The Dentistry Awards – hear from the winners

The Dentistry Awards – hear from the winners

From the moment their name was announced to how they’ve celebrated since, dental professionals share their experiences of winning at The Dentistry Awards 2023.

The Dentistry Awards highlights talent, innovation, and dedication in dentistry. Every holder of an award has demonstrated exceptional skill, patient care and community contributions.

The Dentistry Awards 2023 was bigger and better than ever! In November, FMC announced the list of winners and celebrated their outstanding contributions to dentistry at the prestigious awards ceremony at The Athena in Leicester.

As this year’s awards are now open for registration, we took a moment to look back on 2023’s winners and their achievements. Hear from some of the winning professionals about their experiences of the ceremony and the impact that winning an award has had on their practice since.

Team of the Year (South east) Winner – Denbeigh House Dental Surgery

Winning at the dentistry awards has not only been a huge boost to the team and our energy, but for the island community and our patients too. People are proud to be patients at an award-winning practice and it has given them new confidence and pride in the NHS and what we do. Most patients come in and mention how they saw our wonderful news and how happy they were that we won and were recognised for what we do.

The island is such a deprived dental area, and we work really hard to continue to provide excellent NHS care. It is so great to be recognised for this. It has also brought recognition from local MPs and councils trying to find out how they can support local NHS dentistry. So thank you from the whole of the Isle of Wight, but mostly from us… See you in person this year!

Best Dental Therapist (North) – Nia Harris

I felt incredibly honoured to be awarded Best Dental Therapist in the North at the Dentistry Awards in both 2021 and 2023. It was a significant accomplishment for me and I was overwhelmed with gratitude by the recognitions. Winning these awards has had a profound positive effect on my practice by elevating our practice’s reputation and enhancing our patient relationships.

‘Incorporating these awards into our marketing strategy has instilled trust in our patients, ensuring them of the high quality-care they receive. Personally, these awards have boosted my self-confidence, motivated me to pursue further advancements in my career and inspired me to set higher standards for myself. I’ve been grateful to receive numerous job offers as a result of these acknowledgements, further validating the impact of this recognition.

‘Amidst the excitement of winning, there have been countless memorable moments and networking opportunities. Meeting inspiring and talented individuals at the awards ceremony has further fuelled my determination to striving for excellence in dentistry. Additionally, having our team present at the awards was as a wonderful team-building experience for our practice.’

Best Dental Therapist (Midlands) – Jagjit Malih

Winning Best Dental Therapist (Midlands) at The Dentistry Awards last year was a significant milestone in my career journey, and one that fills me with immense pride and gratitude. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the disruptions to clinical practice during my second and third years at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2021, I navigated a path from being a dental nurse to becoming an award-winning dental therapist.

Reflecting on this achievement, I initially hesitated to apply for the award, doubting my own capabilities. However, I thought about a quote I read recently: ‘The only limits are the ones that you set yourself.’ This resonated with me and pushed me to overcome my doubts and pursue the opportunity. I am fortunate to have had the unwavering support of my principal, Dr Chetan Sharma. His encouragement during moments of self-doubt underscored the importance of having mentors who recognise and nurture potential.

As someone who has experienced firsthand the transformative power of mentorship, I am deeply committed to paying it forward and inspiring the next generation of dental professionals. This commitment led me to share my journey at the North of Dentistry Show in Manchester. Engaging with current dental nurses considering the dental therapy pathway and newly qualified dental therapists seeking to maximise their scope of practice was an enriching experience.

Trust and confidence

One of the most gratifying aspects of winning the Dentistry Award has been its impact on fostering trust and confidence among our patients. The recognition serves as a visible testament to our dedication to excellence, innovation, and patient-centred care. Patients perceive the awards as a hallmark of quality and professionalism, further solidifying our relationship and instilling confidence in the care they receive.

Since receiving this prestigious honour, our practice has experienced a tangible uplift in morale and reputation. Furthermore, the Dentistry Awards have provided invaluable networking opportunities, enabling me to connect with peers and industry leaders.

Moreover, since winning the awards, I remain committed to providing exceptional care. In May, I will be traveling to Essaouira with Dental Mavericks alongside a friend from dental school, Dr Karam Lalli. This opportunity aligns with my dedication to making a difference and further developing my skills in providing dental care to those in need.

In conclusion, winning the Dentistry Award has not only validated my dedication to the field but has also opened doors to new opportunities for personal and professional growth. I am deeply grateful for the recognition and proud to be associated with the Dentistry Awards.

Young Dentist (London)Toyin Aiyegbusi

It is a great honour to be awarded the Best Young Dentist 2023. With the level of competition being so high, especially in the London category, I am incredibly grateful for the recognition. It has inspired me to keep pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved within our field. This award is a personal reminder to keep believing anything is possible for those willing to rise from adversity.

For patients to recognise my achievements on a large-scale platform is humbling, as I have always been driven to give my patients the best care I possibly can. A number of patients have congratulated me on the award and I believe it instils confidence that they are being treated by a clinician who not only aspires to, but has demonstrated excellence in dentistry.

The award has had a positive impact in the practices I work and has been something we have celebrated as a team. Congratulations from family, friends and colleagues who recognised early on that I had great potential, has also been fulfilling. I am grateful for the continued support of my mentors and peers. Indeed ‘a win for one is a win for all’. The professional recognition has not only affirmed my commitment to excellence, but encourages me to continue to do the work to become the best version of myself.

Marker of huge success

More than anything, I believe that the award has the potential to spotlight underrepresented rising stars within dentistry. Looking at the trajectory of previous winners, it is clear that the award serves as a marker of the huge successes that can be achieved in dentistry and beyond.

Shortly after receiving the award, I was invited by FMC to share round table discussions with leading clinicians about the future of dentistry, a topic I have a huge interest in. I believe the award will provide further opportunities to network, collaborate and attend key stakeholder events within the dental industry.

As much as the award is an honour, it comes with a responsibility. It provides a platform to be a voice for positive representation and I take pride in this. I am incredibly excited about what the future holds not only for myself, but for those who will be inspired by my journey.

The Dentistry Awards 2024


Every year, The Dentistry Awards brings the dental profession together to celebrate outstanding achievements in the field. Known as ‘dentistry’s biggest party’, The Dentistry Awards is the largest dental awards ceremony in the UK. From dentists to dental technicians, there is an award to suit every dental professional.

After a fantastic evening of celebration in 2023, the awards are returning once again for 2024. The ceremony will take place on 13 September 2024 – make sure to get your entry in by 3 July. Full information on the categories and how to enter can be found in the entry guide.

Registration is open now for The Dentistry Awards 2024! Find out more and register at

Best Dental Nurse Overall WinnerShannon Wilkes

The honour of winning The Dentistry Awards has had a profound influence on our practice. It has been a gentle reminder of the difference we make in our patients’ lives, inspiring us to continue our commitment to dental excellence and innovation. The award has subtly integrated into our practice’s ethos, bringing a sense of pride and a push towards excellence. It has encouraged our team to aim higher, enhancing our patient care and services with a renewed sense of purpose.

On a personal level, being named Best Dental Nurse of the UK has been a milestone in my career and has motivated me to continue advancing further. We’ve highlighted our success through various patient marketing materials, including a video in our waiting room and mentions on social media. This recognition underscores the importance of persistence and the dedication we invest in our practice every day.

Furthermore, the recognition from The Dentistry Awards has led to invitations to speak at the prestigious North of England Dentistry Show and to serve as an ambassador for Dentaid. I am also honoured to have become a West Midlands Representative and Ambassador for implants and orthodontics for the Society of British Dental Nurses. These experiences have expanded my professional network and allowed me to share my knowledge and passion with a wider audience.

I am honoured to share my experience and hope it can be an inspiration to others. The Dentistry Awards are not just about the recognition; they are a celebration of the pursuit of excellence that benefits everyone in our dental community.

Dental Nurse of the Year (London) – Rebecca Silver

Winning the award for Best Dental Nurse has elevated my professional work by providing external validation of my skills, dedication, and contributions to the field of dental nursing. It has boosted my confidence and morale, motivating me to continue striving for excellence in my practice. This recognition has also opened doors to new opportunities, such as speaking engagements, leadership roles, and collaborations with other dental professionals. Moreover, it has enhanced my credibility among colleagues, patients, and employers, leading to increased respect and trust in my abilities as a dental nurse.

The award has highlighted my unique strengths, achievements, and commitment to delivering exceptional patient care. It demonstrates my willingness to go above and beyond in serving my patients and continuously improving my skills and knowledge. This recognition not only acknowledges my individual efforts but also reflects positively on the dental practice I represented at the the time. As a result, I feel that I encourage my peers, supporting them whilst they strive for excellence in their own careers. Additionally, winning the award has reinforced my reputation as a respected member in the dental community, earning me the respect of colleagues and patients alike.

I’ve updated all of my professional profiles to include the award and I’m also including it in my promotional materials and sharing the news through social media platforms and professional networks to reach a wider audience.

My advice to aspiring dental nurses is to focus on continuous learning and improvement, prioritise patient care and safety, actively participate in professional development opportunities, and always strive for excellence in everything they do. When applying for awards, be genuine in showcasing your passion for the profession and the positive impact you’ve made in patient care.

Technician of the YearLola Welch

Winning the award has definitely given me more exposure as my face and name have become more recognisable. I even had new clients calling and saying: ‘Can I talk to Lola, the award winning technician?’ So it definitely helped in terms of referrals but also it gave me like a bit of a boost of confidence.

When I submitted, I obviously was hoping that I could win but when I found out the other names in the category, I was just really happy to be shortlisted. The fact that I won was felt really special. I really didn’t expect it. I wasn’t even nervous on the day because I was so happy just to be shortlisted.

The whole submission is not an easy thing – you do need to you need to spend some time on it. But you also need material to submit. It makes everybody who is shortlisted stand out a little bit as those people who are willing to do a little extra.

‘Just do it and don’t overthink it’

When I won I went all over my social media and shouted it from the rooftop. I was using social media during the night of the award ceremony – just sharing what was happening. A lot of people left feedback and interacted with my posts. I now have the award in a frame and another one at home.

I would advise any technician who has had a particularly good year to submit and see what happens. When I submitted, I had no idea who else would be entering. The other two finalists were very, very good technicians and friends as well. I did ask myself ‘what have I done?’ a little bit. But my husband pointed out that it’s not an award for a best technician ever, it’s the best technician of the year. So it doesn’t make the other two people any less worthy – being a finalist is an amazing achievement.

If you’ve had publications over the past year, if you had a lot of good feedback, just do it and don’t overthink it. Don’t try to compare yourself to the others because it’s all about you.

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