The DDU is proud to have worked with the British Society of Periodontology to produce a brand new, free CPD e-learning resource for dental professionals.

The collaboration between our two organisations allows the resource to offer both dento-legal and clinical learning, giving a more complete understanding of the range of issues that periodontitis can cause. Periodontal issues feature widely in complaints and claims notified to the DDU, so it's important to see the full picture when considering the proper treatment and management of the condition.

The resource is split up into interactive modules covering topics including communication, assessment, risk factors, classification, behavioural change and more. A final module will pose a series of questions that will let you test your learning and print out a certificate for verifiable CPD.

Phil Ower, immediate past president of the BSP, explains how the idea came about. 'I remember that this all started with a discussion that I had with Leo at a BSP meeting,' he says. 'Leo suggested a possible collaboration between the BSP and the DDU on an e-learning project to help clinicians to manage periodontal diseases in a general practice setting.'

'The problem of litigation that centres around periodontal management has been growing steadily over the last few years,' he continues, 'and so often it is the simple things, particularly in terms of diagnosis, that have let people down. The idea of a free, accessible, online resource to help educate clinicians about this issue could not have come at a more opportune time so I was keen for the BSP to be involved.'

As Phil points out, periodontal issues are an increasing concern for dental professionals, and this is borne out by our own data. In the four year period up to 2012 the average cost of a compensation claim involving allegations of failure to diagnose or treat periodontal disease rose by nearly 50%, and these allegations now account for around a tenth claims notified to the DDU every year.

Leo Briggs, deputy head of the DDU, echoes Phil's sentiments. 'During my time at the DDU I have been very aware that periodontal problems for patients can often lead to dento-legal problems for our members,' he comments.

The problem of litigation that centres on periodontal management has been growing steadily over the last few years.

'Although there is plenty of material available for CPD in this area, I thought that a collaboration between the BSP and the DDU would enable both organisations to bring their respective expertise together, so that clinicians did not need to do a clinical course and a dento-legal course separately. Fortunately, when I suggested the possibility of this collaboration to Phil, he was incredibly enthusiastic. This enthusiasm has led to the finished product where the DDU have provided the dento-legal content of this course and the BSP have provided the clinical expertise.'

'We have developed this resource with help from two of our Early Career Group members in the BSP, Paul Ryan and Raman Bhardwaj,' continues Phil. 'The support from the DDU on the IT and design side has been superb and I'm delighted with the final product.'

'Undertaking a project like this is time consuming,' adds Leo, 'so I would like to thank Phil as well as Paul and Raman for the amount of effort they have all put into this project. Without this dedication from the BSP, it would not have been possible to get this course up and running.'

Phil points out that the resource isn't just for specialists, or for those with little prior knowledge of the subject. 'I know that clinicians will enjoy going through the modules,' he says, 'and everyone can benefit from it, even those who think they know it all.

'I hope that by doing this course everyone will learn something and will be encouraged to improve their systems for periodontal management in their practices. Dentists, hygienists and therapists will benefit and of course so, ultimately, will their patients, which is what this all about.'

Click the link below to take the course:

DDU and BSP periodontal e-learning

This article was correct at publication on 12/09/2017. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

Leo Briggs

Deputy head of the DDU

Leo Briggs qualified from University College Hospital, London, in 1989. He has worked extensively in the community dental service including a brief period overseas. He has also worked in general dental practice.

Leo gained a masters degree in periodontology from the Eastman in 1995 and is on the GDC specialist register for periodontics. From 1995-2017 he provided specialist periodontal treatment in both the salaried dental services and private practice. He started working for the DDU in 2005. Between 2007 and 2009 he worked part time at the DDU and part time as a clinical tutor at the School for Professionals Complementary to Dentistry in Portsmouth. In 2009 Leo went full time with the DDU. In January 2016 he became deputy head of the DDU.

See more by Leo Briggs