Dental Sustainability Scholars 2017-18, a year on...

Sara Harford's picture

A fantastic year on since starting as ‘Sustainable Dentistry Scholars’, the time has come for Darshini and I to hang up our scholar hats!

This past year we have been supported by CSH and Health Education England to undertake relevant projects which promote the sustainable use of resources in the provision of high quality dental care. 
We have had an amazing opportunity to network with colleagues in the dental profession and wider sphere of healthcare on projects, present at national and international events and deliver education on environmental sustainability. 

As part of our scholarship we were part of the HEE dental public health clinical fellows team and we contributed to study days in London, hosted by a variety of speakers who presented about many aspects of dental and general public health which was incredibly informative and inspiring.

Some examples of the projects we were busy working on this year were:

  • Conducting a survey on attitudes to environmental sustainability amongst the dental profession at the British Dental Industry Association (BDIA) conference
  • Submission of the survey results and analysis for peer review to Public Health Journal
  • Developing a sustainability policy for the British Association of Community Dentistry (BASCD) conference and organisation
  • Attendance and presentation at the UK Dental Schools Council meeting
  • Liaison with the Association of Dental Education Europe (ADEE)
  • Contributing to a panel discussion about sustainability at the European Dental Students Association (EDSA) conference in Amsterdam
  • Delivering teaching on environmental sustainability to Foundation Dentists
  • Blogging for the British Dental Association (BDA)
  • Organising a Sustainability in Dentistry Conference in London
  • Filming and producing a short film on sustainable changes in dental practice
  • Development of a Guide on sustainability for dental practices 
  • Contributing as authors to a set of ‘Sustainable Dentistry’ evidence based papers submitted for peer review to the British Dental Journal
  • Commencing dialogue in dental schools about developing  sustainability criteria for inclusion in the UK and Ireland Dentistry undergraduate syllabus

My personal highlights were helping to organise, facilitate and speak at our Sustainable Dentistry Conference in June for 100 delegates in London which was really well received, and being involved in our sustainable dental practice film shoot- many thanks to the DPH fellows for volunteering their efforts to make this possible and also really fun!

We have also becomemembers of the ‘Dental Sustainability Advisory Group’ comprised of members and stakeholders of various organisations including PHE, DoH, GDC, BDA and industry who meet quarterly to provide a platform to discuss and promote sustainability within the dental care sector and to share recommendations to improve the sustainability of dental care.  

The scholarship has given me a unique opportunity to develop transferable skills in clinical leadership, research and project management while gaining a deeper understanding of the environmental sustainability of healthcare, and more specificially of dentistry. I continue to be passionate about environmental sustainability and hope to be involved in further work to promote and develop the sustainability of our health care service, which this scholarship has provided an excellent stepping stone for. I hope to take back the knowledge I have gained I into my own working clinical environments and share it amongst current and future colleagues.

Special thanks to all the team at CSH and to the dental public health fellows at HEE for making it a brilliant year!



Thank you to Sara and Darshini

Frances Mortimer's picture

Huge thanks from the CSH team to Sara and Darshini who have been fantastic scholars and have done so much to raise awareness of sustainability in dentistry and develop resources for dental teams to take practical actions (the online Guide will be available soon!). We hope that you will continue to be involved!



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