Dr David Attrill BDS PhD FDS RCS(Ed) FDS RCS(Rest. Dent.) FHEA

David Attrill

School of Dentistry
Head of Clinical Practice
Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry

Contact details

The School of Dentistry
5 Mill Pool Way
B5 7EG
United Kingdom

David is a Senior Lecturer and Hon. Consultant in Restorative Dentistry.

He is Head of the Restorative Phase (clinical years 3 & 4) in Clinical Practice (the undergraduate adult clinical teaching programme).

David teaches extensively in all aspects of Prosthodontics to both undergraduates, clinical training grades and to postgraduates.

He is Chairman of the joint School of Dentistry/Dental Hospital Health and Safety Advisory Committee.

David is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Clinically he is recognised as a Specialist in Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics.

He has had the privilege of serving as President of the Birmingham University Dental Students Society (BUDSS) 2009-10.

Nationally, he has been a council member of the BSSPD (British Prosthodontics Society) and  concurrently the Awards administrator with responsibilities for national BSSPD awards. He was a local conference organiser of the 2011 national conference in Birmingham.

He served as the Scientific Editor for the Association of Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) pan-European conference in 2013.

Teaching interests are the management of adult restorative dental care and Prosthodontics.

Research interests include dental laser systems, caries diagnostics and the maintenance and care of dental prostheses.

David has taken a lead in the multi-million pound project to develop the new Dental Hospital and School, scheduled to open in late 2015. This is the biggest project of its kind in the UK for over 40 years and will serve the population of the West Midlands for many years to come.


  • FDS RCS (Rest Dent, Edinburgh) 2003.
  • FDS RCS (Edinburgh) 1998.
  • PhD (V.U. Manchester) 1997.
  • BDS (V.U. Manchester) 1991. 
  • FHEA (formerly ILT) 2001.



David completed his PhD in 1997. His thesis was “Evaluation of Erbium:YAG and Holmium:YAG Laser Radiation on Dental Hard Tissue”.

He has published papers and presented at national and international conferences on laser interactions with dental tissues and also on caries diagnosis.

David was awarded the prestigious Alan Hilton Gold Medal for the best annual research presentation to the Manchester Medical Society Odontological Society for 1999-2000.

He was formerly a research fellow with the Colgate-Palmolive Dental Health Unit (University of Manchester 1993-7).

Other activities

University - Clinical:

  • Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry (2003-) – Birmingham  Community Healthcare Trust (BCHC, formerly SBPCT).
  • Chairman of joint School of Dentistry/Dental Hospital Health and Safety Advisory Committee (2007-).
  • School representative - College of Medical & Dental Sciences Health and Safety Committee (UoB).
  • Person Designate (Human Tissue Authority) – Responsibility for Dental Students .
  • Member – BCHC Dental Hospital Executive.
  • School Representative – BCHC Dental Hospital Decontamination Steering Group.
  • School Representative – BCHC Dental Hospital I.T. Committee.
  • Member of School/Trust Inoculation Injury Response Team.
  • Undergraduate Patient Recruitment – Responsibility for screening/recruitment programme.
  • Educational supervisor – Senior House Officer training programme (2007-).
  • Clinical trainer -DF2, SHO, SpR and Registrar (2003-) .
  • Member – SHO & DF2 training committee.

University - Academic:

  • Head of Year 3, Lead for year 3 module "Introduction to Clinical Practice and Clinical Teaching".
  • Member – School of Dentistry Executive Committee.
  • Member – School of Dentistry Staff/Student Committee.
  • Member – Curriculum Development Committee.
  • Member - BDS Admissions Executive.
  • BDS Undergraduate elective supervisor (2004-).
  • BMedSci – Final Year project supervisor (ad hoc).

Examination responsibilities:

  • BDS Year 1 – Introduction to Clinical Dentistry Module.
  • BDS Year 2 – Para-clinical skills.
  • BDS Year 3 - Head of Yesar, Module lead "Introduction to Clinical Practice and Specialty Teaching" including OSCE examiner.
  • BDS Year 4 – Prosthetics Specialty examiner, OSCE examiner.
  • BDS Year 5 – Final BDS Examiner.
  • Served as internal examiner for doctoral (PhD) theses within the School and chaired PhD examinations.


  • External examiner. Final part II. University of Glasgow Dental School (2012-)
  • BSSPD – Ex-Officio council member (2007-10) and national awards administrator (2010-12).
  • External Examiner to Bristol School of Dentistry – (2010-12).
  • Examiner to Bristol University Open Learning for Dentists (BUOLD, Prosthetics module 2005-9).
  • Contributor to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) revision of “Guidance on the safe use of lasers, intense light source systems and LEDs In Medical, Surgical, Dental and Aesthetic Practices”.


Academic (refereed) journal papers:

Farrar SR, Attrill DC, Dickinson MR, King TA, Blinkhorn AS. Etch rate and spectroscopic ablation studies of Er:YAG-laser-irradiated dentine. Applied Optics 1997;108:5641-6.

Ashley PF, Attrill DC, Ellwood RP, Worthington HV and Davies RM. Toothbrushing Habits and Caries Prevalence. Caries Research 1999 33(5) 401-2.

Attrill DC, Farrar SR, Blinkhorn AS, Davies RM, Dickinson MR, King TA. Erbium:YAG (l=2.94mm) laser etching of dental enamel as an alternative to acid etching. Lasers in Medical Science 2000. 15:154-161.

Attrill DC and Ashley PF. Occlusal caries diagnosis in the primary dentition: Comparison of diagnodent with visual diagnosis. British Dental Journal 2001, 190(8) 440-443.

Attrill DC, Davies RM, King TA, Dickinson MR, Blinkhorn AS.Thermal effects of the Er:YAG laser on a simulated dental pulp: a quantitative evaluation of the effects of a water spray. J Dent. 2004 Jan;32(1):35-40.

Murray AK, Attrill DC, Dickinson MR. Qualitative assessment of surface topography of XeCl laser etched Ni-Cr alloy.Dent Mater. 2005 Sep;21(9):837-45.

Murray AK, Attrill DC, Dickinson MR. The effects of XeCl laser etching of Ni-Cr alloy on bond strengths to composite resin: a comparison with sandblasting procedures. Dent Mater. 2005 Jun;21(6):538-44.

Gillam D, Chesters R, Attrill D, Brunton P, Slater M, Strand P, Whelton H, Bartlett D.Dentine hypersensitivity--guidelines for the management of a common oral health problem.Dent Update. 2013 Sep;40(7):514-6, 518-20, 523-4

Professional Journal Papers:

McCord JF, Wilson NHF, Attrill DC. Impression making for complete dentures. Rest & aesthetic practice 2000 2(2) 88-92.

Attrill DC, McCord JF, Wilson NHF. Impression making for implant-borne prostheses. Rest & aesthetic practice 2000 2(3).

View all publications in research portal