I am a Paediatric Dentist, teacher and researcher. My work is focused on improving the way we manage the disease dental caries: how can we be less invasive, how can we make it easier for people (especially children) to cope with, how can we make dental care more effective, affordable and accessible? I mainly work on clinical trials and systematic reviews. My nursing and dentistry background have given me a very patient-focused outlook but I try to keep in mind the science behind what we do, and how oral health care could be improved for patients.
The specific areas I work in are: clinical trials testing different clinical management techniques for dental caries; patient perceptions (particular children) of the dental care we provide and how we can improve that; uptake of evidence by practitioners; inequalities in dental care (such as dentistry for children with low access in some countries and gypsy/ travellers); improving the standard of research produced within cariology; and systematic reviews related to cariology, paediatric dentistry and inequalities.
I have had an unusual career path, qualifying as a Registered General Nurse, working in neurosurgery in Edinburgh and gaining a BSc in Life Sciences from Napier University. I came to the University of Dundee, graduating in Dentistry in 1998, having also obtained an intercalated degree in Molecular and Cellular Pathology. I then spent a very enjoyable seven years as a general dental practitioner in Carnoustie and Forfar, before returning to join Child Dental Health at Dundee as a Lecturer and now Chair. My PhD investigated the Hall Technique, a method for managing carious primary molars that is becoming widely used across the globe.
I sit on the Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network steering committee, a number of SDCEP and SIGN guidance development groups. I edit Wikipedia pages on Dentistry.
I am currently Chief Investigator on the BRIGHT Trial (Brushing RemInder for Good oral HealTh), FiCTION Dental Trial (Fillings in Children’s Teeth; Indicated or Not), and am involved in Germany, Brazil, Lithuania, Australia and New Zealand based dental trials.