Spotlight on: Julie Simpkins

Dental Hygienist / Dental Therapist

BIO:

I previously qualified as a Veterinary nurse, from this I developed an  interest in animal dentistry.

From there, I almost fell into dentistry,  and trained as a dental nurse, before joining the Navy in the 1990s

In 2001 I qualified as Hygienist whilst serving in the Navy, and then subsequently  qualified as Therapist in 2011 (Bristol Dental School).

I hold qualifications in oral health promotion, diet and nutrition, and I am also a qualified smoking cessation counsellor.

I currently work at {my}dentist in Gloucester & Stroud, where I am very happy, and feel fortunate to be so well supported both clinically and professionally.

 Recently I won the {my}dentist Hygienist of the Year Award sponsored by TePe, at the {my}dentist Clinical Conference.

To date what professional achievement are you most proud of?

I am immensely proud of having been named  {my}dentist Hygienist of the Year, and I have previously been a Dental Awards  finalist and also an Oral Health Award finalist in 2019.

Do you utilize your dental skills outside routine dentistry?

I love to travel, and have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to practice animal dentistry in Africa. I have a particular interest in working with endangered species – I’ve even carried out work on a hippo!

Who are you role models or mentors?

Deepak Simkhada has been a role model for me – I find him inspirational, and love watching his presentations. I’ve made a number of visits to Nepal with Deepak as part of his charitable work in the country. It’s satisfying to be part of such a rewarding and important project.

What challenges do you see impacting your role in dentistry?

I find it quite restricting that dental hygienists and therapists don’t have their own dental performer number.

We are all much more aware of environmental issues these days, and they are a vital part of practice. However, I can find this frustrating when patients use environmental concerns as an excuse to neglect their dental health routine. I like to offer sustainable solutions wherever I can, and be mindful of  environmental concerns in  my day to day practice.

Working in practices that don’t  have a PGD in place is restricting and a real challenge for DH/DTs

Do you see the role of DH/DHT changing in the next 10 years?

I very much see the role evolving over the next decade. I’d like to see DT being able to perform simple adult extractions, i.e for ortho. I also think DTs should be permitted to permanently cement crowns instead of using a temporary cement.

Direct access is great, and works really well in private practice.  I would like to be able to do checks-up in NHS practices too, and thereby take some pressure off the dentists in NHS practices.

 

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