Caroline Lappin was appointed to the post of Chief Dental officer (CDO) for the Department of Health in November 2021.
Prior to joining the Department, Caroline was Clinical Director of Community Dental Services in South Eastern HSC Trust from August 2016.
Caroline graduated with BDS with Distinction in Dental Surgery from Queen’s University Belfast in 1999 and completed Vocational Training, before working in General Dental Practice and Hospital Dentistry. Clinically, Caroline spent almost 14 years working within prison dental services in Northern Ireland.
Caroline has had a particular interest in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, and gained an MSc with Commendation in this field in 2017. She has also contributed to several research projects looking at improving oral health of older people, including those in Care Homes.
Caroline has taken up post in a period of unprecedented challenges in Dentistry and the wider Health system, and is keen to secure dental services that deliver oral health and wider public health benefits to the population.
The Chief Dental Officer's roles include:
- advice and support to Minister on all matters relating to dental services and oral health
- dental policy and strategy to promote and improve the health of the population and ensure timely access to dental services
- development of evidence-based standards to achieve, and maintain high quality services for the Northern Ireland population
- providing leadership to all dental practitioners and dental care professionals; professional input for workforce planning and contractual arrangements to optimise their professional role