Professor Robert Witton
Profiles

Professor Robert Witton

Director of Social Engagement and Community-based Dentistry (Education)

Peninsula Dental School (Faculty of Health)

Biography

Biography

Director of social engagement and community-based dentistry (University of Plymouth)
Chief Executive (Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC)
Consultant in Dental Public Health (Public Health England)

Training Programme Director in Dental Public Health (Health Education England Southwest)
Chair, Public Health Committee (British Dental Association)

Qualifications

BDS (Birmingham University) 1999
MFGDP(UK) 2003
MFDS RCS(Eng) 2005
DPDS (Bristol University) 2009
Certificate in Clinical Periodontology (UCLAN) 2009
MSc Public and Community Health (Universities of Exeter & Plymouth) 2012
FDS (Dental Public Health) RCS(Eng) 2012
FHEA 2016

FDFT(Edin) 2017
FRSPH 2019
Honorary Fellowship in Homelessness and Inclusion Health 2021

Professional membership

General Dental Council Reg No. 75972
Performer number - 75972-5F1
British Dental Association
British Society for the Study of Community Dentistry 
Associate Member Faculty of General Dental Practice
Fellow in Dental Surgery Royal College of Surgeons of England



Roles on external bodies

British Dental Association Public Health Committee (2019 to present)
British Society for the Study of Community Dentistry Consultants and Specialists Group (2019 to present)
Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) Faculty Academy (2020 to present)
World Dental Federation (FDI) Expert working group on migrant oral health (2021 to present)


Teaching

Teaching

Teaching interests

Public health
Community engagement
Health policy
Primary dental care
Periodontology
Paediatrics

Staff serving as external examiners

South West Population and Public Health Academy Board (2018 to present)

South West Regional Committee for Speciality Training in Dentistry (2017 to present)

Health Education England (HEE Southwest, Oxford and Thames Valley) Training Programme Director in Dental Public Health (2017 to present)

ISFE Examiner (the four Royal Colleges) in dental public health (2015 to present)

RCS England Examiner in dental public health (2019 to present)

External Examiner Queen Mary University of London (2019 to present)


Research

Research

Research interests

Primary Dental Care
Health Services Research

Prevention
Social enterprise
Vulnerable groups and oral health inequalities 

Other research

Ahmed A, Bannerman N-L, Paisi M, Potterton R, Witton R. A dental student perspective on the impacts of an inter-professional engagement module. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship 2020 13(1) 111-113

Coelho C, Witton R, Smith W. Assisting communication in the dental setting; a student team working initiative with stroke patients. Journal of Disability and Oral Health 2018 19/1, 10-13

Witton R. Oral health and diabetes – where next for the dental team? Dental Health 2010 49(3), 6-9

Witton R. Open wide – a discussion of diabetes and oral health Diabetes Update 2009; Autumn: 28-32


Books

Co-editor. Standards in Dentistry. Second Edition. Faculty of General Dental Practice. London, 2018

“Open Wide and Step Inside” storybook for children. First edition. Witton and Smith. Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC, 2018

Book chapter. Prevention of dental caries in “Dentistry at a glance”. First Edition. Edited by E Kay. Wiley Blackwell, 2016

Other published reports, policy contributions and articles

Witton R. The future of dental public health. Br Dental J In Practice 2021 34, 10-11

Witton R. Scrapping PHE, a threat to oral health? Br Dent J 2020 229, 272

Witton R. How has COVID-19 affected dental provision for the homeless? (2020). Available at: https://www.dentistry.co.uk/2020/10/02/covid-affected-dental-provision-homeless/

Witton R (representing the British Dental Association). 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review. Joint representation on local public health funding to HM Treasury (2020). Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/csr_joint_representation_on_local_public_health_funding_-_24_september_2020.pdf

Witton R. Written evidence in response to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into dental services (2019). Available on the Parliament website at https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-and-social-care-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/dentistry-services-inquiry-17-19/publications/

Witton R. Underprivileged in Plymouth receive dental care (2019). Springer Science and Business Media LLC 01/01/190001/01/1900

Oral care and people with learning disabilities. Chapter 12 – For people with learning disabilities to provide peer support. Public Health England (2019). Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oral-care-and-people-with-learning-disabilities/oral-care-and-people-with-learning-disabilities

Witton R. Open Wide and Step Inside. Research Outreach. Issue 111. http://cdn.researchoutreach.org/Flipbooks/RO111/index.html (2019)

Harman C, Allen Z, Nelder R, Witton R. Plymouth Oral Health Needs Assessment. Plymouth City Council (2019)

Warren S, Allen Z, Harwood P, Witton R. Special Care and Paediatric Southwest Needs Assessment Summary Report. NHS England and NHS Improvement (2019)

Allen Z, Harwood P, Ireland A, John J, Oliver J, Scott D, Sowerbutts J, Warren S, Witton R. South of England Paediatric and Special Care Needs Assessment Framework. Public Health England (2018)

Harwood P, Witton R, Allen Z. South West Orthodontic Needs Assessment. Public Health England (2015)

Harwood P, Witton R, Patel R, Woof M. South West Oral Health Needs Assessment. Public Health England (2014)

Blogs

Fighting for prevention in oral health. British Dental Association. Available at Fighting for prevention in oral health (bda.org) (November 2020)

Scrapping PHE, a threat to oral health? British Dental Association. Available at https://bda.org/news-centre/blog/Pages/Scrapping-PHE-a-threat-to-oral-health.aspx (November 2020)


Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Post-doctoral supervision

To investigate the oral health impact of the dental school and PDSE in Devon and Cornwall. Second supervisor (2017 – current)

Doctor of Philosophy  

Martha Paisi ‘Obesity and dental caries in children in Plymouth’ (2014-2017)

Nicole Thomas 'Testing an oral health intervention in a highly vulnerable child population' (2017- )

MSc Supervision

Does the socket shield technique for immediate implant placement result in reduced bone resorption and improved aesthetic outcomes, compared with the placement of immediate implants alone in the anterior zone (2019 – 2020)

A systematic review of calcium hydroxide and mineral trioxide aggregate in managing pulp exposures (2018-2019)

A systematic review of chlorhexidine and hypochlorite in root canal treatment (2017 - 2018)

Academic Clinical Fellow

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Dental Public Health. Educational Supervisor (2017 – 2020)

 


Grants & contracts

Research grants 

£69,166. “The impact of inter-professional education in the dental curriculum on students’ views towards social accountability.” Principal Investigator (2020)

£143,029 (external). Post-doctoral fellowship. “Identifying Factors Influencing Oral health Habits and Dental care Access among Children and Young People with Autism: Evidence Synthesis and Qualitative Stakeholder Research” Co-investigator (2020)

£216,484K (external). NIHR Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme. Health Visitor Oral Health Improvement Pilot (HVOHIP). Co-investigator (2019)

£2,500 (external). GSK and Association for Dental Education in Europe. Advancement of dentistry in society scholarship award (2018)

£5,800 (external). GSK Oral and Dental Research Trust. Co-investigator (2017)

£128,000 (external). Post-doctoral fellowship. To investigate the oral health impact of the dental school and PDSE in Devon and Cornwall. Co-investigator (2017)

£89,000 (external). Wrigley Global Oral Health Fund. To deliver and improve the “open wide and step inside” oral health education intervention in Plymouth primary schools. Witton R (2017)

£5,000 (internal). Plymouth University Medical Education Award ‘Exploring transformative and troublesome moments for medical and dental students during social engagement pathways’. Co-investigator (2016)

£60,000 (internal). Plymouth University. Preliminary investigation of the effectiveness of an intervention to prevent oral disease in a highly vulnerable child population. Co-investigator (2016)

£78,000 (external). Wrigley Global Oral Health Fund. To deliver the “open wide and step inside” oral health education intervention using Immersive Vision Technology in Plymouth primary schools. Principal Investigator (2015)

£60,000 (internal). Plymouth University. Investigation into the relationship between dental caries and obesity in young children. Co-investigator (2014)

£109,000 (external). Wrigley Global Oral Health Fund. To develop an innovative pilot oral health education intervention for children aged 4-5 years using Immersive Vision Technology. Principal Investigator (2013)

£5,000 (external). NHS North Devon. To investigate referrals from primary care to specialist services for routine exodontia. Co-investigator (2012)

Social impact and community grants 

£470,254 (external). NHS England. Devon supervised tooth brushing scheme and evaluation. Principal Investigator (2019)

£3,500 (external). North Yard Community Trust. “Creating Smiles” oral health resources box for distribution and training. Principal Investigator (2017)

£100,000 (external). Plymouth City Council. To deliver the oral health component of the Child Poverty Action Plan (2017)

£10,000 (external). Public Health England. To develop marketing campaign for children’s oral health in Plymouth. Principal Investigator (2017)

£9,200 (external). Active Plus. To co-deliver with ActivePlus “Talking Teeth” an oral health support network for veterans and isolated rural elderly in Cornwall. Principal Investigator (2017)

£3,000 (external). Drake Impact Fund. To train child care workers to become ‘dental buddies’ and to support delivery of supervised tooth brushing clubs. Principal Investigator (2016)

£10,000 (external). British Dental Health Foundation. To pilot supervised tooth brushing programmes in Surestart centres in deprived areas of Plymouth. Principal Investigator (2011)

 

 

 


Personal

Personal

Other academic activities

Shortlisted for a National Health Service (NHS) Equalities Award. Announced at the Palace of Westminster in July 2021

TBC

Winner of the South West Region Health Equalities Award. NHS Parliamentary Awards for providing dental care to vulnerable adults

2020

Highly Commended in the “Best Outreach or Charity Initiative” (South) for the Community dental clinic. Dental Awards

2020

Winer “Best Outreach or Charity Initiative” for the dental ambassador programme. Dental Awards

2020

Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP) Dean’s Medal for community engagement

2020

Shortlisted in the NatwestSE100 Index for social enterprise leader of the year

2020

NatwestSE100 Index. PDSE recognised as one of the top 100 social enterprises in the country

2020

Winner “Best care of vulnerable patients” National Oral Health Awards

2019

Children Global Oral Health Fund. Senior Dental Leadership Scholarship. Harvard University

2019

Social Enterprise Quality Mark (Institutional – lead applicant)

2019

Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) dental scholarship award for “Advancement of dentistry in society”

2018

Winner social enterprise category at the Plymouth Business Awards (Institutional – lead applicant)

2018

Shortlisted for a National Teaching Award in Collaboration for the Higher Education Academy Awards

2017

Winner Colgate Bright Smiles Brighter Future Professional Programme

2016

Winner social enterprise category at the Plymouth Business Awards (Institutional – lead applicant)

2016

Winner Guardian University Award for social impact in higher education (Institutional – lead applicant)

2015

Winner EUAC Green Gown Award for enterprise in higher education (Institutional – lead applicant)

2014

Social Enterprise Quality Mark (Institutional – lead applicant)

2013


Additional information

Professional roles

Professional advice to Makelle Unversity dental school, Ethiopia

Professional advice to Healthservice Commisison, Somaliland

Chief Executive Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC (2019 to present)

Trustee Well Connected Charity (2018 - 2019)

Chair Well Connected Charity (2017 – 2018)

Non-Executive Director, Smile Together CIC (2016 to 2019)

Non-Executive Director, PCH Dental CIC (2013 - 2016)

Executive Director, Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC (2012 to present)