Professor Richard Ibbetson

Professor Richard Ibbetson

Interim Director of the Institute of Dentistry

Professor Richard Ibbetson
Professor Richard Ibbetson

Contact Details


Richard Ibbetson graduated from Guy’s Hospital Dental School, University of London in 1974. He spent some time in general dental practice in the West Country and then worked in Northern Canada. He undertook his postgraduate training at the Eastman in London and joined the staff there initially as a Lecturer. He was at the Eastman for twenty years becoming Senior Lecturer and Consultant. During this time developed his major interest in the teaching and clinical practice of Conservative Dentistry and Fixed Prosthodontics. He was Head of the Department of Conservative Dentistry in the early 1990’s and then established a new department of Continuing Education. He was also a Vice-Dean at the Eastman.

In 1999, he was appointed Professor of Primary Dental Care and the Director of the Edinburgh Dental Institute at the University of Edinburgh which again had a strong focus on education and training of postgraduate dentists. A further priority was the development of education and training of the dental team: during this period, the University of Edinburgh established the first Honours BSc in Oral Health Sciences for those wishing to register as Dental Hygienists & Therapists.

From 2011 to 2015, he worked as a Professor of Restorative Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London and then more briefly at the University of Central Lancashire. In these roles, the priority was the teaching and education of both undergraduate and postgraduate dental students.

In 2015, he was appointed Professor of Restorative Dentistry and Director of Dentistry at the University of Aberdeen. He has held honorary Consultant appointments in Conservative Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry having been first appointed a Consultant in 1986.

Richard Ibbetson was Dean of the Dental Faculty of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh from 2011-14. He chaired the Intercollegiate Advisory Committee for Sedation in Dentistry from 2011-17. He is a past President of the British Society for Restorative Dentistry (2005-06) and a past President of the Odontological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine (2014-16). He has also been the President of the Royal Odontochirurgical Society of Scotland (2016-17).

He has taught professional groups extensively both within the United Kingdom and internationally. He has also acted as an external examiner both within the UK and internationally for both universities and Royal Colleges.

External Memberships and Affiliations

Visiting Teaching Appointments

  • British Council Visitor, Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore 1990
  • British Council Visitor, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 1990
  • Invited Lecturer, Dental Faculty, University of Malta 2003, 2006, 2009

Quality Assurance

  • Accreditation visit, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong. Dental Council of Hong Kong 2012
  • Accreditation visit, Faculty of Dentistry, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur 2013

Research Overview

My own research has a number of themes:

1. Dental Education and Dental Team Development

2. Engineering in relation to dentistry (both orthodontics and prosthodontics)

3. Biomaterials research

My work in educational research began in the late 1990’s as a BT Research Fellow examining electronic modalities for distance learning of clinical skills. I was the lead researcher in Edinburgh from 2001-08 for a research consortium between the Universities of Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow. The research was led by the Dental Health Services Research Unit in Dundee with the Institute in Edinburgh receiving £40,000 of the £350,000 grant funded by SHEFCE / Chief Scientist. It examined the effect of remuneration and education on the implementation of research in dental practice. I developed good links with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh and worked collaboratively with the Head of Department, Professor Bob Reuben. This was productive not only for my own research interests but also provided facilities and support for the postgraduates in Edinburgh. I have an interest in the analyses of the Dental Care Professional Workforce which first began with membership of the Nuffield Inquiry in 1993. I have continued to work with the Senior Lecturer for Dental Care Professionals at the Institute in Edinburgh. This has produced a series of publications which has been valued as it has informed the process of dental workforce development. I have supervised over 40 Master’s Degree dissertations and 3 PhD theses.


Teaching Responsibilities

My major interest lies in the teaching and practice of operative dentistry and fixed prosthodontics. I have taught extensively at postgraduate level in these subjects and more recently undergraduate dental students studying for Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degrees in London, Lancashire and Scotland.

External lecturing and teaching of professional groups have formed part of my work and interests. I have taught extensively both within the UK and internationally over many years at national and international conferences and to smaller groups of colleagues.