Wythenshawe dental technician wins national award
Alan Lyons recognised by Association of Dental Groups
A Wythenshawe dental technician has been recognised by a national dentistry body after impressing judges in a competition designed to assess efficiency and professionalism in the job.
Alan Lyons, who juggles a full-time job at The University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), with a clinical dental technician course at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), was awarded a bronze award from the Association of Dental Groups for writing an essay on how his role fits into the mix of skills needed to deliver an all-round good quality dental service.
Alan has worked in the department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at UHSM’s Wythenshawe Hospital for the last 10 years. He is now furthering his career through his studies at UCLan and is one of only two dental technicians in the North West sponsored by the NHS to do this course. Once qualified, the 52-year-old will be able to complete non-invasive clinical procedures such as making dentures for people with no teeth, identifying healthy and unhealthy tissues, making patient referrals and giving advice on non-prescription medication.
"I don’t often win things so I am delighted to receive recognition from a national body. It makes juggling work and studying worthwhile."
Alan, from Eccles, commented: “Responsibilities that once lay solely with the dentist is in the process of diversification, with competent members of the team taking on parts of the dentist’s role which they have been trained to do.
“I know from many years of experience as a restorative dental technician the results which can be achieved when the dental team communicate effectively to meet a patient’s expectations. Having almost completed the first year of a two year clinical course, and having treated a small number of patients, I have experienced some of the challenges that face clinicians on a daily basis and certainly have a great deal more empathy when communicating with dentists.”
Talking about his award win the mature student said: “I don’t often win things so I am delighted to receive recognition from a national body. It makes juggling work and studying worthwhile.”
Alan’s course at UCLan will prepare him for the qualifying examination in clinical dental technology. During his course Alan has been able to practice and develop his clinical skills using UCLan’s manikins as well as having the opportunity to work on patients under supervision of experienced dentists.
"This is a great end to the first year of his studies; Alan has shown full commitment to the course and has demonstrated his progress both academically and clinically over the last year."
He added: “I’m really enjoying the course and broadening my horizons. I’ve been a dental technician for 25 years and I wanted to expand and build on what I’m already doing so I can improve in an area of work that I find extremely rewarding.”
Senior Clinical Teacher from the UCLan School of Dentistry Liam O’Brien commented: “All of the dental teaching staff at UCLan offer Alan our congratulations for his achievement in winning this award. This is a great end to the first year of his studies; Alan has shown full commitment to the course and has demonstrated his progress both academically and clinically over the last year.”
Alan received his bronze award and a £250 cheque at a ceremony held at the Royal College of Surgeons in London on 18 March as part of the Association of Dental Groups’ annual Bursary Awards. Open to undergraduate and postgraduate dentistry students throughout the UK, the scheme is dedicated to the progression and advancement of the dental profession.