School of Dental Sciences

Staff Profile

Professor Nick Girdler

Professor of Sedation Dentistry



I am Head of the academic and clinical sedation service in Newcastle. This is a major provider of education, research and patient care in the field of conscious sedation for dental care.


I have been an academic consultant in sedation dentistry for 17 years. During that time I have developed world class research and teaching programmes in sedation and anxiety management.

Roles and Responsibilities

Head of Sedation Department, Newcastle Dental School & Hospital.
Degree Programme Director, Postgraduate Diploma in Sedation in Dentistry.
Consultant Clinical Tutor, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust/Northern Deanery.
Chair Sedation Advisory Group, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust.                                                               Fellowship Assessor, Faculty of Dental Surgery.                                                                                        Faculty Tutor (FDS), Royal College of Surgeons of England.



Previous Positions

Lecturer/Senior Registrar in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Guys & St. Thomas' Hospitals NHS Trust, London.

Honours and Awards

Journal of Disability & Oral Health Prize, 2006.
Hunterian Professorship, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1995-6.
Shirley Glasstone Huges Prize, British Dental Association, 1998.
British Society for Oral Medicine Prize, 1995.


Research Interests

My research interests are focused in the field of anxiety management and conscious sedation in dentistry. I lead a research team which is investigating new methods of sedation, which will provide an alternative to dental general anaesthesia.

Current Work

My current research programmes include evaluating pre-operative dental anxiety, cognitive effects of sedation agents, investigation of new paediatric sedation techniques, complications and morbidity of sedation, seeking alternative sedation techniques to avoid dental general anaesthesia, and clinical trials of new anxiolytic agents.

Postgraduate Supervision

I supervise doctoral and masters students undertaking projects in paedatric sedation, intravenous sedation and pre-operative anxiety. One of my students was the first ever dental recipient of a National NHS R&D Training Fellowship.


Funding of over £500,000 has been forthcoming from NHS R&D and the Pharmaceutical Industry over the past five years.


Undergraduate Teaching

I lead the undergraduate programme in dental sedation in Newcastle School of Dental Sciences.

Postgraduate Teaching

I am Programme Director for the Postgraduate Diploma in Conscious Sedation in Dentistry. The Diploma programme has been externally endorsed as "A gold standard in the UK". I also organise regional sedation/life support courses for postgraduate practitioners.