Consultant and Specialist in Special Care Dentistry, Dr Mick Allen, has joined Smile Together Dental CIC as Clinical Director for Quality Assurance and Patient Safety.

With a deep interest in dental public health and population needs, Dr Allen has become a prominent and influential figure in South Wales. He’s been Dental Adviser to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board since 2016 and has been seconded to the Welsh Government to help reform general dental services. Mick provides policy advice to the Chief Dental Officer for Wales on conscious sedation in dentistry as Chair of the Welsh Government Strategic Advisory Forum for Sedation and also as one of the All Wales Dental Clinical Leads Covid-19 Group.

In May 2020 he was appointed Clinical Director for Community Dental Services in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, a role that will successfully continue alongside his appointment in March 2021 as Clinical Director at Smile Together.

Dr Allen explains: “As a Consultant in Special Care Dentistry in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, including co-working across South West England and South Wales on a voluntary basis as Dental Lead for South Wales and South West England Congenital Heart Disease Network, I’m well positioned to help identify and address common challenges for dentistry, especially for those who are our most vulnerable people. I have a life-long affinity with Cornwall which shares similar challenges as South Wales – not least a post-industrial mining landscape resulting in areas of deprivation and poor general and oral health. I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact on children’s oral health through the All Wales ‘Design to Smile’ programme and, alongside my work with the Smile Together dental teams and delivery of patient care, I’m thrilled to be able to support the Brighter Smiles oral health education programme here in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly”.

Smile Together is a successful employee-owned CIC tackling oral health inequality by investing its profits back into patient care and Cornish communities. Dr Allen is no stranger to employee-ownership having transitioned his dental practice in Abergavenny to a team of employee-owners back in 2016 so they could continue to provide the dental care that community most needed. Alongside the provision of dental education, training and development he frequently shares his employee-owned journey to inspire others.

Dental Director at Smile Together, Dr Jonathan Bouwer-Davies, is delighted to welcome Dr Allen to the team: “There are real challenges facing dentistry, both pre-Covid and in the wake of the pandemic, not just in Cornwall but across the whole country. A collaborative approach has to be the way forward, not least to share best practice and experience, and we’re therefore thrilled to have attracted a clinician of Mick’s calibre to support our work and join the Board of Smile Together. I have no doubt this will see us delivering an even higher standard of patient care alongside innovative policy and service improvement on behalf of our patients, our commissioners and our community”.

As a further boost to its clinical leadership team, Smile Together is also currently recruiting to an additional Clinical Director post focusing on Business Development and Performance.