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Institute of Dentistry - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Paul Coulthard, BDS MDS PhD MFGDP(UK) FDS,RCS(Eng) FDS,RCS(OS) FDS,RCPS(Glas) FFDT,RCS(Ed) FDS,RCS(Ed)


Dean for Dentistry and Institute Director Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Honorary Consultant in Oral Surgery with Barts Health NHS Trust

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7882 2300
Room Number: Dean's Office, Floor 5, Institute of Dentistry


Professor Paul Coulthard was appointed Dean for Dentistry and Institute Director, Institute of Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, in January 2019. He is Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London has an impressive history and strong reputation and Professor Coulthard’s impact has been to build on existing achievements, fostering and developing excellence, innovation and global reputation in teaching, learning and dental and oral research that is collaborative and embedded into wider medicine.

He was previously Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester and Head of the School of Medical Sciences. This School consisted of the Research Institutes of ‘Cancer Sciences’, ‘Cardiovascular Sciences’, ‘Developmental Biology & Medicine’, ‘Diabetes, Endocrinology & Gastroenterology’ and the ‘Manchester Medical School’ and ‘Manchester Dental School’. Prior to this he was Dean of the Manchester Dental School for five years. Professor Coulthard is Honorary Dental Consultant Advisor to the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement 2020-2023.

Professor Paul Coulthard undertook General Clinical Training as a General Dental Practitioner in Manchester and Sheffield and was awarded the Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners. His Basic Surgical Training took place in Manchester, Carlisle and London and he undertook a resident training post in Anaesthesia. He also spent a short time working overseas. Professor Coulthard completed Higher Specialist Surgical Training in academic Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Manchester in 2000. This training included surgery of the mouth, surgery for facial injuries and fractures, surgery for facial disfigurement and surgery of the salivary glands and jaw joint. He was awarded the Fellowship in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons and subsequently his Specialty Fellowship in Oral Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons Intercollegiate Board.

Alongside surgical training, Professor Coulthard undertook research training leading to the award of an MDS in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and a PhD in Neuroscience. He was promoted to the position of Senior Lecturer and Head of Department in 2000, Honorary Consultant Oral Surgeon in 2001 and Personal Chair in 2004.

Professor Coulthard is an Editor with the Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group (impact factor 5.340). He was Editor-in-Chief of journal Oral Surgery 2013-18 and is an Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Surgery. He was a Senior Editor for the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association. Professor Coulthard is currently the Dental Anesthesiology Research Group Councillor with the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) having previously been group President and Institutional Section Councillor. He was previously a member of the Licensing Board, Centre for Healthcare Planning & Quality, Dubai Health Care City. During his period as Dean at the Manchester Dental School he developed Memorandum of Understanding with several prestigious international institutions. Professor Coulthard has developed MoUs between Queen Mary University of London and West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, China; Manipal College of Dental Sciences, India and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, USA.

Professor Coulthard has chaired several committees for NHS England that have published reports changing the delivery of clinical care in England, especially the ‘Guide for Commissioning Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine’ and ‘Commissioning Dental Services - Conscious Sedation in a Primary Care Setting’. He has also contributed to guidance produced by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) including, ‘Conscious Sedation in Dentistry - Dental Clinical Guidance’, 2017 and ‘Mitigation of Aerosol Generating Procedures in Dentistry – a Rapid Review’ 2020 and updated 2021. Professor Coulthard is working with NHS England to develop the Oral Surgery Standard in 2022.

He was President of the ‘British Association of Oral Surgeons’ and is now immediate Past President until 2023. Professor Coulthard was also President of the ‘British Dental Association Hospital Group’. He previously chaired the ‘Dental System Leadership Group’ for Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, with representatives from the Local Authority, Primary Care Medicine, Managed Clinical Networks, Commissioning, Health Education England NW, Dental Advisory Group, Dental Public Health and Local Dental Committee.

Professor Coulthard has provided complex oral surgery care to patients with secondary/tertiary referral for many years. His special interest has been patients with congenitally absent teeth/associated tissues or who following cancer surgery or trauma require reconstruction with bone graft surgery and advanced oral implant surgery. He has been ‘Clinical Lead’ for Oral Surgery Services and ‘Training Programme Director’ (TPD) for Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Special Care Dentistry and Dental Public Health.

In 2019 Professor Coulthard was awarded the FDS,RCPS(Glas) for his contribution of distinction to specialty and dental profession by the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Glasgow. In 2020 he was awarded the FFDT,RCS (Ed) for commitment to excellence in education and training by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. In 2021 he was awarded the FDSRCS(Ed) without examination.


Professor Coulthard has had responsibility for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes in Medicine and Dentistry and to the External Professional Regulators. He has made a significant personal contribution to teaching and learning of undergraduate students and surgical trainees. He is passionate about evidence-based practice and introducing this concept to students. He is proud to produce high calibre graduates in science and clinicians who are research and public health thinking.

The fourth edition of his textbook Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and Oral Medicine (Master Dentistry Volume 1) is due for publication in May 2021. This textbook has been translated for distribution internationally. Professor Coulthard has also co-authored chapters for six other textbooks and has many scientific publications relating to teaching and learning.

Professor Coulthard has been a member of the Higher Education Academy since 2002. He also undertook training in teaching with the Resuscitation Council (UK) and was an Advanced Life Support Instructor for many years. He undertook his teaching practice at HMS Haslar Institute of Naval Medicine. He held the post of Director of Graduate Education and Research at Manchester Dental School for four years during which he introduced seven new graduate taught courses enhancing the school portfolio and increasing flexibility. He was Director of an MSc Programme in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for many years until 2017. Since his time at QMUL he has overseen the introduction of new DClinDent programmes in Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery, Clinical Oral Microbiology and Minimally Invasive Dentistry and a new distance learning programme in Dental Public Health, Policy and Leadership.

Professor Coulthard has held many examinerships over the years at institutions across the UK and internationally. He is currently external examiner at Glasgow University and Kuwait University. Professor Coulthard is the Royal College of Surgeons of England nominated member of the Intercollegiate Examination Board in Oral Surgery. He is Past Chairman of the Dental Sedation Teachers Group and was Chair of the Working Group that published 'Conscious Sedation in Dentistry Standards for Postgraduate Education'. He is frequently invited overseas to lead conscious sedation workshops or lecture about evidence-based oral and maxillofacial surgery.

In 2020 Professor Coulthard was awarded the FFDTRCS(Ed) for his commitment to excellence in education and training by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.


Research Interests:

Professor Coulthard led a team that published a comprehensive series of Oral Implant Cochrane Systematic Reviews that provided a reliable summary of the global scientific evidence for best practice and the foundation for future implant research. These reviews are continually being updated.

Professor Coulthard instigated and lead an international multi-centre clinical trial demonstrated equivalent healing with a novel octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive compared to traditional alternatives such as sutures for the skin closure of long surgical incisions. This has significant implications in changing the 400-year-old clinical practice of wound closure with sutures. With adhesives there is no risk of needlestick injury and there are no sutures to remove for the patient.

He has created a tool for assessing a patients’ need for conscious sedation when undergoing dental treatment and oral surgery. This novel ‘Indicator of Sedation Need’ (IOSN) tool uses ranked and combined information on the patient's anxiety, general health and treatment complexity. It can be used to support clinicians in their decision making and commissioners who need to identify patient need in order to plan and deliver appropriate sedation services.

Working with Dental Public Health colleagues Professor Coulthard initiated regional Oral Surgery (OS) Referral Triage. An Online Referral Management and Triage System for all dental specialist referrals was subsequently established and he was co-investigator of a large mixed methods study evaluating this system for oral surgery referrals (£670K: NIHR SDO).

Professor Coulthard is leading research to facilitate a global change in the practice of health professionals and their teams regarding identification and referral of their patients who present with physical injury or other signs that might indicate Domestic Violence and Abuse (£250K: NIHR HS&DR).

Professor Coulthard was a Co-Applicant with Irene Leigh, David Kelsell and Catherine Harwood receiving funding to create of a cross Institute ‘Barts Centre for Squamous Cancer’ based in the IoD. This will bring together researchers across the Medical and Dental Schools who work on squamous cancers of oral mucosa, skin and oesophagus (£2.6M: Barts Charity).

Professor Coulthard has supervised over forty MSc, MPhil and PhD students and has published over 200 scientific papers.



  1. Paul Coulthard, Gene Feder, Maggie A. Evans, Medina Johnson, Tanya Walsh, Peter G. Robinson, Christopher J. Armitage, Estela Barbosa, Martin Tickle and Omolade Femi-Ajao. Dentistry responding to domestic violence and abuse: a dental, practice-based intervention and a feasibility study for a cluster randomised trial.
  2. Bailey E, Kashbour W, Shah N, Worthington H, Renton TF, Coulthard P. Surgical techniques for the removal of mandibular wisdom teeth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2020, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD004345. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CDO004345.pub3.
  3. Coulthard P, Hutchison I, Bell, J. et al. COVID-19, domestic violence and abuse, and urgent dental and oral and maxillofacial surgery care. Br Dent J 228, 923–926 (2020).
  4. Patel J, Coulthard P. Hydroxychloroquine shortage. British Dental Journal 2020;228(11):810; May 2020
  5. Coulthard P; Oral Health and HIV: What Dental Students Need to Know; Oral Diseases. Article DOI: 10.1111/odi.13389; May 2020
  6. Dave M, Coulthard F, Coulthard P, Patel N; Increased risk of analgesic overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dental Update 2020;47(5):452-3; May 2020

All publications

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