British Association of Oral Surgeons

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Nicolson Street
Edinburgh UK EH8 9DW

The British Association of Oral Surgeons – Promoting excellence in Oral Surgery through education, training and research for better patient care. The British Association of Oral Surgeons represents all practitioners with a special interest in Oral Surgery in both Primary and Secondary Care. The Association’s aims are to promote the development of Specialist Oral Surgery practice and address issues relating to NHS and private practice, training, clinical governance and post-specialist training.

The British Association of Oral Surgeons was formerly the British Association of Surgical Dentistry (BASD, founded in 2001) but the BASD decided to change its name to BAOS in 2003. It was felt that this name was more recognisable to the public, our colleagues in Europe and further afield and also better placed to reflect the speciality of Oral Surgery to all those involved.

The History of BAOS The British Association of Oral Surgeons was constituted under the name of the British Association of Surgical Dentistry in 2001.

In 1999, the General Dental Council (GDC) introduced two specialist lists related to oral surgery: Oral Surgery and Surgical Dentistry. At the time of the introduction of the GDC’s specialist lists the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons (BAOMS) was the sole constituted speciality Association for those involved with oral surgery and maxillofacial surgery. Historically, there had been significant lobbying by BAOMS to separate those singly qualified OMFS consultants and academic consultants from being grouped together with the larger number of non-consultant individuals within OMFS (such as Associate Specialists and Staff Grades) who had not undergone formal recognised specialist training. Consequently Oral Surgery as a dental speciality was divided into two separate specialist lists – one in effect for consultants (Oral Surgery) and another for non-consultants (Surgical Dentistry).

Unfortunately, it was felt that BAOMS was not supportive of Surgical Dentistry as a distinct speciality and did not support the development of consultants within Surgical Dentistry. Because of this and other issues it was felt by some that Surgical Dentistry would be better represented if it had a distinct specialist Association. An initial open meeting of specialists organised by Nigel Moss and Michael Hahn attracted about 40 people and led to the establishment of a small committee with additional support from Maggie Sherborne, Colin Campbell & Louis McArdle. This committee facilitated the development of the initial memorandum & constitution of BASD and organised a study-day for specialists in Surgical Dentistry to provide an educational day and a forum for further discussion of the establishment of the Association. This was held at the University of Birmingham on the 21st September 2001 at which the consensus of all delegates was to establish a Specialist Association for Specialists in Surgical Dentistry. Subsequently the British Association of Surgical Dentistry was constituted with the aim to support specialists and lobby the main stakeholders within the UK for the advancement of the speciality. Nigel Moss was elected as the Association’s first President, with Michael Hahn as President Elect, Louis McArdle as Secretary and Maggie Sherborne as Treasurer. The Association’s initial membership was 40 but rapidly expanded over the coming years.

It became widely appreciated that the GDC were not happy with the arrangements of the specialist lists with regard to Oral Surgery and Surgical Dentistry. ‘Surgical dentistry’ was an idiosyncrasy and not recognised as a dental speciality anywhere else in the world. In effect, the GDC had two specialists lists for a single speciality and wished to ensure harmonisation and reflect the acknowledged position throughout Europe and beyond. In the spring of 2003 the Specialist Dental Advisory Committee (SDAC) of the GDC was commissioned to report on the arrangements for the dental specialities. In anticipation of this the Association changed its name to the British Association of Oral Surgeons in September of 2003 and following their report in 2004, the GDC amalgamated these two specialist lists into a single specialist list in Oral Surgery in 2005.

As the Association developed and grew the Dean of the faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh offered support and council to the Association and provided an office and administrative support. Yvonne Gilbert was our first administrator; Roger Manson then became the Senior Administrator and supported the Association for 10 years. As the Association has grown, so has the administrative team with now three part time members of staff.

The Association has had many achievements over the years and has been at the forefront of advancing the speciality of Oral Surgery.

In 2010, BAOS collaborated with Kings College London and produced a number of Oral Surgery training videos that are now being used by many Dental Colleges and can be accessed free, by BAOS members for teaching and on the BAOS website.

One of the Association’s aims is to support specialist education and one of its most significant achievements was the introduction and publication of its own journal: Oral Surgery in 2008. Oral Surgery has proved very popular with members and non-members internationally. Now, in keeping with a fast-paced digital world (and the need to consider the negative environmental impact the printed version has) the decision was made in 2018 to move away from printed copies to an online journal via a dedicated journal App.

BAOS now has in excess of 550 members and continues to thrive and support its membership in a fast-changing clinical world. It is responsible for running numerous regional study days, a ‘Training the Trainers’ Course, Core CPD Days and a very popular and successful Annual Conference. New members are always most welcome!


Map of British Association of Oral Surgeons Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Nicolson Street, Edinburgh UK EH8 9DW

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