KCLDAA Alumni Weekend 2024

Two days of lectures gave people the opportunity to enjoy a more extensive programme this year. As usual the weekend was held on the first weekend in March. This year we established a theme for all nine speakers, which was Managing Expectations.

Jen Turner, Professor Jenny Gallagher and Charlie Spedding, KCLDAA President

I wanted to connect the presentations this year with a theme that is close to my heart and I chose speakers from King’s amazing Alumni.

Charlie Spedding, KCLDAA President.

Straumann/YITI were our main sponsors and their Friday morning session was well attended in the newly refurbished Function Room on Floor 18 of the Tower. We were privileged to enjoy lectures from their three speakers: Charlotte Stillwell on Successful Removeable Partial Denture Design Principles-Managing Expectations; Sami Stagnell on an Update on Guided Bone Regeneration- Managing Expectations; and Robert Abraham on A Career in implantology-Managing Expectations-Live Interview. The delegates found these lectures very informative and were interested to hear what YITI can offer.

Clinical Open Day lectures took place on the Friday afternoon in the Robens Suite. Clinical Day was opened by Charlie Spedding KCLDAA President and Professor Michael Escudier, Executive Dean.

Attendees at the KCLDAA Alumni Weekend

Mark Sayers, KCH Clinical Director and Consultant & Specialist in Orthodontics delivered Managing Expectations: A PhD Synopsis; Shreeti Patel, BDA Dento-legal Advisor: Managing Expectations-Consent and Communication; and John Costello, Specialist Orthodontist: Managing Expectations-Are we consenting our patients to the full capabilities of orthodontic aligners? These excellent presentations were full of helpful information and led to healthy discussions in the Q & A sessions.

The Hygienists’ and Therapists’ Specialist Section Meeting ran parallel in the afternoon in the Gordon Museum. Ellie Heidari spoke on Minimum Intervention Oral Healthcare for People with Dental anxiety; Tara Taheri spoke on Applying Psychological Strategies for better Oral Health Outcomes; Tanika Gohil was unable to attend to give her Update in Paediatric Dentistry and so Linda Perry from Haleon kindly stepped in at last minute, with a talk on Xerostomia. We do hope to attract many more delegates for next year.

Professor Michael Escudier, Executive Dean at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences

It was wonderful to see the high level of engagement amongst the alumni who obviously thoroughly enjoyed the presentations as well as the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues.

Professor Michael Escudier, Executive Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences

The Staff and Alumni Drinks’ Reception and Annual Dental Dinner returned to the Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel this year, for the Friday evening. Alex Groves and Rae Daher from the Alumni Office expertly ensured the evening was a success. 155 guests attended and Tomos Lavery (KCL 2014) and Ben Smith entertained with beautiful choral numbers that brought a tear to many eyes. There were significant reunions groups in attendance: 45years, 40years 25years, 15 and 10year reunions, with classes of KCH ’78, ’83, GKT ’99, KCL 2009 and Jennifer Turner, our KCLDAA Secretary celebrated her 10-year reunion with the KCL class of 2014.

The Alumni awards were presented by Charlie Spedding and Jen Turner:

  • Alumnus of the year was presented to Professor Jennifer Gallagher.
  • Distinguished Alumnus was awarded to Dr David Radford who was unable to attend in person.

Raffle tickets had been sold in advance this year but a table of students attended and mixed convivially with the other guests.

Professor Francis Hughes led the draw for the raffle, and a lovely evening was had by all.

Professor Francis Hughes led the draw for the raffle

Clinical Open Day continued on the Saturday morning with a Welcome and Introduction by Charlie Spedding and Professor Michael Escudier. The Key Note Rod Cawson lecture from Mr Tim Blackburn, Consultant Maxillofacial/ Facial Plastic Surgeon: Managing Expectations in Facial and Cosmetic v Reconstructive Surgery patients was fascinating and captured everyone’s attention. This led perfectly onto Dr Patricia Berko, Clinical Psychologist in Orofacial pain’s lecture ably assisted by her MSc student: Managing Expectations - Increasing Awareness of Body Dysmorphia to Ensure Optimal Dental Care.

At the AGM the President Elect was announced as Jonathan Turner, who will commence his Presidency in March 2025.

Charlie Spedding was delighted to announce that Professor Francis Hughes, Past President of KCLDAA, had been awarded an MBE and Vincent Barrett, Past President KCLDAA, had been awarded the CVO, both in 2023.

Sadly, the deaths of Dr Uchenna Okoye and Dr Alex Morton both graduates from UMDS ’93 were announced and of Professor John Greenspan, Alumnus of the Year 2012 and Fellow of Kings College and Professor Newell Johnson, Head of Oral Med and Pathology KCH.

Kavit Shah, Specialist Prosthodontist, delivered the Key Note Walter Herbert Lecture: Managing Expectations in the Restoration of Structurally Compromised Teeth. Healthy Q & A discussions ensued; all three lectures were captivating and fulfilled the expectations of the audience perfectly.

The Dean’s lunch and Trade Fair followed as usual and we would like to thank Straumann, Haleon, BDA, Wesleyan and DB Dental for the sponsorship this year.

There was an opportunity to join tours of the clinical and simulation teaching facilities which included hands-on demonstrations. The alumni were very impressed by the technology which was demonstrated superbly by Dr Melanie Nasseripour and Dr Jonathan Turner.

Our thanks go to Valerie Nicolle and Diane Brook, in FoDOCS.

The organisers would like to thank all who participated and attended this successful event and look to welcoming everyone back for the 2025 event to be held on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th March.

Charlie Spedding, KCLDAA President.