Introducing the new reader panel Part 1

As we embark on the 2020s BDJ Team has recruited a brand new reader panel, to contribute opinions, content suggestions and help promote BDJ Team. Each new member of the panel will also be writing an article on a topic of their choice. By Kate Quinlan.

Noor Alhelou

My name is Noor Al-Helou and I am currently working as a foundation dentist in Liverpool.

I graduated from the University of Liverpool last summer with Honours and Distinctions in Oral Diseases and Restorative. I was also awarded the Gilmour prize in Restorative Dentistry, as well as the 5th year university restorative case report prize. While in my final year I was also the student chair of the Student Staff Liaison Committee which aimed to improve student experience while completing their undergraduate degree.


One of my current roles is holding revision sessions for my colleagues on a wide range of dentistry related topics which has proved to be a very rewarding and valuable role. Most recently I held a session to help final year students prepare for their dental foundation training interviews.

Noor will be writing for BDJ Team about smoking cessation and what advice dental professionals should be giving patients. She will also provide guidance on e-cigarettes and how to answer common questions patients present with on e-cigarettes.

Jodie Brightmore

I am a practice manager for two practices in Leicestershire. I have worked within dentistry for nearly ten years; I started as a trainee dental nurse and qualified in 2012 with the NEBDN. I have since gained a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management in 2015. I am a mentor for the Association of Dental Administrators and Managers (ADAM) and have written for ADAM's magazine about practice management.


I enjoy the dental industry and I am really passionate about dental compliance and patient care. We have received notable status with the CQC at both of the dental practices I manage (two of only three practices to have done so in my area). I have done lots in practice with regards to managing special care patients, running community fun days, providing oral health education in the community and connecting with all of our patients. I am currently creating a more autistic-friendly practice and approach.

Jodie is going to write about how to get dental nurses more involved with everyday practice: giving dental nurses extra responsibilities based on their strengths. Dental nurses in Jodie's practices provide smoking cessation advice, mouth cancer advice, social history chats and advise on healthy eating. Team members also help with marketing and design and others are 'dementia friend leaders'.

At the time of writing Jodie had just been named Practice Manager of the Year by the Association of Dental Administrators and Managers and was due to receive her certificate shortly.

Cat Edney

I am a dental therapist working in specialist practice in Canary Wharf. I qualified from King's College Dental Hospital in 2008 with a distinction in the dual qualification of Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy. I have since undertaken post-graduation training in tooth whitening and the treatment of nervous patients.


I am passionate about supporting fellow colleagues in their work - I set up the South East Dental Hygienist and Therapist group to give a forum for peer to peer support - we organise meet ups quarterly where possible. I have written articles including Interpretation of guidelines varies according to who is treating, published in BDJ Team in April 2019 ( I also have an Instagram account where I connect with progressive dental professionals and try to further our profession by means of encouragement and support. I'm hugely interested in the role of soft skills in the dental practice, teamwork and treatment coordination.

“I am passionate about supporting colleagues in their work. I'm hugely interested in the role of soft skills in the dental practice, teamwork and treatment coordination.”

This year Cat is going to write about full scope team working and making the most of your dental therapist.

Shaun Howe

I am a dental therapist working for NHS Shetland in the Public Dental Service. I added the skillset of dental therapy in 2017 at the University of Essex. I have wide experience as a dental hygienist and have lectured widely on various issues.


Shaun is the only member of BDJ Team's original reader panel who has decided to stay on for another term! That's dedication. Here are some of the articles Shaun has written for BDJ Team:

Dental therapy: 'Rekindling my passion for dentistry'(February 2018):

Oh, what a night (June 2015):

'I've had a brilliant first year' (August 2014):

Shaun has also volunteered for the charity

Watch this space for new contributions from Shaun this year.

Aoife Nic Íomhair

I am a Dental Core Trainee in Restorative and Special Care Dentistry. I graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 2015 with BDS (Hons) and since then have worked in general dental practice, the community dental service and the hospital dental service within the UK. I gained MFDS in 2017, have completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education with Queen's University Belfast and am currently undertaking a Master's in Public Health with the University of Manchester. My interests lie in Special Care Dentistry and Dental Public Health.


Aoife is going to write an article celebrating ten years of the Designed to Smile Programme in Wales, the national oral health promotion programme for children in Wales.

Thank you to the first BDJ Team reader panel for all your help over the past five years: Nicola Sherlock, Rachael England, Claire Deegan, Shiraz Khan, Nicole Sturzenbaum, Asma Chaudhri, Jacqui Elsden, Ben Underwood and Reena Wadia.

Introducing the new reader panel: Part 2 will be published in our April issue.

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Correspondence to Kate Quinlan.

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Quinlan, K. Introducing the new reader panel Part 1. BDJ Team 7, 17–18 (2020).

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