At the end of July, Tracey Bell, who has recently invested heavily in refurbishing her thriving Liverpool cosmetic dentistry and aesthetics clinic, was awarded a Masters in Dental Law and Ethics.
Tracey was one of just five dentists in the UK to achieve this prestigious qualification from Bedfordshire University. She completed her Masters over three years, studying law, medical negligence and dental practice and also completed a research project focusing on cosmetic injectables and how they are regulated in the UK, which is set to be published in the UK medical press.
While completing her Masters, Tracey also obtained a Cardiff University Law School Expert Witness Certificate last year. This is part of Tracey’s ongoing commitment to investing in her education, and her expertise in the legal aspects of clinical negligence and consent provides her with a useful insight into day to day issues in dentistry and aesthetics.
Tracey will continue to use her skills in clinical governance and medical negligence and will also continue with the expert witness work which she is already involved with.
This year, Tracey has highlighted the need for tighter regulation regarding the way in which Botox and fillers are administered. She conducted a survey as part of her studies, asking dentists questions such as: ‘What training did you initially undertake in order to provide Botox and fillers?’ and ‘How many hours of cosmetic revalidation (extra training) have you completed in the last two years?’
Tracey said: “As part of my studies, I surveyed more than 300 dentists, asking questions regarding the General Dental Council’s regulation of cosmetic injectables (Botox and fillers), when performed by dental professionals.” She added: “I was keen to find out more about the views of fellow dental professionals and also to find out how much ongoing training they’d had in administering injectable treatments.”
At present, there is no regulatory body or any formal process of regulation regarding the administration of non-surgical facial aesthetics and Tracey, like many in the industry, is keen to see more safeguards for patients brought in. To this end, she is working with local bodies on a strategy for change.
Tracey believes that her commitment to constant learning and improvement has helped to keep her clinical practice autonomous, focusing on patient-centred care. Tracey said: “Long gone are the days when the doctor or dentist knew best. Consent, treatment options and clinical outcomes are all central to patient care.
“Having knowledge of procedures and options is essential for medical and dental professionals, as is taking the time to fully explain the options that patients have, as today, patient autonomy is essential. The patient has the right to choose! We’ve moved on from the days of paternalism (meaning that the course of treatment was the doctor or dentist’s choice). It’s now best practice to focus much more on the needs of the patient.”
Tracey is known for bringing new technology to the North West first and for supporting staff in obtaining post-graduate qualifications at some of the best universities in the world.
Becoming one of the first to be awarded a Masters in Dental Law and Ethics shows Tracey’s determination to stay at the forefront of developments in her field and in addition to prioritising her own ongoing education, Tracey is well known within her profession for her generosity in giving her time to pass on her skills and knowledge to the next generation of dentists and aesthetics specialists.
Tracey is currently working with leading UK universities in the North West on postgraduate development in aesthetic medicine, law and ethics amongst policy makers.