It is an exciting time for the DDU digitally. We are expanding our online resources for members with the launch of our new DDU Facebook page and have recently released our new e-learning course in collaboration with the British Society of Periodontology.

Why the emphasis on social media?

It is not news to anyone that the use of social media has grown in recent years. Some 65% of adults now have a social media account, according to Ofcom's 2017 report into adults' media use and attitudes.

With patients and staff members increasingly taking to social networking sites to share their views, it's important for dental professionals to broaden their understanding of the intricacies of social networking, not least so that any potential risks that may arise from online criticism can be mitigated.

Contrary to popular belief within the healthcare profession, social media is not always linked to trouble. It can be a very effective tool for promoting yourself and your practice, which is why the DDU want to help members get the balance right.

There have been inspiring examples of social media use in the medical and dental world. Notable successes have included #HelloMyNameIs, a Twitter campaign calling for health service staff to introduce themselves to their patients, and the work of the 'Singing Dentist,' who promotes the importance of oral health by creating dental inspired parodies of popular songs.

Although we don't necessarily expect our members to sing to raise awareness about their services, it is refreshing to see a more light-hearted side of dentistry being conveyed - after all, dentists have personalities too!

Test your knowledge and be entered into our prize draw

To launch our new page, the DDU will be running a 'test your knowledge' series on social media best practice for dental professionals. Starting soon, one question will be posted on the DDU Facebook page each week for five weeks, so keep an eye on the page for the first one!

By the end of the quiz, as well as gaining a comprehensive understanding of social media risks, members will also be aware of how to promote their practice ethically on their social platforms. All participants will be entered into our prize draw. Full instructions and terms and conditions can be found here.

You can access our quiz by going to our DDU Facebook page, where you can also keep up-to-date with the latest dento-legal and regulatory changes. You can now find dento-legal guidance, advice, e-learning and news as it happens, all in one place.

This article was correct at publication on 02/01/2018. 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.