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Introducing… Professor Kim Piper

We caught up with the new Dean for Education for the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences to find out her plans for the Faculty and why good dentistry matters for everyone across King’s Health Partners.

Kim PiperThe faculty celebrated its anniversary last year – what have been the highlights of the first 20 years?

The faculty has a highly distinguished history building on over two hundred years of clinical care, research and education in our parent institutions, including the London School of Dental Surgery (Royal Dental Hospital of London), Guy's Dental Hospital and King's College Hospital Dental School. The establishment of the faculty as a single Institute in 1998 resulted from the merger of the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals with King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Since the merger in 1998, we have constantly innovated our educational provision. The faculty has been a pioneer in the use of blended learning since 1998 and has been at the forefront of the use of haptics in dental education. LonDEC (The London Dental Education Centre) was founded in 2009 to provide high-quality clinical skills facilities for Continuing Professional Development and blended learning. Additionally, we have developed outreach centres with the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy and West Norwood Health and Leisure Centre in Lambeth.

The faculty has deep historical strengths that we can build on – having service at the core of our self-identity, a history of education innovation, and strong and embedded relationships with our NHS trust partners, as well as a longstanding commitment to research.

The faculty also recently rebranded – what prompted the name change?

The faculty recently went through a reorganisation to best support our ambitions in education, research, international affairs, service to society and the London agenda as described in King’s College London’s Strategic Vision 2029.

The new name recognises the breadth and depth of the education and research portfolios which are now undertaken at the faculty beyond the term Dental. The Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences reflects our broader academic profile.

You’ve just joined - what are your plans for the faculty?

My plans for the faculty are to deliver a new innovative curriculum for undergraduates in 2020 which will draw on innovation and research in clinical practice. At the same time, we will be leading on the delivery of a new BSc in Dental Hygiene and Therapy so that we can provide the dental workforce with the practitioners needed for the future oral health needs of the population.

The faculty ambition is to become the number one dental faculty within the UK, and indeed the world. We will also be innovating in the post graduate arena with the adoption of a more modular approach to post graduate courses delivered via a blended and campus based approaches.  There are new courses planned for the future allowing us to deliver the training that dental teams need both in the UK and worldwide.

What are the benefits to patients and staff of the faculty being a part of King’s Health Partners?

Being part of King’s Health Partners allows students, postgraduates and staff to gain unrivalled clinical experience through access to the vast and diverse population base. This access and ease of working at multiple sites allows us a fantastic opportunity both for clinical experience and translational clinical research.

The King’s Health Partners Dental Clinical Academic Group provides dental care for more than 300,000 patients each year at more than 30 sites across London.