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The Faculty of Dental Trainers

Meet Our Members

Hakeem Ajao

Hakeem Ajao was awarded Membership from the Faculty of Dental Trainers (FDT) in May 2023. 

Hakeem works as a Specialty Dentist at the Leeds Dental Institute where he is also an educational supervisor for junior dentists. He graduated from the University of Ibadan in 2002 and worked as a senior house officer in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Hakeem is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  

Laura Timms

Laura Timms joined FDT as an Associate this year and was the recipient of an FDS grant in September 2020. A graduate from the University of Manchester, Laura currently works in Sheffield as an Academic Clinical Fellow. Her interests are management of trauma and children with medical comorbidities, with a particular interest in the prevention and minimally invasive management of caries in children.


Julia Armstrong 

In 2016 Julia was awarded Fellowship from the Faculty of Dental Trainers [FDT] at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and is an executive member of the FDT board. In 2019 Julia was made a Dental Team Ambassador of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Faculty of Dental Surgery. 

Julia has an honours degree in Education and Professional Development and holds a range of post qualifications to support her role in dental education.

In 2016 she was awarded Fellowship from the Faculty of Dental Trainers [FDT] at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and is an executive member of the FDT board. In 2019 Julia was made a Dental Team Ambassador of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Faculty of Dental Surgery.

She works at Health Education England [Yorks and Humber] as part of Dental Workforce Development where she commissions and delivers education to dental teams. She also supports general dental practices involved in Dental Foundation Training, Therapy Foundation Training and Performance List Validation by Experience [PLVE]. 

Julia is a Tutor at Leeds Dental Institute teaching the NEBDN Diploma in Dental Nursing and quality assures both pre-registration training and post-graduate educational courses. In 2006 Julia became an examiner for the NEBDN, swiftly moving into a Supervising Examiner role, then in 2014 Diploma Committee member; writing and quality assuring written exam papers and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. 

 Geraldine Birks 


Geraldine has worked for the General Dental Council since 2009, in EEA and Non-EEA registration, education quality assurance of UK dental schools and fitness to practise. Currently an Investigating Committee Chair and Clinical Case Examiner.

Geraldine is also a Dental Workforce Development Postgraduate Tutor for Health Education England, Yorkshire & the Humber, responsible for identification and commissioning of high quality education to meet the workforce needs. As part of this role, Geraldine also participates in educational quality management and Foundation training practice inspections.

Geraldine is a Dental Specialist Advisor for the Care Quality Commission undertaking primary and secondary care dental inspections. In 2018 Geraldine trained all the CQC Inspectors at their national conference in London on infection control. She lectures throughout England and Scotland on infection control and professional ethics and maintains clinical activity.

Geraldine holds a BA (Hons) in education, is a Fellow of the Faculty of Dental Trainers, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and sits on the Executive Board of the FDT.


Tom Bereznicki

Having graduated from Edinburgh in 1976, Tom immediately moved to London and worked as a House Surgeon rotating around Departments at Guy’s and The Royal Dental Hospitals entering general dental practice in 1978. In 1982, he opened his own single-handed private practice as a ‘squat’ in Queensgate, London before moving himself and his patients to join The Dawood & Tanner Dental Practice in Wimpole Street in January 2011.

In October 2013 Tom was appointed as a Visiting Clinical Specialist Teacher in the Department of Primary Dental Care (PDC) at King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill. In June 2017 he was appointed as Extra-curricular Education Co-ordination Officer for the King’s College London Dental Students Society.  In April 2018, he became Staff President of The Kings Students Dental Society and was subsequently appointed as a Member of The Kings Dental Alumni Association Council.

In May 2018 Tom was awarded one of King’s College London’s prestigious Teaching Excellence Awards – Teaching Experience. In 2019 he was re-appointed as Staff President of The Kings Students Dental Society and nominated for The 2019 Kings Education Award – Student Support.

In March 2017 he was co-opted to The Advisory Board in Primary Dental Care at The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh. In July 2017 he also joined the Steering Group of The Faculty of Dental Trainers at The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh. In March 2018 he became a Member of The Faculty of Dental Trainers at The Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh (MFDTEd). In July 2018 he became a Member of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners at The Royal College of Surgeons, England.

In July 2019 he was elected as President of The Metropolitan Branch of The British Dental Association for the year 2021/2022.


Mrs Lynn Chalinder DipDH AFHEA MDTFEd

Mrs Lynn Chalinder's career in Dentistry began in 1989 when she started Dental nursing in a busy NHS practice in 1989. During her time as a nurse, she applied to the Birmingham Dental School to train to become a Hygienist as the next stage in her career progression. On leaving the practice to embark on this training, she trained a new nurse to take over the role she was leaving behind. It was from here onwards that the comment ‘you would make a wonderful teacher’ seemed to keep cropping up.

Lynn gained a wealth of clinical experience as a Hygienist in a variety of settings and informally trained many dental nurses over the years, as well as helping and mentoring those undertaking the hygiene course. However, the desire to become a clinical teacher was always an aspiration but family circumstances had not permitted this in the early part of her career.

Fast forward to 2014 when she was appointed as a Hygienist Clinical Supervisor at the Peninsula Dental School in Plymouth. A dream come true. She quickly embarked on training both BDS and DTH students throughout all of the year groups as well as becoming part of the equality and diversity committee and a pastoral tutor. There was always excellent feedback from colleagues and students but still no formal teaching qualifications and an uncertainty as to how to ensure she was giving the students the best educational experience she was capable of.

Plymouth University afforded Lynn the opportunity to work towards an associate fellowship of the HEA which really helped formalise her style of teaching, helping her to better understand formal teaching styles. She was then encouraged by the Dental School to investigate RCSEd’s Faculty of Dental Trainers as a committed group of people who are passionate about delivering high quality dental teaching. With encouragement from our Clinical Director, she moved forward to become a Member of the Faculty of Dental Trainers.

"Being a Member of the FDT has allowed me to gain confidence and recognition for my career in clinical teaching in parity with other team members. Being a Member of the FDT has given me a sense of achievement as well as confidence in the standard of teaching I deliver optimising outcomes for both students and patients alike. Delivering a high standard of holistic care for patients and teaching students to share the same outlook remains my top priority. Having a group of people in the Faculty of Dental Trainers to share knowledge and understanding with, as well as the option of joining in with other examinations and teaching elsewhere is incredibly reassuring. I have found the confidence to deliver lectures and share knowledge in improved ways than when I first began my teaching career. The next step on my career ladder is to graduate to Fellowship of the Faculty as further recognition of my enthusiasm and commitment to clinical teaching."