A DENTIST who has been chosen to spearhead a national organisation today spoke of his crusade to ensure that treatment was available to everybody.

Dr Geoffrey Garnett, who has a practice in Oswaldtwistle, was today installed as the new president of the British Dental Association (BDA).

As the BDA's supremo, he will represent more than 16,000 colleagues across the UK. Dr Garnett said it was a "great honour" to be appointed president which is the highest accolade the association can give one of its members.

He officially took up his position at the BDA's annual conference in Harrogate which started today.

Dr Garnett, 56, said: "There are many issues which we will tackle over the next year but my own personal aim is to ensure that there is a dental service which is available to everybody.

"We will also continue to lobby the government about adding fluoride to the water supply."

Dr Garnett has been a general dental practitioner since 1963 after he qualified at the Turner Dental School in Manchester.

He moved to his own practice in Haslingden in 1965 and opened his current practice in Union Road, Oswaldtwistle four years later.

His partner in practice is his wife, Pat and they have recently been joined by daughter Ruth.

He added: "This year the NHS celebrates its 50th anniversary and our conference will consider how dentistry will be practised in the future and its relationship with the NHS.

"The focus of a modern dentist's work is much wider now than it was 50 years ago. There is much more emphasis now on the whole patient and particularly the face around the teeth.

"Today's dentist has to be much more aware of patient choice taking account of the patient's aspirations and desires for the function and appearance of their mouth."

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.