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Tom Heeson Tribute

Tributes to Tom Heesom

A Concert for Tom Wednesday 26 March 2008 by invitation

From Richard Dean

Tom Heesom was the epitome of the English gentleman who brought a level of dignity and unparalleled integrity to the dental profession. His enthusiasm and concern for the work was infectious; ever self-effacing, his contribution to the advancement of clinical skills and knowledge was always downplayed due to his modesty and respect for others.

Tom was a wonderful colleague and friend and those of us fortunate to know him will appreciate his eagerness to heip his colleagues, particularly those in trouble. His sudden demise is a sad loss of a great trend and a superb colleague, A man who would not hesitate to jump in the fire for you.

Our thoughts go out to his lifelong friend, partner and love of his life, his dear wife Willo. We will not see his like again.


From Dr Chas Lister

Tom Heeson was an absolute inspiration in my early restorative dentistry training via the Pankey Assoc in 1983ish which resulted in me doing all the Pankey Continua which resulted in me having my integrated restorative-ortho practice that I have now. He was part of that core of enthused practitioners who tried, and for some successfully, to shift the standards of dentistry up to a proper level. Sadly, the BDA apart from John McLean refused to see the way forward as being unshackled by the NHS chains.

He was an organiser of the first UK conference on Occlusion in 1986est at of all places Kensington Town Hall. At great cost they brought over some fantastic US speakers, including LD Pankey himself.

He along with the likes of Richard Morris, Stuart Orton Jones, Peter Glazebrook and many others were the people who started Roy Higson off on his journey. These people changed how dentistry was practiced.

If I had to sum up: he was a man of accomplished modesty who quietly started the fires of excitement for many. He was one of the few who arguably completed this journey. Many lesser mortals simply fell by the wayside for want of the intellectual powers of endurance.


From Helen Jones

It was Tom’s inspiration to form the Functional Orthodontic Support Group. He was dismayed to see several colleagues brought before the General Dental Council Disciplinary Committee for, what he believed, to be justifiable treatment. As a professional and a gentleman he set out to find an acceptable route to bring about a resolution to this problem.

He spent many hours with the representatives of the indemnity societies and attended many days at the hearings in support of his colleagues. He was frustrated by the seeming lack of knowledge and awareness in the field of occlusion and function of many mainstream orthodontists.

He will be greatly missed. However, I do believe the very existence of the Group is beginning to bring about a change in attitude and a more tolerant acceptance of so-called alternative treatments. Several articles that have appeared in recent journals and dental press certainly seem to indicate that this is so. If this is indeed the case, we all owe him a great debt of gratitude.


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